If you’re one of the Michael Scotts of the world, you know that running an office is really less about crazy office shenanigans and more about desperately trying to stay on top of all the projects and clients flying through your business while coordinating all of your employees accordingly. It’s not exactly fun and games, most of the time. TeamWox probably won’t make it fun and games either, but it does promise to make the process a little less painful. It’s a massive suite of software aimed toward organizing and streamlining workplace issues across the board. And, it most likely will do just that for your business – you’ll just need to decide for yourself if the steep cost is worth it.
TeamWox is made up of individual modules that work together in varying ways. Each of the modules covers a different workplace task or need – you have one for email, one for documents, one to assign tasks, one for instant messaging, one for accounting, one for meetings, etc. The goal is to give you, the manager, total control of all of these things in a one-stop place. All the modules are integrated well, so individual documents can be assigned to client contacts in the contact list, which can then be emailed to relevant employees when needed. The search feature allows you to find any relevant contact or document rapidly, as it searches all at once through each module.
You also have total access to employee stats. TeamWox makes it incredibly simple to gauge an employee’s effectiveness. Documents can all be discussed in real time, like in the ill-fated Google Wave service, and all those discussions are stored in the system, along with employee information and a record of each worker’s attendance and hours worked. From those discussions, you can gauge who’s putting forth the most work, and who’s putting forth the brightest ideas. Also, the instant messenger module restricts communication to inter-office messaging, and clients, if authorization is granted. Even if employees do waste time with other employees on the instant messaging service, full chat logs are kept that you can review, so you’ll know.
Keeping business contacts is a little less chaotic, as all employees’ contacts now go into one place, rather than be stored on personal systems, which could lead to employees leaving the company and taking their contacts with them. Once you have control over and access to all of your office’s contacts, you can assign some special standing, and leave them open only to members of upper management. The lower level workers will never know about these special VIP groups, so feelings won’t get hurt.
Assigning tasks is handled through the task manager or through email. Emails can be sent to employees as a task – so, if you get an email from a client inquiring about a late shipment, you can task whoever was in charge of the project on it immediately. This way, you still stay in the loop as communication between employee and client goes on, but you’re free to handle other matters. There is an additional service desk module, which seems to be focused around internal tech support. Basically, the in-house tech report receives tickets from confused employees, then finds and delivers solutions quickly.
The entire service is very well organized, and streamlining all of these disparate functions into an all-inclusive piece of software is undeniably useful, especially when trying to track down all relevant correspondence and materials about a certain project. But, a lot of these functions can be performed by freeware, so why get TeamWox? TeamWox is banking on the all-inclusive model to convince people that it well bring efficiency to new levels, but a problem arises. In order for TeamWox to work as it should, you need to rely 100% on the system – which means everyone in the office needs to be on board, all the time. If you’re going to use an all-inclusive software suite to make all of your business and personnel decisions, you need to know that there aren’t chunks of information people are keeping off the servers dedicated to TeamWox. Otherwise, you’ll need to go off tracking down these random pieces of correspondence or hidden documents, which essentially defeats the purpose of TeamWox.
Fortunately, you don’t need to pay to find out if TeamWox is right for your office. The software’s creators are offering a full version of the software for free – the catch being that you can only use it with ten different employee accounts. If you have more than ten employees, you’re going to want one of the paid versions eventually, but the free version serves as a nice trial – pick ten employees at varying levels in the office, have them use it for a while, and see how it goes. There’s nothing to lose but organizational headaches and nightmares, so why not give it a shot?
Hopefully those headaches go away permanently, though. The paid versions aren’t cheap. The full version with licenses for 25 users is $3,400. Licenses for 50 users will cost $6,700, and unlimited licenses will cost $10,000. It’s a lot just to streamline your business, but it might be worth it. Those are numbers you’ll have to crunch while running on the trial version. So, if instant financial and employee reports, streamlined contact and correspondence information, and simplified employee evaluation all sound like winners to you, take a good look at TeamWox for your business solutions