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Avoid Feature Cverload, Choose a SharePoint Alternative for Team Collaboration

Jun 18, 2008
SharePoint is the most popular team collaboration platform on the planet, and also the most despised for its complexity and bloated feature set. There is no question that it is a powerful tool and offers great Microsoft Office integration. Unfortunately, its default configuration often leads users to create dizzying arrays of nested workspaces, overlapping document libraries, and hierarchical folder structures.

The good news is there are some great options out there that are much easier to use and manage than SharePoint. As a SharePoint alternative, ProjectSpaces has been designed from the ground up around ease of use. The interface is streamlined and simple. Features are intuitive so new users can get up and running right away without having to read a thick manual or attend tedious training classes.

You don't have to be a web technology expert to administer ProjectSpaces site. The ease of use philosophy extends to administrative controls as well. Setting up a project workspace, managing user profiles and other activities are much easier when performed with this user-friendly online project management tool.

More Communication, Less Spam

The key to effective team collaboration is communication, but in this case more is not always better. Users who are deluged with emails every time someone changes a comma to a semicolon soon start to mentally filter out project emails and end up missing important information.

SharePoint allows users to set notifications for new and modified content. Unfortunately, the default behavior often results in a constant barrage of e-mail notifications. ProjectSpaces users have more control over the notifications they want to receive or send. By reducing the amount of unnecessary communication, users know each email is important.

Although email is still a central avenue of communication, ProjectSpaces integrates other methods of discussion. Team blogs or online forums allow users to find out the latest developments on their piece of the project without having to wade through irrelevant news updates.

Similarly, ProjectSpaces allows user comments on individual documents, announcements, and other content. This is great for collaborative editing activities, and continues to help eliminate unnecessary emails.

Simple Interface and Advanced Features

This SharePoint alternative has been designed to be easy to use, but it isn't a stripped down application. It is bursting with capabilities to suit any project type.

ProjectSpaces users can collaborate on a shared online document. Users can read and edit team documents without the tedious process of downloading, editing, and uploading. A single document can be categorized into folders and topics making it easier for users to find what they need quickly.

Users managing larger projects can use the workplan tool. Hierarchical tasks are created and assigned to members of the work space, and the data collected is exportable to a Word or Excel file. Furthermore, users interested in a visual depiction of their workflow can generate Gantt charts of their tasks.

More adept users won't feel any lack of features. RSS and iCal feeds make it easy to stay up to date. Advanced site management tools mean there is practically no limit to what kind of project can be set up.

Flexible Hosting

ProjectSpaces is hosted in house, but users looking to host it on their own can do so as well. ProjectSpaces can be hosted on any UNIX-like server running Apache, PHP and MySQL.

If you've tried and been disappointed with complicated online collaboration applications like SharePoint, the good news is there are simpler alternatives are out there to meet your needs.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on SharePoint
, visit http://www.projectspaces.com.
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