Others have done it before and have succeeded with the following main arguments
Internal solutions from large companies usually have 2 main flaws: 1) It’s usually not possible to invite and create user accounts for customers and partners outside the company. 2) You usually have file size limitations if you are using regular email for your projects.
This is a very common use case. We have seen multiple companies achieve this with different methods. Here is one of them (which is actually GroupCamp’s way of working).
We use different online projects for New Feature Requests and Product Roadmap.
In the New Feature Requests section, we use task lists to describe new domains or an actual application. For example ‘GroupCamp Mobile is a task list and ‘New Features for Discussions’ is another. We then have reviews based on the task list and once we decide on a new feature and the way to design it, it will move into the Product Roadmap project which is the actual committed track for our products. We use the import feature to move tasks from one project to another.
All GroupCamp applications are strongly integrated with email. And even with the best online project management tool, email remains the most used communication tool for all business users. But email as a service has its own drawbacks. and needs to be strongly integrated with your online project management to bring enhanced productivity.
Start by creating companies in the Admin section and invite users from those companies. When you create a multi-company project, add the companies which should participate. In a multi-company project you can decide if a file or a task list is private or not. If you have multiple companies you can decide which one of them can see a private file. For example if you have multiple versions of a file you can mark them as private in the initial drafts. Once you reach a version that can be shared with outside companies, if the file is no longer marked as private, it will be shared by selected companies.
To share files with your clients and prtners, simply add users from outside companies to your project to access the secure extranet (SSL 256 bits - https access) with a controlled access.
Dedicating a project per customer is a variety of situations including consulting companies, lawyers and Design agencies.
The dedicated project is shared by the project manager of the company who owns the groupCamp account and also their entry points within the customer organisation.
The timelog application is used by to enter time records on all. This has the benefit of transparency. The customer can have a clear view of the status of their projects, the deliverables and the amount of billable hours for their project.
Time tracking is often considered by project participants as an annoying overhead within projects. The result is that the data collected by the process is often incomplete or inaccurate. Two main reasons for this are: 1) the process is often led by a single person for whom it is felt as a hassle 2) the reporting tool is often hard to access and the data entry format is a complex one.