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Howey recomendationreport


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Project Description:

The recommendation report is a brief (under 1200 words) report addressed to a hypothetical supervisor who has asked you for a recommendation on various collaborative writing tools. It will require some research and will give you practice in formatting information obtained from secondary sources as well as in addressing the needs of an audience and justifying conclusions.

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Howey recomendationreport

  1. 1. Recommendation Report for Online Collaborative Work Tools Coms 363: Professional Technical Communication Dr. Doug Brent, Lecture 01 Written by: Patrick Howey, 10058727 January 28th, 2013
  2. 2. Executive Summary Working as part of a team has been a major part of business culture. With thenew technology of web-based collaboration tools, individuals can work on the sameproject while in different locations. Web based collaboration can make the processof creating documents a lot easier, faster and collaborative. The two tools that Ifocused on in my research were Google Docs and Zoho Documents. Both of theseonline tools have there own advantages and disadvantages depending on yourproject. The major factors to consider while selecting the appropriate collaborationtool for an organization are cost, simplicity, security, in document collaboration andemail updates. Google Docs offers you the ability to easily do the basics, includingmaking bulleted lists, sorting by columns, adding tables, images, comments,formulas, changing fonts, unique revision history and more. Joining Google Docs isfree, password protected and simple. I recommend that ServiceCo implementGoogle Docs as there new online collaborative tool.Introduction Web-based collaboration is an effective and east system that gives users thecapability to work in partnership over the Internet. The office culture has quicklychanged from a physical interactive atmosphere to an online interactiveatmosphere. Online collaborative writing is a great way for teams to efficientlycomplete group projects, because multiple users can log in and edit or check forupdates without needing to send out a copy for approval every time a small changeis made. (“What to Look for in a Collaborative Writing Tool” 2011) Teams can nowinteract faster and more efficiently through the Internet. The two main online collaboration tools that I based my research on wereGoogle Docs and Zoho Documents. Cost, simplicity, security, in documentcommunication and email alerts are factors that I determined to be of importancewhen choosing an online tool.Google Docs Google Docs is a completely cloud based editor that allows individuals orgroups to create text documents and spreadsheets, as well as easily share them.(“Collaborative Writing Tools and Technology: A Mini Guide” 2007) According toGoogle Docs (2013), the services provided by the editor include, word-processeddocuments, presentations, templates, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, anddrawings. There is no cost to join or use the Google Docs editor, making it a verypopular and easy to access collaborative tool. Users are given 1GB of free storage
  3. 3. while more storage is available starting at 20GB for $20 a year. (“Online WordProcessor Comparison: Google Docs vs. Zoho Documents, Sky Drive, Box Net” 2010) Google Docs provides simplicity and flexibility to its users through its easy touse interface. Some features that make using Google Docs simple are, is auto save,document download ability, its ability to accept all file formats and its uniquerevision history. (“Online Word Processor Comparison: Google Docs vs. ZohoDocuments, Sky Drive, Box Net” 2010) “Google has made Google Docs searchablefrom within Gmail, giving it a whole other layer of ease for anyone who keeps Gmailopen throughout the day”. (“Online Word Processor Comparison: Google Docs vs.Zoho Documents, Sky Drive, Box Net” 2010) One of the most innovative abilities of online web collaboration is thecapability to work as a team in real time. Having the ability for in document text chator comments is a necessity for fluid project completion. Google Docs has text chatthat users can utilize to communicate while editing. (“Collaborative Writing Toolsand Technology: A Mini Guide” 2007) When working in an organization, security is a key issue to consider whenchoosing any online tool and Google Docs tries to reduce as many risks as possible.“Google does an excellent job of securing business data in the cloud. It’s virtuallyimpossible for outsiders to gain access to a Companies Data without theirpermission. (5 Things you Need to Know about the Security of Google Apps” 2011)Zoho Docs The Internet and a web browser is all you need to start sharing with ZohoDocs. “Zoho writer is a collaborative editor that allows you to create yourdocuments and share them publicly or privately” (“Collaborative Writing Tools andTechnology: A Mini Guide” 2007) Zoho pricing depends on the individual ororganizations needs. Many extra features, like password protected sharing, rolebased access, custom branding, and adding attachments into folder are available atan additional monthly price. Zoho is a free tool that anyone can sign up for, howeverthe personal free account does not have password protected sharing. (ZohoCorporation 2013) Zoho also has a very simple interface and is easy to use. One of its moreunique capabilities is its ability to work with Google Docs. Zoho’s integration withGoogle services allows the ability to import Google Doc files. Zoho offers 1GB ofstorage with its free plan. (“Online Word Processor Comparison: Google Docs vs.Zoho Documents, Sky Drive, Box Net” 2010) One of the best things about online collaborative tools is the speed and accessto documents or projects. Zoho gives users the capability to receive email updates
  4. 4. when there are changes to documents that are being edited. (“Collaborative WritingTools and Technology: A Mini Guide” 2007) Zoho’s security processes are similar to other online-based tools, in that itrequires password entry, but the free version is less secure when it comes to filesharing compared to the standard and premium versions. (Zoho Corporation 2013)File sharing is permitted privately, through group and online workspaces orexternally. All of the users file sharing can be tracked through the sharing optionthat allows users to see the files sent and received. These elements make Zoho Docsmore convenient and user-friendly.Conclusion A great way to exchange ideas and work efficiently is through the use ofonline group collaboration tools. Web collaboration tools allow user tocommunicate and complete projects at real time from anywhere. Cost, simplicity,security, in text chats and email updates are some features to consider whendeciding which web-tool works best for a group. Google Docs is a very simplistic, free and efficient web-based collaborativetool that will allow ServiceCo to work on projects together faster and moreeconomically. Cost is a concern for ServiceCo and the 1GB of free storage should beenough for the small oil company. If the free storage is not enough or ServiceCodecides to expand, $20 a year for 20GB of storage is both cheap and sufficientstorage. The security protection offered by Google is excellent and will provide asecure way to keep documents safe and will also give full control on who can accessand view files.Recommendation As I evaluated and experimented with both Google Docs and Zoho Docs, Ihave determined that Google Docs is the best option for ServiceCo. I was providedwith certain criteria that needed to be met and I feel that Google Docs will meet andexceed these requirements.ReferencesFranks, J. (2010, August 29th). Online word processor comparison: Google Docs Vs.Zoho Documents, Sky Drive, Box Net. Retrieved January 26th, 2013, from
  5. 5., R. (2007, March 1st). Collaborative writing tools and technology: A mini guide.Retrieved January26th,