If any concept defines the digital age, it’s project management and collaboration. The ability for groups to communicate and work together is paramount. A key aspect of collaboration revolves around sharing content, which becomes more complicated to use by the day. As a result, content collaboration and project management platforms play an increasingly important role in the enterprise.
These systems allow teams to synchronize and share files—documents, photographs, videos, audio and more. Yet, many of these platforms also offer tools that aid in file analysis and workflow management. This makes it possible to apply analytics, inventory unstructured data, handle backups and versioning, and tie in security and compliance controls. Today, most CPPs incorporate robust mobile apps that also allow access by smartphone or tablet.
How does an IT manager select the right type of project management or collaboration software for his or her enterprise? It takes a little research, because the leaders in the segment all have their strengths and weaknesses. What makes these tools so powerful is that they include content repositories and they support dedicated folders for projects. Most incorporate drag-and-drop interfaces, granular controls, and the ability to embed notes and other items in folders and files. Many also include robust APIs that allow these cloud services to operate with other services, thus extending the power and flexibility of the software.
There’s certainly no shortage of vendors, products and approaches in the space. Of course, selecting the right vendor and SaaS platform is paramount. To that end, eWeek has surveyed the marketplace and identified 10 of the top vendors for project management and content collaboration. We assembled this vendor list and the accompanying information from several sources, including the Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Content Collaboration Platforms, Gartner Peer Insights reviews for Content Collaboration Platforms, G2 Crowd, IT Central station, vendor websites and other online sources.
Value proposition for potential buyers: Axway offers a powerful and flexible content collaboration platform that addresses a broad swath of enterprise requirements. It places content on software defined storage platforms. This approach consolidates resources while facilitating content access on any device.
- Axway supports native folder and file structures, sharing and publishing tools, editing functions and mobile access. It also features real-time document protection and backup. This makes it possible to recover previous versions of files that may have been inadvertently altered or deleted.
- Syncplicity integrates with Microsoft Office and SharePoint to further facilitate file and content sharing, and it includes strong compliance and security controls. The latter includes group, role-based and individual permissions.
- Gartner ranked Axway Syncplicity a leader in its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms. It received 4.6 stars out of 5 at Gartner Peer Insights.
How it works: Cloud subscription service
Who uses it: Enterprises of any size; most verticals
See user reviews of Axway Syncplicity
Redwood City, Calif.
Solutions: Cloud Content Management, Box Platform
Value proposition for potential buyers: Box has emerged as a popular provider of content collaboration services. It offers a variety of specialized products and solutions designed for different verticals and different users. Box operates its own data centers in the US and elsewhere; this includes regionalized storage through AWS, IBM and Azure.
- The platform integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite. It also offers content streaming, real-time editing, machine learning, lightweight workflow and analytics—along with intelligent autoclassification and data extraction.
- Strong security controls make Box a popular choice with businesses. Among other things, the platform features customer-owned encryption key management (Box KeySafe) along with regional content storage implementation (Box Multi Zones).
- The company holds numerous compliance certifications and supports regulations such as GDPR. Gartner ranked Box a “Leader” in its 2018 MQ for Content Collaboration Platforms. It received 4.4 stars out of 5 at Gartner Peer Insights, where it was bestowed a Customers’ Choice 2018 award
Who uses it: Enterprises small to large; any vertical
How it works: Cloud service
See user reviews of Box
Santa Clara, Calif.
Value proposition for potential buyers: The ShareFile platform offers robust content collaboration and synchronization features with strong native security. It supports all types of devices and includes tight Office 365 integration. This allows users to engage in real-time co-editing and versioning.
- A key feature is the ability to handle file storage and shares on premises and in the cloud. The product uses connectors to integrate distributed and fragmented content repositories without the need to migrate files and data to the cloud. This flexibility makes the ShareFile platform attractive for businesses of all sizes and across an array of industries.
- Another appealing feature is ShareFile’s ability to protect sensitive data and enact governance in a way that fits their organization’s specific requirements.
- Security protections include automatic e-mail encryption, multifactor authentication and single sign-on (SSO). Gartner ranked Citrix a “Leader” in its 2018 MQ for Content Collaboration Platforms. ShareFile earned 4.3 out of 5 stars at Gartner Peer Insights. It received a Customer’s Choice 2018 designation at the site.
Who uses it: Midrange to large enterprises, any vertical
How it works: cloud subscription service or data center app
See user reviews of Citrix ShareFile
Value proposition for potential buyers: The FileCloud platform places a heavy emphasis on file synchronization and sharing, backup, content management, productivity, collaboration and search capabilities. The solution can run in private, hybrid and public clouds, including AWS and Azure. It offers specialized branch office support, an NTFS permissions framework, and integration with Microsoft Active Directory, Office 365 and numerous other cloud software solutions.
- In addition, CodeLathe has built the platform with strong security and compliance capabilities, and it includes powerful backup and disaster recovery support.
- The collaboration component—which extends to mobile environments—includes advanced features such as file locking, custom designed workflows and automation, smart notifications, the ability to embed comments and file activity tracking.
- Finally, the company has features tailored to businesses operating in the global arena. Gartner placed FileCloud in the “Niche” category in its 2018 Content Collaboration Platforms MQ. Users rated it a 4.7 out of 5 stars at Gartner Peer Insights. It received a Customers’ Choice 2018 designation from the site.
Who uses it: Any size enterprise; any vertical
How it works: cloud service or data center app
San Francisco, Calif.
Solution: Dropbox for Business
Value proposition for potential buyers: Dropbox was a pioneer in the collaboration and file sharing space. It remains one of the more widely used services globally. Dropbox for business is a public cloud platform that delivers encrypted file storage, synchronization, sharing, versioning and management features. It offers strong security controls and IT management features.
- One of the standout capabilities of Dropbox for business is support for almost every major file type. This allows users to view and use files directly from the Dropbox interface.
- The platform is ideal for highly specialized workflows and team collaboration requirements. It includes robust mobile support; granular permissions; two-factor authentication, SSO and device approvals; sophisticated administrative controls; and a rich library of APIs.
- Dropbox for Business also features a powerful administrative dashboard and remote wipe. Dropbox was ranked as a “Leader” in the 2018 Gartner Content Collaboration Platforms MQ. It earned 4.5 out of 5 starts at the Gartner Peer Review site, where it also received a Customers’ Choice 2018 award.
Who uses it: any size enterprise, any vertical, any individual
How it works: cloud service application
See user reviews of Dropbox
Mountain View, Calif.
Solutions: Egnyte Connect, Egnyte Protect
Value proposition for potential buyers: Egnyte offers two flagship products: Connect focuses on team collaboration while Protect takes aim at content governance and regulatory compliance. The two products are tightly integrated. The result is a strong platform for secure content collaboration.
- Egnyte includes administrative controls, content protection, analytics, lifecycle management, distributed file services, along with infrastructure and foundational capabilities.
- The vendor delivers a highly flexible architecture that includes both physical and virtual control models within a unified environment. It supports file sharing, content synchronization, and mobile services. Security controls include the ability to identify sensitive folder and files and ensure that they are stored securely, granular access controls and real-time alerts.
- The platform is HIPAA, GDPR and FINRA compliant. Gartner ranked the vendor a “Visionary” on the 2018 Gartner Content Collaboration Platforms MQ. The product was rated 4.6 out of 5 stars at Gartner Peer Review. It earned a Customers’ Choice 2018 designation.
Who uses it: enterprises of any size, any vertical
How it works: cloud service
See user reviews of Egnyte
Mountain View, Calif.
Solution: Google Drive
Value proposition for potential buyers: Google Drive is a public cloud solution that can be used as a standalone collaboration platform or bundled with Google’s popular G Suite. The platform supports most file types, including Google Docs and other Google native formats. It includes strong administrative functions, secure storage and transport, and native data loss prevention (DLP) with information management tools.
- Google Drive also includes document scanners (via mobile devices), offline support and versioning capabilities. The result is intelligent and easy-to-use content collaboration for groups and individuals, who can access files and other data via clients residing on web, mobile and desktop clients.
- The solution is particularly useful for organizations operating in the cloud. The platform operates in real-time and includes extensive logging and controls. Gartner ranked Google a “Leader” on the 2018 Gartner Content Collaboration Platforms MQ. The product was rated 4.6 out of 5 stars at Gartner Peer Review. It earned a Customers’ Choice 2018 designation.
Who uses it: Enterprises, mostly large
How it works: cloud service
See user reviews of Google Drive
Solution: Microsoft OneDrive for Business
Value proposition for potential buyers: Microsoft has emerged as a popular choice for a content collaboration platform. Not surprisingly, OneDrive for Business is optimized for use with Microsoft solutions, including Office 365, but the product also supports more than 320 file types, and accommodates video streaming and other tasks.
- The solution is available as a standalone CCP or as a cloud platform. Both versions securely store and sync data with desktops, browsers and mobile devices. The result is a solution that provides access to files anywhere and with anyone inside and outside an enterprise.
- OneDrive for Business includes powerful file search tools and integration with Microsoft SharePoint. It also includes Microsoft Flow, which enables basic approval, feedback and a variety of other document workflows.
- Using APIs, it also supports add-on products that further enhance the platform. Gartner described Microsoft as a “Leader” in the 2018 Content Collaboration Platforms MQ. The product garnered 4.3 out of 5 stars at Gartner Peer Review, where it also earned a Customers’ Choice 2018 designation.
Who uses it: any size enterprise, any vertical:
How it works: cloud service
See user reviews of Microsoft OneDrive
Value proposition for potential buyers: In recent years, open source software and solutions have moved into the mainstream of the business world. In the content collaboration space, ownCloud has emerged as a popular choice. The company claims 25 million users and 200,000 installations globally. The secure platform delivers an intuitive user interface and powerful synchronization features.
- It integrates with Microsoft Office. In addition, ownCloud connects to a wide array of network drives and other services, including Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox and Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)-enabled services.
- ownCloud is available in private cloud and public cloud versions, it supports SSO and two-factor authentication, and it includes a policy-based file management structure that protects documents based on keywords and phrases.
- The platform delivers a high level of flexibility. Gartner placed the company in the “Niche” category of its 2018 Content Collaboration Platforms MQ. It received 4.5 out of 5 stars at the Gartner Peer Insights review site.
Who uses it: mostly large enterprises
How it works: private and public cloud subscription service
See user reviews of ownCloud
Solution: File Exchange and Collaboration Platform
Value proposition for potential buyers: Thru bills itself as a platform built specifically for the enterprise and businesses. Using either a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud (which supports third-party clouds), it supports secure end-to-end file sharing, with strong synchronization and content collaboration tools.
- Thru offers a drag-and-drop interface and integration with most major enterprise software platforms and data formats. It supports desktop and mobile access, and includes versioning, archiving and universal search capabilities.
- The platform, which includes WAN optimization and cloud routing across global data centers, delivers enhanced Microsoft Office 365 integration as well as specialized integration with Salesforce and SharePoint. Security features include: data encryption, malware detection, two-factor authentication, and granular access controls and privileges.
- The platform is compliant with most major regulatory standards. Thru is ranked among “Niche Players” at the 2018 Gartner Content Collaboration Platforms MQ. It received a 4.4 out of 5-star rating at Gartner Peer Review.
Who uses it: SMB enterprises, any vertical
How it works: cloud service
See user reviews of Thru