Working together: 3 new team collaboration tools

Flow, Glip and Slingshot try to enhance the ability of teams to interace using a variety of tools.

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Slingshot has five different pricing plans. It comes with a free 30-day trial (no credit card required to get started) that can support up to five users sharing a single session. Once the trial period is over, it costs $30 a month for a single active session that can be shared among five users. If you want more sessions, you'll want the enterprise plan at $100 a month for 25 users and five collaboration sessions.

Slingshot is in a very crowded and competitive market for video sharing services and its service needs a bit more maturity and polish before it can compete with more established vendors. If mobile access is important, then LogMeIn's Join.me has video conferencing, scheduling and screen sharing features, along with viewing-only apps for iOS and Android. Join.me is easier to get started and use than Slingshot, and it's free for up to 10 users.

Additionally, if all you want is video sharing, you might want to look at one of the free video conferencing services from StartMeeting, MeetingBurner, Google+ Hangouts or Zoom.

Bottom line

Slingshot's primary focus is sharing your screen between two or more people for a video chat, along with support for document sharing, text chat and meeting notes. For small groups that need these features, the free trial is definitely worth a shot.

Conclusion

These three services have different strengths, so which you choose strongly depends on your needs.

For example, the video conferencing aspects of Glip were less than stellar (and non-existent in Flow, which has a different focus). Slingshot is useful for video conferencing and screen sharing, but it needs more maturity before it can compete with other low-end but free video conferencing tools such as Vyew or Join.me, which both support video conferencing, screen sharing, document sharing and threaded discussion spaces for up to 10 users.

On the other hand, Flow handles task management quite well, along with some rudimentary file sharing.

In the end, however, Glip is clearly the most capable of the three and could probably make your team more productive and cut down on lots of emails about scheduling, task management and sharing document versions. In fact, Glip stands up successfully to some of the heavier and older collaboration tools such as WebEx and GoToMeeting (provided you keep the group size small). It is particularly useful for groups working on visual projects, such as art directors and photo editors.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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