One the questions we often get asked is “What is the best cloud app for Project Management?”. For small and medium sized businesses (SMB), there are a lot of choices so it’s important to understand what you’re trying to accomplish.  For most SMBs that are looking to cloud computing, they understand the inherent savings that come with it (i.e. no large up front costs like hardware, license fees and maintenance).  Now, it’s about improving the bottom line which means rapid time to benefit, better collaboration and integration with existing systems are all of concern.  However, it’s integration in the longterm that we believe provides the most benefits.  With cloud apps, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to integrate them easier than traditional on-premise apps that sit behind network firewalls.

Google Apps for Business is a leading suite of messaging and collaboration apps and by far the leader in the cloud in my humble opinion.  Consequently, we recommend that companies moving to the cloud choose apps that play nicely with Google Apps.  For project management apps, our favorites are Mavenlink and Smartsheet.  Like most cloud project management apps, they have external collaboration abilities, file sharing capabilities and mobile apps for those on the go.  However, what makes them different is noted below:

Mavenlink has great reviews on the Google Apps Marketplace as it integrates with Contacts, Calendar, Tasks & Docs.  Most other PMs that integrate with Google Apps have a more limited integration.  What sets Mavenlink apart however is the ability to track time & expenses, generate invoices and do budgets and transactions (i.e. features traditionally found in a separate invoice app).  Consequently, it also has Quickbooks integration.  So for an SMB, a Mavenlink/Google Apps/Quickbooks combination is a nice package.  For those SMBs looking for CRM integration as well, it’s on their roadmap.  For those looking for a nice featured but simple project management app, we recommend that you take a closer look at Mavenlink.


Smartsheet Project Management

Smartsheet also has great reviews on the Google Apps Marketplace and full integration with it.  It also can be connected with Salesforce, the industry’s leading CRM software..  If you’re looking for a spreadsheet on steroids with Gantt charting similar to MS Project, Smartsheet is for you.  The spreadsheet style layout will be familiar to users immediately and reduce adoption times if your staff is used to that.  It also has detailed reporting functionality and the Gantt charting is slick. In addition to importing an excel or google spreadsheet, it can also import an MS Project.  It can also export to any of these formats as well.