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Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) now have another option for collaboration and communication. Today, Alexandria, Virginia-based Bitrix announced the launch of its cloud-based, social intranet Bitrix24 platform, integrating over 30 business tools.

The platform is available free for companies with no more than a dozen employees, along with up to five GBs of storage. Two versions with expanded functionality are offered for additional fees, without limits on the number of users. The paid plans feature full Extranet functionality, clock-in and clock-out features, increased storage, meetings, reports and a company’s own domain. Mobile versions are included in all three offerings.

‘Run an Entire Company’

Bitrix president Dmitry Valyanov said in a statement that the new product combines “dozens of distinct functions,” including individual and group calendars, CRM, reporting, an internal social network and project management. “Users can run an entire company from Bitrix24,” he added.

A social media-based interface unifies control of the tools. Functionality includes the ability to communicate and collaborate on projects in real time, to search and retrieve documents, and to generate reports.

Internal messaging and file sharing tools in Bitrix24 are designed to allow documents and communications to be viewed within the context of a specific task or task group, to reduce searching time. Documents can be moved up the intranet’s search rankings via a “like” button.

Administrators can set user access rights and create workgroups, which becomes a kind of sub-intranet for that specific group.

Project Management

The platform also provides an array of tools for project management. There’s task definition, delegation, time tracking and storage of files, messages and discussions at both individual and group levels.

Learning Opportunities

Fee-based versions also have the ability to create projects with external partners.A wide range of file formats can be uploaded for use by various groups, and integrated calendars, tasks and contacts can be modified with Microsoft Office.

Project and tasks are viewable in a Gantt chart that offers a status overview, and changes in the chart result in automatic notifications to those group members. An Activity Stream shows new events, assignments, briefings and other ongoing updates, and Task Reports display employee time used for specific tasks.

There are also sales and customer management tools, including sales and report management, business process automation, analytical tools and the ability to track customer, prospect, agent and other relationships.

A privately owned company, Bitrix was founded in 1998 and focuses on business and communications platforms to connect SMBs to customers, partners and employees.