Social media has ultimately revolutionized how we live our lives: the way we keep in touch with friends and family, the way we express our thoughts and feelings, the way we search for jobs and the way we shop for products. It’s changed how businesses build their brand, market their services, provide customer care and connect with their target market. Now it’s changing the way companies get things done. eXo Platform is just one of many social-based productivity tools being implemented in offices all around the world.
What’s eXo Platform?
An open-source program that began its development in France during 2002, eXo Platform is described as an “enterprise social collaboration software.” It’s kind of like Facebook, Skype and Google Docs all rolled into one in order to increase productivity and encourage team work throughout medium to large-sized companies. Recognized for its positive user experience, exceptional customer service, and cost efficiency, eXo Platform is used by Johns Hopkins University and HSBC Bank. Its latest version, released in 2013, continues to receive generally favorable reviews. eXo Platform is available in over 50 different languages. It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. Users can choose between free and paid versions. Enterprise options are priced based on the number of users.
What Can eXo Platform Be Used For?
eXo Platform is an extremely flexible software with plenty of customization options, allowing it to be valuable to industries of all kinds and businesses of all sizes. With over a dozen features, eXo Platform offers solutions for collaboration, content management, document management, knowledge management, community management, project management, social interactions and social networking. Big picture, the software is designed to create a collaborative culture, foster team work, keep colleagues connected with one another, and help employers select the right person for the right job.
eXo Platform Features
An impressive number of features are available with eXo Platform – so many that it would be difficult to cover all of them in detail; however, there are a few that users have pointed out as being truly valuable to their organization.
Dashboard: eXo Platform has a customizable dashboard that reminds many users of Facebook; however, colors can be changed and adjustments can be made so the interface better matches your company’s brand. You can also choose from a number of available gadgets to make your dashboard suitable for your specific needs.
User Profiles: Users can create profiles similar to those on other social media platforms. They include a photograph, job title, and professional background information. Profiles can also serve as a directory. If an employee needs to contact the head of HR, they can look up their profile. If a manager is asked to put together a team, they can select those individuals through their profiles. If the president of the company is looking for an employee with a background in sales, they can search through profiles for those who match that description.
Activity Streams: Just like your newsfeed on Facebook or homepage on Twitter, activity streams allow users to see what other users are saying and doing. You can access a document a coworker has shared, keep up with conversations, or monitor the progress on a project.
Spaces: Spaces creates a “workspace” for users to collaborate. Established and maintained by assigned administrators, they can be used to hold conversations, assign tasks or work on documents. Administrators invite team members to the space and have the option of making a space open or closed as well as public or private.
Wikis: While Wikis could have a number of uses, eXo Platform suggests it be used as a “knowledge base.” This is where users can find policies, procedures, templates, forms, directions, demos and other general need-to-know information. Providing it all in one convenient, easily-accessible area offers a number of benefits: companies can cut back on the amount of time they have to spend training and important documents are less likely to get lost.
Documents: eXo Platform allows users to work on documents in real time. Similar to Google Docs, internal or external users can be added and given either edit or viewing privileges. Files can be organized into categories and are routinely backed up so you're not losing valuable information. Calendars: With online calendars, users are able to create events, invite users to events, and remind users about events. Unlike some of the software’s competitors, eXo Platform’s calendar feature allows users to view other users’ schedules so they can set up events that aren’t going to conflict with prior engagements.
Chat & Video Capabilities: eXo Platform’s enterprise version comes with noteworthy chat and video conferencing capabilities.
What Customers Are Saying:
Advantages: Users tend to be impressed with the range of features that are available with eXo Platform. Many boast its chat and video capabilities, particularly the ability to access other aspects of the software while still remaining in chat and video conversations – something similar programs can’t do. Users are also satisfied with the value they receive. The free version comes with nearly all of the program’s features. The enterprise version, which adds chat, video chat, and 24/7 technical support in addition to a few other perks, is set at a competitive price. eXo Platform is easy to set up and simple to use. Generally, if you can use Facebook, you’ll have no problem navigating eXo Platform.
Disadvantages: Some users think eXo Platform focuses a little too much on the social aspect and not enough on the business aspect, pointing out that the software lacks tools like time tracking, invoicing, expense reports, email, and other features businesses would expect from a productivity tool. Regardless of what version of eXo Platform you go with, for many, space is always a problem. Those who selected the cloud version feel that they’re not given enough storage, and those who selected the enterprise version often feel it uses too much RAM.
Get eXo Plaform
If you want to check out eXo Platform, you can test out the demo or sign up for a free 30-day trial. The open-source version of eXo Platform can be downloaded off Sourceforge. Other versions can be purchased from their website.