Bitrix24 is a solution for business communications and collaboration inside organizations of any size. The system unites tools classically belonging to the corporate intranet with social collaboration elements to form an optimal virtual work platform.
In this article we won’t go deep into the descriptions of the functional capabilities of the product; they are highlighted in the video that you can find here or on our site.
If, when searching for a virtual workspace for your business you chose Bitrix24, you may not have realized that Bitrix24 can be used as an online service and as a ‘box’ product – that is, installed on your own server (or that of your hosting provider).
Depending on your business nature, company size, and requirements to an intranet solution, you can choose between the flexible monthly payment available from the Cloud version of Bitrix24 or the purchasing and owning a life-time license of the Self-hosted version. Both versions have their benefits and trade-offs associated with deployment and maintenance.
Whether the cloud or self-hosted is right for you depends on a number of factors.
Below we will discuss several advantages of the two options, noting technical and economic factors along the way.
With 40,000 cloud signups and 5000 installed intranets, Bitrix24 users form a sample group worth studying. Here are the main trends that we have observed:
1. Social intranet is small, real small, and that’s good news. The median Bitrix24 intranet size is only 9.7 users. Small businesses are embracing social intranet when it’s offered as affordable cloud solution that doesn’t require install or maintenance.
2. Social intranet isn’t just for business. While 62% of social intranet users are companies, 10% are educational institutions, another 10% are healthcare providers, Read more...
At the end of last year, we debuted our desktop app for Bitrix24 that works on both Windows (download) and Mac (download) platforms.
This app lets you replace whatever traditional internal messenger you are using now completely.
Without opening a browser, the desktop app lets employees stay in touch. Personal messages, notifications from the Activity Stream, likes and comments, and incoming task notifications are also visible through the app.
Bitrix24 has a new function which allows the creation of an “external” link to a particular file, so that it can be shared with external users. This means that users can use their personal library, group libraries (including in the extranet) and the Shared Documents library as a file exchange tool, providing access to chosen files to anyone who is not user of the intranet itself.
There are security measures, of course – access can require a password and can be limited to a set time frame. Using this function, you can avoid using external resources for storing data and lighten the load on your corporate mail server.
Any user with read access to the file can create a ‘public access’ link to it.
All document library types (personal, groups including extranet groups, and global) have this capability.
Access to a file can be limited by time and protected by a password.
A single file can have several different access links created to it which work under different passwords or time limits. These links can be created by a single intranet user or by multiple users with access to the document.
Links can be closed at any time from the document library.
Today’s business happens as much outside the physical walls of an office as it does inside them, and more in many cases. With the advent of cloud services, it is now possible to create virtual work platforms of nearly any functionality and price. Usually these services include things like employee profiles, company structure, calendars and scheduling, instant messaging, document management, tasks management, project management, workflow, and more.
When a business is fully integrated with such online services, employees become accustomed to working in the corporate online environment, given that it minimizes the need for paper, makes information easy to find, and provides access to colleagues in a way that is not distracting. It is natural, then, that employees would wish to associate with clients, customers, partners and other third parties in a similar environment, though access to the intranet for such people is not possible. This is where the extranet comes into play.
By creating a separate virtual “office” for each client which is accessible seamless from the employees intranet, any number of clients can be served in the environment wh ere employees are most comfortable and their work is most efficient. The content of that ‘office’ is limited to only what pertains to the client or third party, whether files, discussions, images, tasks, etc.
Twelve percent of Bitrix24 users accessed their corporate networks on Christmas Eve and seventeen percent did on Christmas Day, according to internal statistics.
“With 35,000 small businesses signing up with Bitrix24 in the last six months, we have a real good feel of how new social enterprise tools are changing work patterns. Even a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that so many office workers would feel the urge to do some work on Christmas,” – said Bitrix24 CEO Dmitry Valyanov.
We have broadened the scope of our popular cloud service in nearly every direction with its latest update. With greatly expanded mobile functionality, a desktop app, included cloud backup, and a revamped CRM, the new service update has improvements for all user types, but especially for small businesses.
Mobile applications for both iOSand Android are ready for use in both Bitrix24 and in Bitrix Intranet, and now include file and task management. Another innovation that expands access to the intranet is a new Desktop App for Mac and Windows that serves as an internal IM manager now and will include file management in the near future.
There is a powerful tool lying under the surface of Bitrix24. It is a workflow modeler which can operate in the framework of the CRM and document libraries (public and group libraries, not personal ones).
Here, we are going to address an extremely important issue concerning customer relations – assigning a responsible sales associate. Clearly, if it is possible to do this automatically, that is optimal, since a sales lead from a website may come in at any time. This is an ideal operation for Bitrix24’s business processes.
Wikis in Bitrix24 for small business. The wiki format for storing information has more than proved itself in the single most-used repository of human knowledge ever created, Wikipedia. In business, wikis function in two main ways: as a knowledge base and as a collaboration area. Although wikis are no longer at the cutting edge of office software, they are still a very useful tool, as they bring high-level functionality without any technical knowledge needed.
In Bitrix24, each workgroup has a wiki. Thus, to create a knowledge base that is accessible to everyone, use the wiki in a public group. You can use the roles in groups if for any reason you want to provide only read access rights to certain users.
A wiki used as a knowledge base is rather easy to imagine, as Wikipedia is a prime example. Note that images and timestamps can be added to any entry. Read more...
Introduction This article provides an example of a micro business moving up to the SMB league with minimal investments in software and equipment. It uncovers how a small biz venture can implement a successful and cost-effective business model using Bitrix24 online services.
Situation Let's say you run a floral shop that delivers wreaths, bouquets, and greetings cards to people and companies in your neighborhood. Your team includes 4 persons, plus, you have a number of people working outside your company:
one freelance designer ( greeting card design);
a dedicated print shop manager (delivers printed materials once a week);
a few couriers on bikes or vans (outsourced from a major courier company).
It might seem that a calendar is one thing that does not need much explaining or instructions – put in an event, save – done.
Of course, it is like that, but aside from creating events, the calendar includes several other nice functions like synchronization with Outlook and Google calendars, coordination with the CRM and tasks, and favorite calendars.
I’d like to share all the possibilities which Bitrix24 calendars present.
Social intranet is one of the hottest enterprise 2.0 trends right now, with Microsoft recently paying $1.2 billion in acquisition costs just to catch up. Yet, as with any ‘hot new thing’, there’s just as much hype about social intranet as there are real benefits to having a successfully implemented one. So how do you end up among the companies that increase productivity with social intranet, instead of spending your time and resources on something that will be used to store cookie recipes? Here are some pointers collected from people who develop and deploy social intranet solutions for a living.
1. Determine what you specifically want from your social intranet. 60% of Bitrix24 users log in on weekends. That’s one of the benefits social intranet can provide. People will use corporate intranet during off hours, if it makes their work easier. It’s your job to cut through the marketing hype and determine – what exactly do you want to do with social intranet? Which social intranet provider can do that?
2. Make sure your social intranet has the tools you need. If you work in a law office, you probably need a strong document sharing option. If you work in sales, integrated CRM for your social intranet is a must. If you develop new products, you probably need project management module. Some older generation intranets don’t offer any business tools, so stay away from them. Find a social intranet that either has tools you need already built in or that supports easy integration of such tools.
3. Talk to your employees about their social network experience. Most social intranets look very similar to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. The reason for that is that workers are already familiar with these networks, so they can start using social intranet right away. However, some people have lim ited social network experience, so you’ll have to teach them how to use an activity stream or how to send instant messages to a specific employee or group. The more ‘social’ your employees are, the easier it’ll be for them to use social options in your corporate portal.
4. Make sure your intranet is appropriate for your company size. Some social intranet makers make claims along the lines “Fortune 500 companies use our product”. Which is great IF you work for a Fortune 500 company. However, if you work for a small company, and a lot of us do, you probably won’t be happy with a solution that’s tailored for industry giants. Luckily, Bitrix24 targets small and midsize business, so you can find a solution that’s perfect for a company of your size.
5. Watch the costs. Social intranet costs are anywhere from zero to tens of thousands of dollars. The costs depend on whether you are going to use a cloud based solution (less expensive) or deploy it on your own servers (takes more time and costs more money, but is generally more secure). Another factor is the pricing policy of the intranet provider. Some developers charge per user, which quickly adds up if your company is large. Others offer unlim ited users but charge for space used (which is a lot more economical, unless your company works with hundreds of gigabytes of data).