Team Effect: Visual Project Management

Logo_Small_onWhiteTeam Effect jokingly calls its competition the “the vast swathe of online task lists…and Basecamp clones” that make up the current market for project management solutions. The claim is that, unlike its competitors, Team Effect is “fun to use.” I won’t go that far, but the Team Effect web interface and interactive Gantt-style calendar — the main selling point of the app — are visually appealing and relatively easy to use.
DashBoardLike many similar products, upon login, users are taken to a dashboard where they can see an overview of activity for projects with which they are associated. The “Comments and Messages” area is laid out in a Twitter-like fashion,Actions and users can see more detail, or respond, by clicking an existing message. Oddly, it appears that one needs to go to a different screen to compose a new message. Read More about Team Effect: Visual Project Management

Is Virtualization a Cloud Prerequisite?

[qi:gigaom_icon_cloud-computing] With the annual VMworld confab coming next week, we are bound to come away thinking that virtualization is the guiding light to take us to the promised land of cloud computing. The reality is different.
Virtualization and cloud computing aren’t always the answer. But we are slowly learning what applications work best in different types of environments. Let’s be clear — virtualization and cloud computing are two distinct, equally game-changing technologies. But given the hype and enthusiasm around them, it is always healthy to get a refreshing dose of why they may not always be the greatest approaches. Read More about Is Virtualization a Cloud Prerequisite?

Teambox: Collaborate Freely with Your Team

Teambox LogoAt first peek, web app Teambox looks like another collaboration tool: it’s a Basecamp rival that facilitates collaboration and notifies team members of additions and changes to your projects. Both come with a simple, user-friendly interface. But Teambox has one bonus; it lets teams create unlimited projects for free. Teambox charges for branding, installing it on your own server and subscribing to maintenance plans.
The dashboard has details of all your current projects. Every project consists of messages (discussion forum), lists (tasks), pages (wiki), people (contacts on the project) and chat. In less than 10 minutes, I created two projects and added content for each. Read More about Teambox: Collaborate Freely with Your Team

With Social Media, fmyi Makes Enterprise Collaboration Pay

logo2Nike’s Shambhala initiative, which kicked off in 1999, aimed to transform Nike’s approach to social and environmental issues. A series of workshops brought together sustainability gurus, speakers and more than 50 managers from across Nike’s many divisions to discuss ways to push the envelope on internal and product-focused sustainability. The events were hugely successful, but the challenge, says Justin Yuen, a former intranet developer turned corporate social responsibility manager at Nike, was finding a way to keep that sense of community and engagement among individual participants after they returned to their teams.

Traditionally, employees had two methods of communicating with one another: email and the company intranet. The former, while dynamic enough to support actual work, lacked transparency, longevity and opportunities for collaboration. The intranet, on the other hand, was great for sharing static information across teams and individuals. Neither, however, reflected how people actually worked together. So in 2004, Yuen left his position in Nike’s corporate social responsibility team, and set out on his own to develop a product that could do better. The result was fmyi — as in, “for my information” — and it’s a rare success story in the web 2.0 landscape: a social-media-infused enterprise collaboration tool that’s been profitable since two years after its founding. Read More about With Social Media, fmyi Makes Enterprise Collaboration Pay

Manage Projects Online Without Breaking the Bank Using Zoho Projects 2.0

zoho-projects-logo

Zoho has released a major update to Zoho Projects, its online project management system that allows you to share projects with your team via the web. Zoho Projects 2.0 could be a tempting service for small- to medium-sized organizations that cannot afford Microsoft Project (s msft), the “gold standard” for project management in the enterprise. Zoho Projects requires no special software, just a browser and an Internet connection.

Several plans are available, including a free account that enables you to manage one project. That free account has unlimited users, which is a great way to get your feet wet. Create an account, invite all your team members, and give Zoho Projects a test drive before splashing out on one of the beefier plans. The good news is that you can now also import Microsoft Project files, which means you don’t have to recreate everything from scratch for an active project. Read More about Manage Projects Online Without Breaking the Bank Using Zoho Projects 2.0

To Pay Or Not to Pay: When to Move Beyond Free

The other day I noticed that someone had posted a quick poll on LinkedIn. I thought a poll like that might be a good tool to use for informal market research so I clicked on the link to create my own. However, I was met with a message saying that I needed to upgrade my account to access the polling feature. I perused the prices, then quickly determined I wasn’t going to upgrade.

This isn’t the first time I’ve considered upgrading my LinkedIn account and decided against it, which led me to start thinking about all of the “freemium” apps — basically free apps with premium upgrades — I’ve been using. I started feeling guilty about taking advantage of the “free” in freemium services, especially because I’ve had the opportunity to interview founders of these companies, many of whom confess to struggling over pricing. So what makes us decide to pay for an app?

Where the White Labels Are: The Imaginary Beast of iPhone Carrier Value-Add

whitelabel

In the recent past, I’ve covered a couple of the different white-label solutions from third-party developers for carriers that offer the iPhone. These offerings are generally meant to correct some oversight on Apple’s (s aapl) part, or answer a perceived desire for some feature on the part of iPhone owners that Apple seems unwilling to offer itself.

For example, there was Mobispine’s MMS workaround, and more recently, JAJAH, which wanted to turn your iPod touch into an iPhone. In both cases, the companies involved weren’t selling individual apps, but rather the chance for interested corporate clients to license their solution, rebrand it, and offer it for sale to individual customers via the App Store. Read More about Where the White Labels Are: The Imaginary Beast of iPhone Carrier Value-Add

Weekly App Store Roundup: Jan. 17, 2009

Tim Cook

It’s that magical moment every week, when we all come together to find out what’s been happening in the App Store.

As the TheAppleBlog raced through the past seven days, like an angry rhinoceros in a flak-jacket, we’ve gathered the best news from the jungle of fact, infused this information with our own vital opinion, and hurled it back at you.

The big news this week was that rockstar-cum-demi-god Apple CEO Steve Jobs dismounted from his golden pony, deciding to take some time to focus on his health issues. Stepping in as acting CEO whilst Jobs recuperates will be a gentleman named Tim Cook.

As the Internets rang out with thousands of voices asking who Tim Cook is, TheAppleBlog stepped forward and boldly proclaimed, “We’ll tell you who Tim Cook is and, furthermore, we’ll tell you why he’s fit to stand at the helm of Apple.”

Plus, while the aforementioned was going down on the Cupertino Campus, elsewhere, Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs), appeared live on CNBC and managed to rile the folks at the channel.

Meanwhile, over at the App Store this week, I’ve been looking at Mother Camp, QuadCamera and BoomBox.
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Task2Gather Wants to Manage Your Life

task2gather_-online-task-managementAs I continue to struggle to find the ideal project or task management tool for my growing Web business, I find one app that really tracks project progress well but doesn’t handle individual task management then another app handles task assignments but doesn’t give me a view of the big picture.

Then there are the enterprise level apps that give me a headache to even look at because they cram a gazillion features and functionality into their interface. Or the apps that have robust features that I can’t find or figure out how to use.

Task2Gather is a pretty straightforward application for managing tasks plus it has an iPhone app which in my book is always a plus. On their site, they define their app as:

“…a free online service for task and project management that organizes your personal, family, social and business lives by keeping all your commitments in one place.”

I have mixed feelings about an app that organizes every aspect of your life although I know my whole like – not just my work – needs it. Still, when I see “organizes your family” on the same app that is supposed to organize my business functions in an efficient and cost-effective way, I get a little wary. But maybe this is the way organizational tools are moving – apps to take care of every aspect of your life because ultimately, they really are inter-related.

Read More about Task2Gather Wants to Manage Your Life