1. Bitrix24

Because of its European roots, Bitrix24 is not as well known as Slack or Yammer, but talk to anyone in Germany, Russia or India and they’ll tell you that no other solution does as much for free. Intranet, tasks, projects, shared calendars, document management, file sharing – all of these and many others tools are available in the free plan. Bitrix24 commercial plans are also quite affordable. Whereas others charge per user, which gets to be more and more expensive if your organization is large, here you can buy unlimited users for only $99 dollars.

Another remnant of the European origin – you can choose where your data is hosted. Why is this important? If you are using SaaS, there is a 99% chance your data is stored in US in Amazon or Azure datacenters with no choice whatsoever. No big deal, if you are an American company, HUGE headache if you run your business from Bratislava and have to comply with countless EU regulations. Bitrix24 lets you host software on your own server or choose between Bitrix24.com, deeuescninruua zones. Nicely done.

2. Slack

When people tell you that Slack is ‘just chat, and why do I need another instant messenger’, they’ve clearly never used it for more that a day. Slack is a really interesting collaboration concept that centers around instant messaging. Tasks, projects, helpdesk, documents, calendars – no Slack doesn’t have any of this, but it integrates these tools and in a very intelligent way. For example, you can share a Dropbox document via Slack. Not very different from Skype, is it? However, when you share anything via Slack, it’s becomes indexed and searchable. Not all Slack tools are available in a free plan, so see comparison chart.

3. Yammer

You don’t hear much about Yammer after acquisition, but Yammer developers have been busy integrating the entire MS product line (think Sharepoint, Exchange, Office 365, Outlook, Lync) with Yammer. Granted, these are only available in paid plans, but there still is a free Yammer plan with unlimited users for now.

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