These Sites Make Teams Work

Here’s a comparison of five Web-based tools that are designed to help teams work better.

Almost everyone’s work is becoming a matter of teamwork, and teams are becoming more diverse. These days, teams draw people who work at headquarters, in satellite offices, on the road, and from home. More and more teams also include members from suppliers or from customers. So where do these teams come together — given that so few of their members are ever in the same place at the same time? Where else but the Web? Here’s a comparison of five Web-based tools that are designed to help teams work better.

Site Team Spirit One for the Team Spoilsport Cost
Agillion A Web-based tool for managing customer relationships. It helps small businesses keep track of customer contacts, appointments, action items, and interactions. The Personal Pages feature helps users create a customized Web page for each customer, which gives that customer access to relevant people and information. Communication is important to teams, but documentation is too. Unfortunately, this site doesn’t yet offer sophisticated document-management capabilities. $19.95 per user
GroupVine Lets you create members-only discussion boards so that a team can post audio files, comments, documents, or pictures concerning a project. Perfect for groups on the go. GroupVine allows users to view and respond to discussions on the board via Web-enabled mobile phones or PalmPilots. Although you can post documents for team members to review, there are currently no other collaboration tools. Free An instant intranet. In less than 3 minutes, a company or a department can have a central place to keep everyone in a group up-to-date on work, reports, and so on. From group contacts and a calendar to group email and discussion boards, this site has the word “group” written all over it. Don’t want everyone in the group to know about something? With a few exceptions, anything added to this site is for group consumption. Free, but tech-support calls are $29.95 each.
ScheduleOnline A group calendar that lets users schedule events, invite people to meetings, and reserve physical resources, such as conference rooms or equipment. If a meeting is already scheduled or if a resource is already booked, the system automatically alerts you and shows you alternate times. Although the site offers other group-oriented functions, like helping people keep track of action items and To Do lists, its strong suit is scheduling. Free
TeamWave Technically, a shared whiteboard that allows users to draw, add text, and capture what gets created. What makes this service special is TeamWave’s ability to add shared tools to the whiteboard, including address books, calendars, message boards, and To Do lists. The user interface is neither the most elegant to look at nor the most intuitive to navigate. A free version is available at TeamWave’s, a companion site. Client/server software starts at $1,499 for 50 users.