Why It’s High Time We Forget About Employee Engagement

Customer Satisfaction
Businesses exist to do only one thing – “Make Money”. Even Non-profit organisations need constant cash flow to reach their target. So how does a company become profitable? The answer lies in the making both employees and customers happy. Lot of research have been done in this field and we can safely say that both of these are linked. Here are some of the studies that prove this:

  • A study conducted by Washington State University says that customer satisfaction is directly connected with employee satisfaction and customers give utmost priority to their financial success.
  • According to Journal of Services Marketing,  employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction.
  • As per a study done by Bain & Company, employee behavior & attitude is one of the primary components of customer satisfaction. Loyal and satisfied employees are efficient in delivering the best product and service to customers.

Traditionally companies have tried to run various employee engagement programs with the hope that they would result in low attrition rate and eventually result in better customer service. So businesses deploy incentive programs, create social groups, organise team outings, buy foose ball tables and do much more.

Employee Engagement

Employee Enagement

Gone are the days when companies just created a place where employees needed to work. In the modern age employees hold the power to choose the employer and the competitive digital age has left companies to fight with each other to get the best talent. Now companies are vying to create a place where people would want to work.

While the traditional approach listed above generates employee engagement,  it has a tendency to create engagement in only specific set of employees and leave the disengaged in solitude. The problem lies with the way we look at engagement. For example: companies run various incentive programs like granting special privileges to the Employee of the Month, fully paid holiday trip to the Most Productive Employee, stock options with vesting period and the widely used commission based compensation for sales reps. It doesn’t matter what kind of incentive the company is providing – these programs tend to become mundane over the period of time, as they induce a temporary compliance from the employees. The moment incentive is gone, the behavior also changes and people are back to their original self. Incentives can not change the attitudes that drive our behaviors and they are certainly not capable to of creating a long lasting commitment.

Is there a relationship between the average employment tenure of 3 years in a startup and 4 years of vesting period with one year cliff?

It’s time to concentrate on employee experience instead of employee engagement.

Employee Experience

cultivating-happy-customers-29-638

It is all about focusing on the complete life-cycle and covering all the touch points – starting with how employees first discover and apply for an opportunity at the company and ending with their departure. This is a much needed change in the mindset. There is a reason why employees are called internal customers and it’s time companies start treating them as the same.

The first thing that we need to do is look at the way we operate the business, create policies and deal with customers from the employee’s view point rather than just thinking of ways to engage employees with the organisation. It goes a long way to understand what employees actually value the most and what exactly matters to them.

In order to have a significant impact, employers will need to find different ways to connect to each employee and truly integrate personal growth with the growth of the company. Studies show that a significant chunk of employees who have not been adequately onboarded or trained tend to quit their organization within the first year. Short multimedia rich training courses have proven to be highly effective in engaging employees and creating a platform from where they can add value to the company.

In addition to this, conducting eNPS, checking out the reviews of the company on sites like Glassdoor can also give you direction and help you measure the employee experiences. Then the company can go on to transform the part that needs enhancement, introduce one minor changes or add several small experiences in the employee lifecycle. It varies from organisation to organisation – while Google is engineer’s playground and the work may not always be tied to business outcome, at Amazon everything that an employee does is closely associated with customer benefit.

Removing the mental barrier to treat employees as customers and providing a fulfilling employee experience has become all the more important with the advent of new age tech. It has become easier for recruiters to poach employees simply by connecting with them via LinkedIn. Platforms like Upwork, Uber, Postmates, Etsy, Lyft, Airbnb have already given people the choice to earn a living in a non-traditional way. So focusing on employee experience is the way to go, if companies want to make sure that their employees give them a long-term commitment.

Examples

Four Seasons

Four-Seasons-Hotel-Guangzhou-Street-Level

Earlier in Four Seasons Hotels whenever a customer complained about the room, the housekeeping team used to first connect with the manager before taking any action. That was a major problem, as the customer would be expecting swift resolution of the issue. And this led to longer response time resulting in frustrated customer. Four Seasons empowered their lower level employees by allowing them to judge the situation and comp the room immediately. This is type of authority to take decisions at different levels of the organisation can be a great strategy.

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods considers “team” as the supreme driving force. They have built self-directed teams who frequently meet to resolve issues and recognize individual contributions. As a company they believe in the following -“open book, open door and open people practices”. Employees have been given free hand to select new team members for a four-week observation period. To join as a permanent employee, new employees must get green signal from the two third of the team members after the trial period. Apart from this, full-time employees get additional benefits like health insurance, a 20% discount on merchandise and extra cash by distributing the departmental savings among themselves. Their team-based and team-first culture fosters loyalty and accountability for each another, which finally translates to customer satisfaction.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile

T-Mobile has started releasing the insights about the jobs that the prospective employees are applying for along with the time period for which that opportunity has been open and number of applications they have received. They have also re-written majority of the job description in just plain, vanilla English without any legal and marketing tone. This is indeed an important step towards setting the right experience even before people get into the whole hiring process.

Conclusion

Any company that delivers world case customer experience, delivers great employee experience as well. Critically analyse your business strategy through the eyes of your people and make it a priority to empower them. Everything that the employee comes across constitutes the employee experience – right from the food in the cafeteria, the technologies used in the work to the office environment. The whole idea is about providing an atmosphere of empowerment that leads to wholesome job experiences along with traditional benefits. At the end of the day let’s just think about one thing – are we providing the type of employee experience that will allow our people to deliver the best possible customer experience?

TeamWave HRMS

G Suite vs Office 365

G Suite (previously called Google Apps for Work) and Microsoft’s Office 365 offer similar set of productivity tools. Which one should you choose for your small business in 2019?

Plug: TeamWave – Simple CRM, Project Management & HR Software for G Suite

1. Cost and Commitment

G Suite has straightforward pricing with two plans: $5/user and $10/user (monthly)

First plan offers:

  • Company email addresses (name@company.com)
  • Video/voice calls
  • Integrated online calendars
  • 30GB online storage with option to sync and share files
  • Online documents, presentations and spreadsheets
  • Easy to create project sites
  • Security settings and admin control panel
  • Support via phone/email (24/7)

Second plan offers unlimited storage with vault:

  • Unlimited Storage (or 1TB per user if fewer than 5 members)
  • Advanced admin control panel for Google Drive
  • Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing
  • Google Vault for eDiscovery across emails, docs and chats
  • Searching and exporting to different formats
  • Email archiving
  • Retention policies for messages
  • Option to place and enforce litigation holds on inboxes

Office 365 has complex pricing plans:

  • Office 365 Business Essentials  ($5.00/user/month)
  • Office 365 Business  ($8.25/user/month)
  • Office 365 Business Premium ($12.50/user/month)
  • Office 365 ProPlus  ($12.00/user/month)
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1 ($8.00/user/month)
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3 ($20.00/user/month)
  • Office 365 Enterprise E5 ($35.00/user/month)

Without going to the detailed offerings of each plan, we’ll check out the comparable plans from Office 365 and G Suite:

  • $5/user/month plan offered by Google and $5/user/month‘Business Essentials’ plan offered by Microsoft
  • $10/user/month ‘Unlimited’ plan offered by Google and $8/user/month ‘Enterprise E1’ offered by Microsoft

Office 365 Business Essentials will cost $5/user/month with annual subscription, where as the monthly subscription will cost $6/user/month. Essentially you’ll save $1 user/month with G suite. Office 365 ‘Enterprise E1’ will cost $2 less than G Suite Unlimited.

2. Email

Although both Gmail and Office 365 offer clean interface, the major differentiation lies in the way emails are organised – Gmail lets you apply multiple labels to an email and Office 365 has classical folder structure to categorise emails. In terms of storage space, Gmail offers 30 GB (across Gmail and Drive) and Microsoft offers dedicated 50GB inbox in addition to 1TB storage. Microsoft’s Enterprise E3 ($20/user/month) offers unlimited storage.

3. Applications

Microsoft offers desktop versions of their products along with cloud based apps. You’ll be able to install the full versions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook etc. on your laptop/desktop and work offline.

Google apps were developed from scratch only for cloud-based collaboration. For example, Google Docs lets users make permanent changes in the file and provide feedback on the content in the “suggestion” mode (helps the author approve the final edits). Here are some of the advanced functionality offered by Google as part of the latest update:

  • Machine intelligence in Google Calendar to quickly find a time when invitees are free
  • Natural Language Processing in Google Sheets to
  • Machine intelligence in Google Docs to automatically recommend related topics to learn more and insert images
  • Dynamic layout suggestions in Google Slides
  • Better file management and granular content ownership with a focus on team in Google Drive

4. Video Call

Both Google Apps and Office 365 offer video conferencing solutions via Hangouts and Skype respectively. Here are the

  • Most important thing to note here is that Microsoft has not yet fully integrated Skype with other apps offered by Office 365 and Yammer.  But, Hangouts has tight integration with other Google apps like Docs, Calendar, Maps along with social networks like YouTube
  • Skype Translator can help you communicate in 8 languages for voice calls (near real-time), and in more than 50 languages while instant messaging
  • The maximum number of participants allowed in Hangout is 50, where as Skype has 250 as the upper limit

5. Third-party Integration

You’ll be hard pushed to find apps these days that don’t claim to integrate with G Suite. Google’s integration with CRM, productivity and customer service software means you have many options. For example, TeamWave (Project management, CRM & HR software for small business) is fully integrated with GDrive, Google Hangouts, etc.

There are some very popular productivity apps that do not have integration with Office 365 because Microsoft is not perceived as developer friendly (in comparison to Google)

6. Security

Office 365 comes with Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) – a new email filtering service that provides additional protection by targeting specific advanced threats like unknown malware and viruses, real-time, time-of-click protection against malicious URLs.

Google uses its robust machine learning capabilities to detect suspicious logins and block most advanced types of spam. Note that Google also automatically scans every email attachment before a user downloads it in order to prevent spread of viruses.

7. Compatibility

Microsoft files can be uploaded to Google Drive, but a lot of features won’t be supported by Google and formatting will be lost as well. G Suite Sync for Outlook can sync your mail, contacts, calendar events, Outlook notes, and tasks between your Google profile in Outlook and your G Suite account in the cloud.

You can download Google Drive files (docs, spreadsheets, slides, etc.) to your desktop and easily edit them with Office apps.

8. Support

Both Google Apps and Office 365 offer 24/7 phone support in English and depending on the country, language can change. While email support is available for both products; Google provides additional support via live chat. You can also access forums to seek clarification, give feedback and request additional functionality.

9. Storage Options

All of the plans offered by Office 365 come with 1TB storage for each user, where as Google’s starter plan gives 30GB. Note that Google considers email storage as part of the 30 GB quota.

But, if you go for the G Suite Unlimited, storage-wise it’ll offer better solutions in comparison to all the plans offered by Microsoft. This will be really helpful if your company handles large audio/video files.

Bottom Line

If you are a small business (1-50 people) then go with G Suite.

Reasons to choose G Suite:

  • File storage: G Suite’s unlimited plan provides better value in terms of data storage
  • Scalability: You’ll be able to add unlimited users (the ‘Business’ plans by Office 365 have maximum limit of 300 users)
  • Collaboration: Google apps were built with a strong focus on collaboration
  • Usability: G Suite apps are easy-to-use and the loading time is also less in comparison to Office 365
  • Multi device: If your business uses various operating systems and devices, then Google is a better choice
  • Integration: Majority of third party apps offer native integration with G Suite, as Google has traditionally been developer-friendly

pablo.png

Workplace – Facebook at Work Review

workplace

Facebook’s foray into cloud-based enterprise software has started with the launch of a service called Workplace (previously known as Facebook at Work). After 2 years of private beta testing, this communication and collaboration software currently has more than 1000 companies as customers (RBS, Starbucks, Renault, etc.). Facebook is also accepting applications from companies that are interested in using this service at Workplace website. Read on to find out if this will be a good fit for your business.

Plug: TeamWave – CRM, Project Management & HR Software for Small Business

1. Value Proposition

The primary advantage for Facebook is its familiarity. For any enterprise SaaS app, one of major challenges is user onboarding, as users find enterprise sofware complex to use in comparison to consumer software. But, in case of Facebook people are already familiar with the product so the learning curve will be minimal. That said enterprise software requirements are quite different from consumer apps’ requirements. Here are two significant benefits that Wokplace offers:

  • Companies will be able to reduce or do away with internal collaboration tools like intranet, telephony systems, video conferencing and distribution lists.
  • Companies will be able to ingrain transparent and simplified communication at all levels by truly embracing digital and mobile.

Let’s now go through the core functionalities offered by Workplace.

Groups

These are similar to the Facebook groups present in the consumer app. In the enterprise setup, groups can be formed on the basis of locations, departments (sales, marketing, logistics, etc.) and wtithin these groups users will be able to share updates.

Collaboration with External Companies

Workplace lets you collaborate with external companies via ‘multi-company groups’. Basically you’d create a group that will be shared with multiple companies and users will be able to share information that needs to be, but at the same time keep other information as private.

News Feed

The news feed will show the posts created by the employees.  For example, a designer could share her work in a group and ask for feedback via comments.

Work Chat

This is the enterprise version of Facebook messenger. It’ll help users quickly connect with team members and share updates, files, etc.

faceook-workplace-messenger

Live Video

Most of the customers of Workplace have requested for live video streaming feature. It helps users stream live to everyone in the company right from the mobile phone. For example, employees of Eimskip (a shipping logistics company) can now connect with their ship crews using Live video.

Security

Workplace offers enterprise grade security features like single sign-on (SSO) and secure identity management. Customers retain ownership of the data their employees post into Workplace, and have the option to export that information. Apart from that Facebook follows third-party industry standards set by organisations like Cloud Security Alliance.

2. Pricing

Facebook believes that it can keep individual employees engaged with the product, so it’s betting on a pricing plan that charges companies according to “monthly active user” instead of charging a flat rate per company, says Workplace director Julien Codorniou. Facebook has also deployed progressive pricing – more the number of active employees, lesser is the per user subscription fee.

workplace-pricing

Workplace is free for non-profit organisations and educational institutions.

3. Partnership

Workplace has two types of partners:

  • Service partners guide the customers while adopting Workplace for their organization. Deloitte Digital, Edelman, CSC, TBWA are some of the prominent names among the service partners.
  • Identity partners (G Suite, Microsoft Azure, okta, one login and PingIdentity) help companies securely set up and manage deployment.

4. Customer Profile

In a recent interview, Workplace director Julien Codorniou said that Facebook’s support for widely distributed teams is providing great value to big banks and retailers supporting dozens if not hundreds of satellite branches and offices. Royal Bank Of Scotland’s 100,000 employees have signed up for the service and in India, Yes Bank has onboarded their employees. Yoma Bank in Myanmar will use Workplace by Facebook to replace fax machines and newsletters.

The top five countries using Workplace are India, the US, Norway, UK and France.

Although most of the current customers of Workplace are multinational companies or large enterprises, we do believe that it can be valuable for small businesses as well.

5. Competition

Workplace competes with other collaboration apps on various fronts. The ‘Feed’ feature is similar to Convo, Salesforce Chatter, and Microsoft’s Yammer. The Messenger app competes with internal communication tools like Slack and HipChat and the live video feature could compete with Skype.


teamwave-sales-project-hr

 

Bitrix24 Alternative

Bitrix24 is a collaboration suite with apps like task management, CRM, Telephony and time tracking, etc. While it offers a lot of features that can be used by any company, it’s not focused on small business and usabilityTeamWave provides out-of-the-box solution to help small businesses manage and streamline everything in their company (Project Management, CRM & HR) while maintaining a strong focus on usability.

Why TeamWave is the leading Bitrix24 Alternative.

1. Ease of Use

Small businesses need simple software that can provide most of the functionality out-of-the-box. The software should have a minimal learning curve, setup time and save resources (time and money). Here are some examples:

Projects and Task Management

Bitrix24 handles projects via work-groups module. Let’s first take a look at what a customer has asked:

customer-quote-bitrix24-project-management
Customer Query on Projects in Bitrix24

Here is the response:

bitrix24-project-management
Bitrix24’s Project Mangement via Workgroups

Essentially you need to create a workgroup by following the steps given below:

  1. Click on the create button
  2. Select group
  3. Select the apps you need (tasks, drive, photo gallery, wiki, etc.)
  4. Select group visibility
  5. Add members
  6. Create group

TeamWave handles task management via projects – create a project and add the tasks. Creating new project involves three steps:

  1. Click on ‘new project’
  2. Add the team members
  3. Click on start project
teamwave-project-creation
Creating Projects in TeamWave

There will be default set of tools (file sharing, discussion board, time log, etc.) inside each project.

teamwave-projects
Sample TeamWave Project

CRM Pipeline View

Bitrix24 offers only list view of deals. It lacks the user-interface to provide compelete visibility of the deals across all the sales stages.

Bitrix24 Deal View
Bitrix24 Deal View

TeamWave’s CRM is built around a proven sales pipeline management methodology.

teamwave-visual-sales-pipeline
TeamWave’s Visual Sales Pipeline

Just some of the sales-related things you can do easily from a single page:

  • Check progress of each deal/opportunity
  • Add and move deals from one stage to another
  • Mark them as won/lost
  • Schedule deal activities
  • Select different sales pipelines
  • Figure out cumulative deal worth in each stage of the pipeline
  • Find out the rotten deals (no activity for specific number of days)
  • Filter deals via tags, deal ownership and deal state (open, won, lost, rotten)
  • Quickly connect with support via in-app messenger

Note: TeamWave also lets you toggle between list view and time line view of deals.

CRM Customisation

Bitrix24 comes with a default pipeline; if you wish add second pipeline, you’ll have to go fot the standard plan ($99/month) and unlimited pipelines can be unlocked in professional plan ($199/month). Irrespecitive of that making simple cutomisations like editing sales stage can be complex for new users. Here is what you need to do once you’re in the CRM app:

  1. Click on ‘More’
  2. Click on ‘Settings’
  3. Click on ‘Deal Pipelines’
  4. Click on ‘Action’ button
  5. Select ‘edit stages’

With TeamWave you can edit the sales stages with two clicks: click on settings and click on the stage which you wish to edit. Add additional pipelines from the same page (no restrictions).

settings
Leave Management in HRMS

The pofessional plan ($199/month) of Bitrix24 allows you to set up leave management. The workflow is complex and requires considerable amount of time, as you need fiddle with multiple tools. Here is a brief snapshot of the tools required to set up leave management:

bitrix24-leave-management-set-up

TeamWave offers a pre-built time off policy that can be used after minimal customisations (example: adding holidays specific to your country). In order to create additional time off policies, inside the HR app you need to do two things – click on time off policy and click on create policy.

leave-policy-in-teamwave
Time Off Policy in TeamWave

2. Pricing

Bitrix24 has tiered pricing structure that starts from $39/month and goes up to $199/month. These pricing plans have following drawbacks:

  • restriction on the number of users (12 users in the free plan and 24 users in plus plan)
  • restriction on the type of feature you can use (e.g., external users can be invited only in the standard plan – $99/month)
  • restriction on the storage space

TeamWave has a straightforward pricing – $3/user per month. For annual subscription, the pricing is $2/user per month. All the plans get all the features and apps – absolutely no restriction.

TeamWave Pricing

Here is the cost comparison for a company with 10 employees:

bitrix24-vs-teamwave-pricing

3. Truly Integrated Application Suite

TeamWave is a unified platform for collaboration, sales and HR management. This means you’d get an application suite that integrates three apps. Some of the benefits:

Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.

Sales and HR: In the HR app, if you add someone as the reporting manager of a sales rep, then the reporting manager will be automatically added as a deal follower whenever the sales rep adds a new deal. This fosters collaboration and helps in progress tracking.

Projects and HR: Project admin can keep track of the performance of the employees along with appreciation received from clients and log them as private notes in the HR app. During appraisal these notes can be reviewed for better decision making.

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming features:

We’ll be providing tighter integration of CRM and project management app to help you directly convert deals into project and smoothly transfer all the required files.

Bottom Line

Bitrix24 offers a lot of features for a wide range of companies. TeamWave is focused on providing solutions for mission critical business functions targeted only for small businesses. We built it with a minimal feature set that anyone can use, and we left out everything else. No clutter. No complexity. No extra features to confuse and overwhelm you. We do a few things, but we do them very well.


TeamWave - CRM Projects HR

Podio Alternative

Podio’s project management software has been built for a wide range of companies – small businesses to large enterprises. While it provides building blocks to create custom apps for various business processes,  critical factors like usability, learning curve and significant setup time make it “not a good fit” for small businesses. TeamWave comes with out-of-the-box solution to manage & streamline everything in your company: Project Management, CRM & HR.

Why TeamWave is the leading Podio Alternative.

1. Ease of Use

Small businesses need simple software that can provide most of the functionality out-of-the-box. Essentially the software should have a minimal learning curve, setup time and save resources (time and money).

With Podio you can add various apps and customize them according your business. But, for a small business this can be very complex. TeamWave comes pre-loaded with various features required for important business functions and helps you get started right away. Here are couple of examples:

Client Collaboration in Projects

There is no dedicated workflow to share your projects with clients to gather feedback and collaborate while delivering the project. There is a generic share project option with which you can provide access to projects. This also means you’ll have to manage all the team members of your clients.

share-project-in-teamwave
Sharing Project in Podio

TeamWave has a specialised workflow to collaborate with clients or vendors. Just  invite just one person from your client’s team and they will be able to independently add/manage their entire team.

teamwave-client-collaboration
TeamWave Client Collaboration

Task Management

With Podio, all the tasks (deliverables) from are shown in one place.

    • There is no way for you to group related tasks in a task group. This is useful when you’d like to break a large task into smaller tasks.
No Grouping of Tasks in Podio
No Grouping of Tasks in Podio
    • You’ll have to create filters to segregate tasks as per projects and save different types of views everytime a new project is created.
podio-task-management
Task filtering in Podio

TeamWave has a section to view all the tasks from all the projects. You can view the tasks for certain project by opening up the project and applying various filters. Easily breakdown large tasks into smaller tasks by grouping them in a task list.

teamwave-task-list
Tasks and Task lists in TeamWave

Sales Pipeline

Although Podio offers different types of views for deals, it doesn’t offer sales pipeline view. It lacks the user-interface to provide compelete visibility of the deals across all the sales stages.

Podio Deal View
Deal view in Podio

TeamWave’s CRM is built around a proven sales pipeline management methodology.

teamwave-visual-sales-pipeline
TeamWave’s Visual Sales Pipeline

Just some of the sales-related things you can do easily from a single page:

  • Check progress of each deal/opportunity
  • Add and move deals from one stage to another
  • Mark them as won/lost
  • Schedule deal activities
  • Select different sales pipelines
  • Figure out cumulative deal worth in each stage of the pipeline
  • Find out the rotten deals (no activity for specific number of days)
  • Filter deals via tags, deal ownership and deal state (open, won, lost, rotten)
  • Quickly connect with support via in-app messenger

Note: TeamWave also lets you toggle between list view and time line view of deals.

CRM Customisation

As Podio’s sales management workspace doesn’t work on sales pipeline management methodology, it doesn’t let you create multiple pipelines inside “Deals” app. In case you’re selling different types of products/services, you’ll have to create multiple “deal apps” along with relevant sales stages.

TeamWave offers you a pre-built sales pipeline with five sales stages that help you get started right away. Add additional pipelines from the same page and manage the sales stages as well. In the pipeline view you can simply select the pipeline you’d like to view.

settings
TeamWave CRM Settings

Smart Email

Podio requires you to add new app and map the email fields to Podio fields in case you’d like to keep a log of the email conversation you’re having with a client or prospect. But, there is no way to link the email with deals and contact persons.

podio-email-log
Podio’s Email to app setup

TeamWave offers you a dedicated CRM inbox along with a “smart emal address”. It’ll help you get a complete visibility of all the communication around your deals and contacts. You can also automate the process of creating deals and contacts by creating rules & workflow for your email address. Simply BCC or FORWARD emails to the “smart address” and all  the emails will be automatically linked to relevant deals and contacts in CRM.

teamwave-crm-inbox
TeamWave CRM inbox

2. Pricing

Podio has tiered pricing structure that starts from $7.20/user/month and goes up to $19.20/user/month with annual billing. These pricing plans restrict you from using certain features and integrations.

TeamWave has a straightforward pricing – $3/user per month. For annual subscription, the pricing is $2/user per month. All the plans get all the features and apps – absolutely no restriction.

TeamWave Pricing

Here is the cost comparison for a company with 10 employees:

podio-vs-teamwave-pricing

3. Application Suite

TeamWave is a unified platform for collaboration, sales and HR management. This means you’d get an application suite that integrates three apps. Some of the benefits:

Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes in handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.

Projects and HR: Project admin can keep track of the performance of the employees along with appreciation received from clients and log them as private notes in the HR app. During appraisal these notes can be reviewed for better decision making.

Sales and HR: In the HR app, if you add someone as the reporting manager of a sales rep, then the reporting manager will be automatically added as a deal follower whenever the sales rep adds a new deal. This fosters collaboration and helps in progress tracking.

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming features:

We’ll be providing tighter integration of CRM and project management app to help you directly convert deals into project and smoothly transfer all the required files.

Bottom Line

Podio offers a lot of components (like lego bricks) to buld various custom applications. It is left to the customers to make the best out of them! While it might be suitable for large enterprises with complex workflows, it definitely falls short in case of small businesses who need simple apps that require minimal setup time and at the same time, provide powerful features.


TeamWave - CRM Projects HR

Wrike Alternative

Wrike’s project management software has been built for wide range of companies – small businesses to large enterprises. While it provides many features for project management, it is not focused on providing a holistic solution to small businesses. TeamWave is a complete platform to manage & streamline everything in your company: Project Management, CRM & HR. 

Why TeamWave is the leading Wrike Alternative.

1. Application Suite

TeamWave is a unified platform for collaboration, sales and HR management. This means you’d get an application suite that integrates three apps. Some of the benefits:

Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes in handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.

Projects and HR: Project admin can keep track of the performance of the employees along with appreciation received from clients and log them as private notes in the HR app. During appraisal these notes can be reviewed for better decision making.

Sales and HR: In the HR app, if you add someone as the reporting manager of a sales rep, then the reporting manager will be automatically added as a deal follower whenever the sales rep adds a new deal. This fosters collaboration and helps in progress tracking.

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming features:

We’ll be providing tighter integration of CRM and project management app to help you directly convert deals into project and smoothly transfer all the required files.

Wrike doesn’t offer CRM and HR management app. You’ll have to use Zapier to set up some form of integration and it’ll require additional subscription fee along with time.

2. Pricing

Wrike has tiered pricing structure that starts from $9.80/user/month and goes up to $24.80/user/month with annual billing. It can also increase depending on the type of addon or the type of vertical solution you select. For example, the ‘proofing and approval’ addon costs $9.80/user/month and ‘Wrike for Marketers’ costs $34.60/user per month.

All of these plans have following drawbacks:

  • limit on the number of users you can invite
  • restriction on the type of feature and integrations you can use
  • restriction on the storage space

TeamWave has a straightforward pricing – $3/user/month. For annual subscription, the pricing is $2/user/month. All the plans get all the features and apps – absolutely no restriction.

TeamWave Pricing

Here is the cost comparison for a company with 10 employees:

Wrike vs. TeamWave Pricing

3. Collaboration

It is inevitable that at some point you’d have to collaborate with clients/vendors while delivering projects. Wrike doesn’t have a dedicated workflow for involving clients or vendors in the project. Sure you can add client to your Wrike account as an external user, but you’ll have to take care of permissions and make sure that they’re removed from your account once the project gets completed.

With TeamWave, you can collaborate with clients or vendors simply by inviting just one person from your client’s team and they will be able to independently add/manage their entire team. Focus on project delivery, not on the management of client’s team.

Client or Vendor Collaboration in TeamWave
TeamWave Client Collaboration

TeamWave’s discussion dashboard helps your team discuss proposals, ideas and gather feedback. Embed images and files right into messages. Give everyone a chance to weigh in on their own time. Reach consensus and keep important decisions on the record.

TeamWave Discussion Board
TeamWave Discussion Board

4.  Reporting

As a small business owner, time is your most precious resource. You need reporting capability that provides actionable insights quickly and helps you deliver projects. While Wrike provides reports, it can be complex and time consuming for a small business.

Here is a screenshot that shows the multiple steps required for creating reports in Wrike.

wrike-project-management

TeamWave’s reporting feature comes with essential pre-built reports, so you spend time in gathering actionable insights instead of configuring & creating reports. These reports are both graphical and tabular (downloadable in CSV/XLS format).

Project Management reports have following categories:

  • Projects
  • Users
  • Time log
TeamWave Project Report
TeamWave’s Project Report

Project-related questions that can be answered with a few clicks:

  • Which project is in a critical state with respect to overdue and total tasks?
  • Which project is contributing the most to the total number of overdue tasks across all the projects?
  • Which project has been continuously contributing more to the billable time log?
  • Which user has maximum work load? Who has the most number of overdue tasks?
  • Whether the time logged by team members has been consistently increasing or decreasing?

teamwave-project-crm-hr

Basecamp Alternative

Basecamp was released in 2004 as a simple project management software for small businesses and freelancers . Great usability and collaborative approach differentiated it from the existing complex project management apps. While Basecamp is a good project management tool, TeamWave is a complete platform to manage &  streamline everything (including projects) in your company: Project Management, CRM & HR.

Why TeamWave is the leading Basecamp alternative.

1. Application Suite

TeamWave is a unified platform for collaboration, sales and HR management. This means you’d get an application suite that integrates three apps. Given below are some of the benefits:

Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes in handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.

Projects and HR: Project admin can keep track of the performance of the employees along with appreciation received from clients and log them as private notes in the HR app. During appraisal these notes can be reviewed for better decision making.

Sales and HR: In the HR app, if you add someone as the reporting manager of a sales rep, then the reporting manager will be automatically added as a deal follower whenever the sales rep adds a new deal. This fosters collaboration and helps in progress tracking.

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming feature:

We’ll be providing tighter integration of CRM and project management app to help you directly convert won deals into project and smoothly transfer all the required files.

Basecamp doesn’t offer CRM and HR management app. You’ll have to use Zapier to set up some form of integration and it’ll require additional subscription fee along with time.

2. Pricing

Basecamp’s pricing is $79/month if you need client collaboration.

TeamWave has a straightforward pricing – $3/user per month. For annual subscription, the pricing is $2/user per month. Moreover all the plans get all the features (including collaboration) and apps – absolutely no restriction.

Here is the cost comparison for a company with 10 employees:

teamwave-vs-basecamp-pricing

3. Time Log

Basecamp 3 doesn’t have time log feature and it can be done by integrating with third party apps (HubStaff, Everhour, etc.). But, you’ll end up paying additional subscription fee. Here is what a customer says:

time-tracking-insightly
Customer Quote

TeamWave offers time logging as an out-of-the-box feature. You can log time spent on each task and compare that with the estimated time. Download the time log report with a few clicks (individual projects/all the projects) and upload it to the invoicing app.

teamwave-time-log-download
TeamWave’s Time Log Download Page

4. Reporting

Basecamp’s reporting features are limited and you need to go through multiple steps to find out relevant information. For example, if you want to see the work load of a team member you’ll have to click on ‘Reports’, search the team member and click on ‘Run a new report’.

Note that there is no way to have a holistic view of all the team members, projects and time logs.

TeamWave’s project reporting gives you quick insights by allowing you to access pre-built reports and create custom reports as well. Here are some of the most important questions you can answer:

– Which project is in a critical state with respect to overdue and total tasks?

– Which project is contributing the most to the total number of overdue tasks across all the projects?

– Which project has been continuously contributing more to the billable time log?

– Which user has maximum work load? Who has the most number of overdue tasks?

– Whether the time logged by team members has been consistently increasing or decreasing?

You can also create custom reports related to time log by selecting billable/non-billable entry, organisations, users and projects.

Check out the video to learn more:

5. Familiarity

Basecamp’s key features are: task management, discussion, file sharing, milestone tracking, event scheduling and client/vendor collaboration. TeamWave offers you all these along with additional features like notes, time log, reports and tag management (tasks, files and projects). All the features are simple to use and time to get started with the project management app is about 5 minutes.

teamwave-projects
TeamWave’s Project Management App

teamwave-project-crm-hr

Insightly Alternative

Insightly is a “CRM + Project Management” solution for small businesses.

While it provides many features for CRM and PM, critical factors like usability, learning curve and significant setup time make Insightly unsuitable for small businesses. Also Insightly lacks the features to manage employees (HR). TeamWave is a complete platform to manage & streamline everything in your company: Project Management, CRM & HR. 

Why TeamWave is the leading Insightly Alternative.

1. Ease of Use

Small businesses need simple software that can provide most of the functionality out of the box. Essentially the software should have a minimal learning curve, setup time and save resources (time and money).

Customisation
CRM customization is important for businesses – it helps a company align the CRM system with own processes and extend the functionality. Insightly doesn’t provide any default sales pipeline.

Here is what you need to do to set up a sales pipeline

  1. open up system settings
  2. enter the pipeline name
  3. assign it to opportunity/project
  4. add pipeline
  5. click on edit stages
  6. enter stages
settings-in-insightly
Insightly Settings

TeamWave gives you get a pre-built sales pipeline with five sales stages that help you get started right away. You can also edit the sales stages with two clicks: click on settings and click on the stage which you wish to edit. Add additional pipelines from the same page.

settings
TeamWave CRM Settings

Visual sales pipeline

Insightly only gives you a list view of all the sales opportunities. This is not capable of providing compelete visibility of the deals across all the sales stages.

list-view-sales-insightly
Insightly Opportunity View

TeamWave’s CRM is built around a proven sales pipeline management methodology.

teamwave-visual-sales-pipeline
TeamWave’s Visual Sales Pipeline

Just some of the sales-related things you can do easily from a single page:

  • Check progress of each deal/opportunity
  • Add and move deals from one stage to another
  • Mark them as won/lost
  • Schedule deal activities
  • Select different sales pipelines
  • Figure out cumulative deal worth in each stage of the pipeline
  • Find out the rotten deals (no activity for specific number of days)
  • Filter deals via tags, deal ownership and deal state (open, won, lost, rotten)
  • Quickly connect with support via in-app messenger

Note: TeamWave also lets you toggle between list view and time line view of deals.

Time log in project

Insightly doesn’t have time log feature in project management. It can be done via integration with third party app (TimeCamp), but you’ll pay additional subscription fee. Here is what a user has posted on the Insightly forum:

time-tracking-insightly
Customer Quote from Insightly Forum

TeamWave offers time logging as an out-of-the-box feature. You can log time spent on each task and compare that with the estimated time. Download the time log report with a few clicks (individual projects/all the projects) and upload it to the invoicing app.

teamwave-time-log-download
TeamWave’s Time Log Download Page

Reports

As a small business owner, time is your most precious resource. You need reporting capability that provides actionable insights quickly and helps you drive sales. While Insightly provides reports, it doesn’t have data visualisation capabilities. It needs to be connected with Power BI  (a reporting tool by Microsoft) to generate graphs and charts.

TeamWave’s reporting feature comes with essential pre-built reports, so you spend time in gathering actionable insights instead of configuring & creating reports. These reports are both graphical and tabular (downloadable in CSV/XLS format).

CRM reports have following categories:

  • Sales performance
  • Pipeline performance
  • Activity effort
crm-reports
TeamWave’s CRM Reports

Sales-related questions that can be answered with a few clicks:

  • What is the conversion rate of the deals present in different sales stages?
  • Who has maximum deal conversion rate in a particular time period?
  • From which sales stage are we losing most number of deals?
  • In terms of deal value or number, who has contributed the most to the sales pipeline?
  • Which sales rep is completing maximum number of sales activities?

Project Management reports have following categories:

  • Projects
  • Users
  • Time log
teamwave-project-reports
TeamWave’s Project Reports

Project-related questions that can be answered with a few clicks:

  • Which project is in a critical state with respect to overdue and total tasks?
  • Which project is contributing the most to the total number of overdue tasks across all the projects?
  • Which project has been continuously contributing more to the billable time log?
  • Which user has maximum work load? Who has the most number of overdue tasks?
  • Whether the time logged by team members has been consistently increasing or decreasing?

 

2. Collaboration

Collaborating with your team and clients is an important part of project delivery. Insightly neither gives you option to collaborate with clients nor a way to carry out discussions and share ideas with the team.

With TeamWave, you can collaborate with clients or vendors simply by inviting just one person from your client’s team and they will be able to independently add/manage their entire team.

vendors
TeamWave Client Collaboration

Discuss proposals, ideas and gather feedback from your team using the discussion board. Embed images and files right into messages. Give everyone a chance to weigh in on their own time. Reach consensus and keep important decisions on the record.

discussion
TeamWave Discussion Board

3. Price

Insightly has complex pricing structure that starts from $12/user per month and goes up to $99/user per month (annual subscription).

insightly-pricing
Insightly Pricing

Some of the major restrictions imposed by these pricing plans:

  • number of custom fields
  • number of records (contacts, leads, projects, tasks, events, emails, comments etc.)
  • file storage
  • integration (MailChimp)

TeamWave has a straightforward pricing – $3/user per month. If you choose annual subscription, the pricing is $2/user per month. All plans get all the features and apps – absolutely no restriction.

teamwave-price
TeamWave Pricing

Here is the cost comparison for a company with 10 employees:

teamwave-vs-insightly-price

 

4. Application Suite

TeamWave is an integrated suite of business apps, which means you get Project Management, HR and CRM apps. Given below are some of the benefits:

Projects and HR: Project admin can keep track of the performance of the employees along with appreciation received from clients and log them as private notes in the HR app. During appraisal these notes can be reviewed for better decision making.

Sales and HR: In the HR app, if you add someone as the reporting manager of a sales rep, then the reporting manager will be automatically added as a deal follower whenever the sales rep adds a new deal. This fosters collaboration and helps in progress tracking.

Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes in handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming feature:

We’ll be providing tighter integration of CRM and project management app to help you directly convert won deals into project and smoothly transfer all the required files.

Insightly doesn’t offer HR management app. You’ll have to use Zapier to set up some form of integration and it’ll require additional subscription fee along with time.


teamwave-crm-projects-hrms

G Suite Review

Google apps have been known for their ease of use and low learning curve; now they have been rebranded as “G Suite”. Although the apps have good integration capability, the name G Suite points to better integration and collaborative approach for teams under a single umbrella. This platform consists of apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, Slides, Docs, Sheets and more. Along with the new name, Google has announced a bunch of new features that are built on top of cutting edge technologies like Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning.

Plug: TeamWave – Simple CRM, Project Management & HR Software for G Suite

G Suite Apps

G Suite has following broad categories of apps:

Communicate: Gmail, Inbox, Hangouts, Calendar, Groups, Google+

Collaborate: Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites

Store: Drive

The basic plan of G Suite gives 30GB storage, which is double the space available with free plan. The business plan offers unlimited storage (in case of more than five employees) along with a better admin control panel and the Vault for archiving emails.

Here is what you get with G Suite:

  • Business email addresses (name@company.com)
  • Video and voice calls
  • Online calendars
  • Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides
  • Project sites (a way to build simple websites or intranet)
  • Security and admin controls
  • 24/7 phone and email support.
  • On the Unlimited plan, in addition to the above you get
  • Advanced admin controls for Drive
  • Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing
  • Google Vault for eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files
  • Advanced search
  • More options when it comes to file exports
  • Email archives
  • Set message-retention policies
  • Litigation holds on inboxes

G Suite Pricing

Choosing a G Suite plan is relatively straightforward, as there are only two plans available:
– G Suite: $5 per user per month ($50 per user per year if paid annually)
– G Suite Unlimited: $10 per user per month ($120 per user per year if paid annually)

Both the basic and business versions support HD video conferencing via Hangouts and round the clock customer support is available via email and phone. Note that if your organisation is an educational establishment, then you can avail the free version: G Suite for Education.

Setup Process

In takes couple of seconds to sign up with G suite and once the account is created the user will be redirected to the Admin Console. There will be eight important options: users, company profile, billing, reports, apps, device management, security and support.

There are two options to invite employees to the account – manually or importing a CSV file containing the details of the users. After that the next action would be providing access rights to different apps. For example, you can select certain users and provide access to Inbox while restricting access to Hangouts. You also have the option to disable certain unused apps for all the users.

From mobile device standpoint, the key element is Mobile Device Management section, which lets you mark passwords as mandatory and enable Google Sync on user devices (for up-to-date corporate data). You can also select the devices individually by setting up manual approval process.  If there are certain devices that have not been synced for a specific period, then you can remotely wipe out those devices.

The Admin Console comprises of extra tools that enable group creation, third-party app management and domain management. It also has settings for various free Google services such as Google Analytics, AdWords, Google+ and Google App Engine.

The Vault feature, which comes with the Business plan would be suitable for companies who would like to store email, chat and files to adhere to governance and regulatory compliance. The data retention policy can be set up to cover all the employees or according to particular dates, groups or search terms. The usual Google search field can be used to browse through the archive. Data can audited and exported for further analysis. This doesn’t mean that all the data will be stored – if the “save history” option is turned off, then chat related data won’t be stored.

If you’re apprehensive about the applicability of Vault in your organisation, then note that you can always use the Admin console to upgrade the account with Vault.

Collaboration and Compatibility

Since inception Google Apps have been built with a strong focus on collaboration, and effortless file sharing with team members or external party. There is a dedicated panel to keep track of revisions and another panel to add comments (notifies collaborators via email and in-app messages).

File sharing can be done with a click on the “Share” button, which has options to share with the public, anyone with the unique link, anyone within the company, or only with specific set of people. It is also very easy to publish documents on web – just click on “Publish to the web…” from the “File” dropdown to generate the iframe code.

Apart from widely used Microsoft Office document formats, G Suite apps also support various other formats including Open Document Format, Rich Text Format, PDF, plaintext and zipped HTML. Additionally Google Sheet lets you save spreadsheets in CSV and tab-separated value formats, and presentations can be downloaded in SVG and PNG formats.

Here the crucial factor is the ability to import files rather than export them, as uploading documents created in non-Google platform and making them editable is highly useful.

G Suite’s Google Hangouts service can be used for text, voice and video calls with anyone or restricted to converse with only those whole belong to own company. Hangouts can be used with maximum 50 people for video conferencing, presentation.  As it has tight integration with Docs, Calendar and Maps, it can be crucial for organizations.

Security

Google has deployed custom-built servers and network infrastructure instead of using commercially available hardware (helps them stick to the features that are relevant). They maintain a standardized environment and continously monitor it to detect any kind of changes. Whenever a modification makes the system diverge from the standard Google server image, it automatically goes back to its original state. The customer data in G Suite travels over the internet and among data centers via end-to-end encryption

Data Loss Prevention policy can be set up by the administrator to protect sensitive information. Google also offers a library of preconfigured content detectors for smooth setup. For example, after fully setting up DLP policy, Gmail can automatically track all outgoing email and take necessary action:  quarantine the email, ask sender to change the content, or block the email and inform the sender. These checks are applicable to content of the email as well as the attachments.

When it comes filtering spam, Google has one of the top notch spam filters. They use machine learning to detect and block almost all of the advanced spams. Note that less than 0.1% of email in the average Gmail inbox is spam, and incorrect filtering of mail to the spam folder is under 0.05%.

Administrator can activate 2-step verification to minimize unauthorized access by asking users to submit additional identity proof while signing in. G Suite single sign-on service (SSO) helps customers use one set of credentials to log in to multiple apps.

Takeaway

G Suite is primarily focused on covering most of the basic features and implementing them well. Small businesses (1 – 50 employees) will find this app platform highly useful. ‘Power users’ and big organisations are likely to find the Google Vault feature handy as this lets you archive all communications in your organisation according to rules you define.


teamwave-sales-project-hr

Pipedrive Alternative

Pipedrive CRM is popular among small businesses because of its design and ease of use. While Pipedrive is a good sales pipeline management tool, TeamWave is a complete platform to manage &  streamline everything (including sales) in your company: Project Management, CRM & HR.

Why TeamWave is the leading Pipedrive alternative.

1. Focus on Small Business
Pipedrive has raised funding (venture capital) of $14 million. Typically, for a funded company the only focus area is the “MRR” (Monthly Recurring Revenue) and their preference is to go after larger companies/accounts that provide larger revenues. Unfortunately, small businesses may not be a priority.

In July, 2016 they introduced two new pricing plans. From the Pipedrive blog:

Image Border Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/borders

It is quite evident that the focus on helping small businesses has been diluted. In order to project multi-fold growth, they have to concentrate on larger accounts that contribute more to their revenue.

Pipedrive’s tired pricing is primarily based on the type of email integration a customer would choose. The basic plan doesn’t have two way email sync feature despite customers asking for it:

automatic-deal-creation-sales-automation

He needs a simple solution to automatically create deals, contacts and link them, when his team sends emails to prospects. Pipedrive offers that via Zapier’s email parser – which means additional cost and time. At TeamWave, we’re committed to simplicity! We offer out-of-the-box solution for sales automation via emails – set up a simple email rule to automatically create deals, contacts and link them. Check out our product update post to learn more.

TeamWave is a bootstrapped company, built by a small business for small businesses. We eat our own dog food. That helps us stay focused on helping customers rather than providing ROI to investors. Our mission is to provide a unified platform for collaboration, sales & marketing to small businesses at an affordable price.

We understand the pain points of a small business (not just sales, but all the processes). Our experience of best of breed apps actually reduced productivity and increased total cost of ownership. TeamWave provides an integrated suite of business apps (Project , CRM and HRM) with superb user experience and simple yet powerful set of features.

“As an Entrepreneur, it is painful to have too many applications to monitor the progress of my team. So, having almost all the necessary features on one application is the main reason why we chose to use TeamWave.”

– Varun Umesh CEO & Founder, Zysk Technologies

2. Price

Pipedrive’s pricing starts from $12/user per month and goes up to $75/user per month. These plans differ according to the feature you can use and the storage you’d need.

pipedrive-pricing-plans
Pipedrive Pricing

TeamWave has a straightforward pricing – $3/user per month. If you choose annual subscription, the pricing is $2/user per month. All plans get all the features and apps – absolutely no restriction.

teamwave-price
TeamWave Pricing

Here is the cost comparison for a company with 10 employees:

teamwave-vs-pipedrive-price

3. Application Suite

TeamWave is an integrated suite of business apps, which means you get Project Management, HR and CRM apps. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes in handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.
  • Sales and HR: In the HR app, if you add someone as the reporting manager of a sales rep, then the reporting manager will be automatically added as a deal follower whenever the sales rep adds a new deal. This fosters collaboration and helps in progress tracking.

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming feature:

We’ll be providing tighter integration of CRM and project management app to help you directly convert won deals into project and smoothly transfer all the required files.

Pipedrive doesn’t offer Project and HR management app. You’d need to integrate third party apps to get this done and end up spending additional cost along with time!

4. Familiarity

Those who have tried out Pipedrive, will feel right at home with our visual sales pipeline, list view, timeline view, contact management, customisation options and reports.

teamwave-crm


teamwave-projects-crm-hrms