What are the benefits of using Teamlab, an open source solution, for creating your corporate portal?
TeamLab is an online hub application that allows users to edit documents, manage projects, create tasks and send instant messages, all from an Amazon cloud-based platform. Project managers can enable and disable the various modules on demand, allowing TeamLab to be customized to the unique needs of each user. Other features include blogs and forums, image uploading, poll creation and a simple registration process.
The best thing about TeamLab? It’s free. According to Teamlab.com the freemium open-source model is a business process management application designed for small and mid-size companies that need an effective platform for hosted project management. Supported operating systems include Windows Server 2003-2008, and Windows 7, Vista and XP.
TeamLab Development Timeline
First launched on July 7, 2010, TeamLab was developed by Ascensio System SIA of Latvia, a IT solutions provider. Founded in 2009, this fast-growing company also has offices in London, UK, offering most of their services and features for free.
According to their July 28, 2011, corporate blog, TeamLab now has over 115,000 worldwide users in 148 countries, representing a 300 percent increase over the past six months.
Current TeamLab Features
Improvements and updates to the TeamLab application are occurring frequently as the Ascensio developers respond to user feedback and beta test results. As of August 18, 2011, the following features are included in TeamLab:
- Project Management: Using the Project Management module, milestones can be created along with lists of active, completed and overdue tasks, and due date notifications. Tasks can be designed and delegated to specific team members, and discussions between team members are enabled. Managers can use the time-tracking tools to generate detailed project reports, and the access rights feature (for Premium subscribers) allows for the creation of different visibility levels for files, tasks, milestones and discussions.
- Business Collaboration: These features enable users to create and manage corporate profiles, manage internal announcements and develop polls. Photos can be uploaded to the cloud server and shared using the blogs and forums tool. There is also a wiki section to a create corporate knowledge base through the TeamLab portal.
- Document Management: These are among the most popular TeamLab tools, and let users edit, import, share and integrate documents directly on the TeamLab portal. Document version control is enabled through automatic file saving and organization, including the ability to restore to earlier versions sorted by date and time.
- Instant Messaging: TeamLab users can chat live with contacts through the portal, as well as integrate the corporate messenger with other desktop email clients.
All TeamLab portals are protected by HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol), which adds an extra layer of digital data protection with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to personal data like passwords, login information, and all the content on the portal. SSL encrypts all communication within the TeamLab environment, making it virtually impossible for hackers to obtain any private business information through the TeamLab portal.
As of August 12, 2011, TeamLab is offering a free online diagnostic system that scans all applications and services automatically during system startup, with the goal of detecting and eliminating threats like viruses, trojans and damaged files.
Launched on the first anniversary of TeamLab, TeamLab Premium is available for $49 a month. Along with the features included in the /freemium/ version, TeamLab Premium users receive:
- 10 GB of cloud-based storage versus 1000 MB in freemium model.
- 100 MB file size upload limit (up from 10 MB per file in the free version).
- User-controlled file sharing, private projects and access rights management.
Premium subscribers also enjoy faster upload speeds in comparison to the free model, and have priority access to customer support service from TeamLab.
Planned Upgrades to TeamLab
Ascensio System Limited has announced the following upcoming features for TeamLab:
- A full mobile version of the project module for Android and iOS devices, with the ability to email team members, edit tasks and comment on events, blogs and forums.
- Email integration via the TeamLab portal, including user-controlled tag-based message filtering.
- CRM support integration including sales and communication tracking, report generation and the ability to import data from Highrise.
- A calendar feature with customizable tracking, history logging and separate work and personal scheduling.
Other improvements to the application will include Gnatt charts for project management, currency conversion tools and customized contact and deals forms.
TeamLab User Reviews
Early users of TeamLab are impressed with the fact that 90 percent of the features are free, it supports multiple languages, and the portal is completely customizable at the point of use.
According to an August 18 post on SoftwardReviewBoffin.com, TeamLab earned a five-star rating because of the variety of collaboration tools, ease of IM client use, and the fact that, “TeamLab is the only project management solution that includes fully featured online editing.”
On AppAppeal.com, an editor rated TeamLab four out of five stars, noting that, “TeamLab offers a unique solution that brings individuals together, no matter how many miles may lie between them.” This reviewer recommends TeamLab for freelancers as a simple, cost-effective (currently free) way to collaborate with clients, as well as small businesses looking for team management software. AppAppeal.com also suggests that schools and nonprofit organizations could make extensive use of TeamLab for work on projects and to facilitate effective communication among stakeholders.
Ryan Stubbs touted his approval of TeamLab in his May 18th post on Appstorm, where he writes, “TeamLab just ticks all the boxes for me.” He points out that all-in-one solutions are usually priced beyond the reach of most start-ups and small businesses, and other applications include features that typical users simply don’t want or need. Stubbs likes the fact that TeamLab has made disabling features “incredibly simple”, reducing portal clutter while improving usability.
::Start-Up and Small Business Applications::
TeamLab developers focused on making this application easy to use for both IT professionals and regular Internet users, with an emphasis on providing collaboration and project management tools for startups, small, and medium sized-enterprises. This product is unique in the way it combines a number of different functions in one user-controlled portal, increasing both security and ease-of-use. For managers and freelancers who require a comprehensive, stable and customizable solution for both projects and ongoing collaboration management, TeamLab provides a cost-effective resource.