The 10 Hottest Online Collaboration Tools Of 2022 (So Far)

From the largest online collaboration leaders to the UCaaS and team collaboration specialists that have been injecting their platforms with new features and winning over business users, here are 10 of the hottest collaboration tools of 2022 so far.

Powering Hybrid Work

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The tech industry has changed substantially over the past two years, but one trend has staying power: hybrid work. Employees have grown accustomed to working from anywhere. First it was their homes but now the definition of “the office” has expanded to once again include the campus or small branches as well as the road, a new country or even a new state. With so many employees on the move and mixing and matching their working locations, companies need collaboration tools more than ever to keep business moving.

Then there’s the global supply chain crisis. Many companies and employees alike are having a hard time getting their hands on collaboration and videoconferencing hardware, so online collaboration tools are winning the day. Users only need a laptop with a built-in camera to communicate, work and share alongside their teams. Leading collaboration players such as Microsoft with Teams, Zoom, and Cisco with Webex emerged as the frontrunners in this space two years ago, but Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and videoconferencing specialists quickly came to play with their own offerings packed with capabilities to help keep teams connected at a time when hybrid work is king.

From the largest online collaboration and videoconferencing leaders to the UCaaS and team collaboration specialists that have been building out their platforms with new features, here are 10 of the hottest collaboration tools of 2022 so far.

* 8x8 XCaaS

* Asana

* Avaya Cloud Office

* Cisco Webex

* Intermedia Unite

* Microsoft Teams

* Poly RealConnect

* Qumu Video Engagement

* StarLeaf Standby

* Zoom Phone

8x8 XCaaS

UCaaS provider 8x8 has always taken a one platform approach to UCaaS, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) and Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), video and messaging. That’s why the company launched its flagship 8x8 eXperience Communications as a Service (XCaaS) in 2021.

8x8’s cloud-based XCaaS offering erases boundaries between different communications tools and contact center products. XCaaS is built on a secure and compliant cloud platform that lets the company offer a UCaaS and CCaaS platformwide 99.999 percent uptime SLA, according to the Campbell, Calif.-based provider. The offering can integrate with more than 50 third-party apps, including Microsoft Teams.

The company in January of this year completed its acquisition of fellow cloud communications specialist Fuze for approximately $250 million in stock and cash in a deal that 8x8 said would help it build on its XCaaS platform.



Asana comes to the market with a platform by the same name. The company has been focused on the needs of remote workers and teams since its inception in 2008.

Launched in 2021, Asana is a web and mobile work management platform designed to help teams organize, track and manage their work. The goal of the platform is to pull in all collaboration tools and data together in Asana to give employees one space to work and coordinate across teams. Users can choose between List, Timeline and Boards views in which to visualize their projects, tasks and checklists. The Asana platform can integrate with many applications, including Microsoft Teams, Okta, Salesforce and Zoom.

The San Francisco-based company in June unveiled a slew of new features and partnerships aimed at giving managers the tools to better support their teams and sync individual efforts to company objectives. The new integration includes Google Workspace and Figma, the company said.


Avaya Cloud Office

Avaya Cloud Office (ACO) is the Durham, N.C.-based company’s high-performing UCaaS offering that it created in partnership with cloud UC leader RingCentral. The offering was launched in 2020 and is driving revenue for the company and gaining traction with large enterprise clients.

ACO powered by RingCentral offers an all-in-one calling, messaging, videoconferencing, file sharing and collaboration across any device or user location. The offering is built on RingCentral’s open platform that offers more than 200 prebuilt integrations with cloud applications, so users can still use their legacy UC and collaboration tools—including Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and Google G-Suite. It can also be packaged with Avaya’s desk phone line. ACO is part of the Avaya OneCloud platform, a platform that includes UCaaS and CCaaS.

Avaya Cloud Office is currently available in the U.D., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.


Cisco Webex

Cisco was one of the three collaboration and videoconferencing leaders that stood out from the start of the pandemic more than two years ago with its highly sought-after Webex platform. But the San Jose, Calif.-based company hasn’t rested on its laurels during that time.

Cisco is continually developing innovative features for the Webex platform, to the tune of rolling out more than 1,000 new features and capabilities over the past year and a half alone. The updates and new features range from enhancing its user interface to offering AI-powered noise cancellation and real-time translation in more than 100 languages. The company since 2020 has closed six acquisitions to boost its collaboration platform, strengthen its cloud contact center chops and smarten up its camera technology.

Cisco in May introduced two new Webex devices, including a camera and room bar. The company in June at Cisco Live said that to help administrators it was adding more visibility and assistance with problem-solving in the form of Control Hub as a Coach and integration with its recently acquired ThousandEyes technology.


Intermedia Unite

Intermedia, a company that does more than 80 percent of its business through the channel, has been coming to the rescues of small and midsize businesses, as well as enterprises, with its flagship Unite platform.

Intermedia Unite is a cloud-based communications and collaboration offering that provides voice, videoconferencing, chat, recording, transcription and file collaboration on one platform that can be managed by channel partners on one bill. The offering can also be white-labeled by partners who may want to lead with their brand.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company in 2021 unveiled the release of two new versions of Unite designed to work with Microsoft Teams. A longtime Microsoft partner, Intermedia carries a Gold Certified Competency in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, according to the company.


Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams continues to dominate in the collaboration space with its popular platform that offers document storage, chat and online meetings. It integrates with Office 365 applications that get used every day by many businesses, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote SharePoint, and Outlook, so adoption is a no-brainer for many businesses.

Microsoft has prioritized hybrid working by building in more features for both remote and in-office meeting attendees. At Build 2022 in May, Microsoft unveiled a preview for new Teams software development kit (SDK) extensions for developers to build “live share” capabilities into applications.

Live share allows meeting participants to annotate, edit, zoom in, zoom out and interact with content shared in a Teams meeting window, according to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft. Early Microsoft live share partners include Hexagon, Adobe subsidiary, Skillsoft and MakeCode.


Poly RealConnect

Videoconferencing software and UC equipment provider Poly, born from Plantronics and Polycom, has spent the past couple of years working through its loyal channel partner base to help customers tackle hybrid work with its suite of collaboration hardware and software offerings.

Poly believes that if the hybrid working trend has taught the industry anything, it’s that a multiplatform approach to communications and collaboration is the only way to go. To that end, Poly RealConnect is a cloud-based interoperability service that lets users connect from traditional videoconferencing systems to Microsoft Teams and Zoom video meetings while gaining high-quality audio and video, as well as PC screen share capabilities. Users can choose between cloud or on-premises hosting, and the offering lets users join meetings seamlessly while keeping the workflow they’re used to, the San Jose, Calif.-based company said.

In March, HP revealed it would acquire Poly for $3.3 billion to boost its own hybrid working chops.


Qumu Video Engagement

Qumu takes a slightly different approach to the crowded collaboration space with its video engagement platform. The Qumu platform can be used to create, manage, distribute and measure the success of webcasts, virtual events, and employee collaboration and training through analytics. The 20-year-old Minneapolis-based company specializes in asynchronous, secure video, whether it’s large-scale, companywide town halls, or executives sending out short video messages to their teams via the company’s existing collaboration team. Qumu counts many large brands, including Bayer, Kroger and Mastercard, as its customers.

The company in April also named a new CEO: Rose Bentley, Qumu’s former chief operating officer who joined the company in 2021. Bentley is no stranger to the collaboration space or the channel, having worked on Cisco’s Webex Experience Management team after the tech giant acquired CloudCherry, as the organization’s North American sales and operations leader. In her short tenure with Qumu so far, she’s been heads-down focused on building repeatable sales while transforming the company from on-premises to the cloud, she told CRN in May.


StarLeaf Standby

In this time of hybrid work, videoconferencing specialist StarLeaf wants to keep people connected, even when some of the leading collaboration providers are experiencing problems or outages.

StarLeaf Standby lets businesses stay connected and collaborate in the event of an outage, service interruption or security incident. The service provides automatic meeting failover to StarLeaf’s platform when primary business communications services, specifically Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and Zoom, are unavailable. Standby can add a layer of business continuity to communication services for MSPs at a time when many employees are still working remotely, are off the campus network and are still very much dependent on real-time communication solutions, the Watford, U.K.-based company told CRN.

Starleaf told CRN in March that it was making its enterprise communications failover service available through the channel for the first time.


Zoom Phone

Zoom Video Communications has become the gold standard leader in the videoconferencing space in the last two years for a number of businesses, but the industry behemoth also has a cloud-based voice offering that it introduced in 2019—Zoom Phone—that’s been growing in popularity with the master agent and sub-agent partner communities.

Zoom Phone is now available in more than 45 countries and territories globally. The offering is available to customers and through partners for a combined voice and video offering and is also available via a simplified voice service plan for businesses with global locations.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company in March unveiled a new partner program to unify all its partners—resellers, distributors, master agents and sub-agents. The new Zoom Up Partner Program lets partners transact with the video giant and grow in the way that makes the most sense for their business through products such as Zoom Meetings, Phon and Contact Center, Zoom told CRN at the time. The company in March also said that reseller partners for the first time will be able to sell Zoom Phone, which previously had only been available via the master and sub-agent channels.