Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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Cool collaboration technologies for the small business – part 1

In this age of continuous technological change businesses and their leaders need to be on top of their game when it comes to collaboration. Staying connected is vitally important on so many levels. From the standpoint of business productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee retention, it’s critical that your shop be in line with the latest advances in collaboration tools and technologies. In fact, it could well be said that collaboration is a matter of pure survival in the business world.




The bar is raised today as expectations are for faster, quicker, and more agile solutions. Technologically savvy customers expect nearly real-time updates and demand much faster turnaround times. Speed to market is much shorter nowadays and hence, products and services and the processes driving them must be more efficient than ever. Again, the success of these processes depends on effective collaboration.

The mix of social, mobile, and cloud technologies in recent years has created previously unthinkable ways for teams to collaborate together to achieve common goals. In this part and the next we’ll showcase some of the coolest, cutting edge tools and technologies on the market today that small businesses can start adopting to create more agile, streamlined processes for internal and external collaboration.




Cloud hosted document storage and sharing solutions are simply a must-have in today’s digital economy. Enabling employees to seamlessly upload and retrieve their spreadsheets, business documents, and other artifacts in a safe and secure environment cannot be overestimated.

Google Drive is easily one of the best known and easily accessible cloud storage solutions available. And since we all leverage Google services in one way, shape, or fashion, Gdrive becomes a natural extension to our Google-ized lives. For example, Gmail Users no longer need to upload lengthy email attachments. Just send a link from Google Drive in Gmail and everyone has the same file and version. GDrive works with PCs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. And Google is generous with space by giving 15GB of storage space for free to first time registrants (up from the 5GB when it was introduced 2 years ago). Afterwards, it scales up at a reasonable rate with 1TB at 10 U.S. dollars a month and on up to 30TB at $300.




Another area that is crucial for effective cross-collaboration in the digital age is project management. Without it workflows will get muddled, employees and customers frustrated, and deliverables delayed – ultimately resulting in lost revenue and negative impacts on brand reputation.

The cream of the crop in digital project management is Basecamp. Founded in 2004, this portal offers a fully integrated project management environment comprised of to-do lists, wiki-style web-based text documents, milestone management, file sharing, time tracking, and a messaging system. An easy pricing plan is available that starts at $20/month and scales up based on the number of projects and the amount of space needed.

Spinning up and inviting people to a Basecamp project is a snap. The user is presented with an intuitive and easy to use interface.




Simply start a new project, give it a name, and invite people to join you.




The layout of the project space is simple and uncluttered so that everyone can navigate easily and make additions and communicate effectively. As the project unfolds, users can add files and other digital assets in one, easy-to-find location. Also, you can add “To-do lists” so everyone can see action items remaining to be done and those already completed.




When it comes to providing an effective collaboration suite for project management, Basecamp really gets it. An agile, easy-to-use, intuitive platform combined with great customer service, and no nonsense pricing make Basecamp a first choice for millions of users.

Join us again in Part 2 as we continue discussing some of the coolest collab tools out there . . . ones that can make all the difference in the success of your small business.

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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called, along with oversight and leadership of - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.