What is Bitrix24 – And How to Unify your Whole Business

David Chopin

in Tallyfy Software Reviews

Your Business, All in One Place

Few things are as devastating to a business’s productivity as disorganization and poor communication. To remedy this issue, collaboration tools have developed over time with varying degrees of success. These programs provide businesses with a central platform for all members of a team to get work done. Of all the collaboration tools available, few are as comprehensive as Bitrix24.

Bitrix24 is a collaboration platform that provides a complete suite of social collaboration, communication, and management tools for your business team. Inc. has written that “it pretty much does everything, but run your company for you.” This is a bold claim, but when we take a look at Bitrix24, we find that it holds pretty true. Of all of the project management or collaboration software I’ve dealt with, this is by far one of the most comprehensive. While this means your team can get more done with this software, it also means there is quite a learning curve to mastering it. So let’s dive in and begin to understand what Bitrix24 is and how it can consolidate your whole business in one place.

What is Bitrix24?

Founded by CEO Sergey Rizhikov and four fellow Russian businessmen in 1998, Bitrix24 was originally just “Bitrix.” Over time, the company’s focus has shifted until Bitrix released Bitrix24 Cloud in 2012. This is the iteration of Bitrix that we know today. As a collaboration tool, Bitrix24 offers

  • Collaboration.
  • CRM.
  • Project management.
  • Document management.
  • Time management.
  • HR management.

These focuses include features such as chats, employee polls, video conferencing, lead management, invoices, sales reports, task management, Gantt & Kanban, file storage, employee request workflows, and much more.

This is what sets Bitrix24 apart from other collaboration tools. While other tools focus on one or two of these features, Bitrix24 aims to be the ultimate resource for businesses. The company believes that if you’re using Bitrix24, you won’t need any additional software to manage your team.

This is great and all, but there is a downside to being such a thorough tool. You can master other tools with less features in a matter of a couple of weeks. Bitrix24 has a much higher learning curve. If you do learn how to use it though, you can leverage it to get the most productivity possible out of your team.

What can Bitrix24 do?

Bitrix24 itself focuses on 5 key ares:

  • Communications.
  • Tasks/projects.
  • CRM.
  • Live chat support.
  • Website builder.

We’ll dive into each of these areas and explain why they can be of such value to your business. By the end of this read, you won’t quite be a Bitrix24 master. However, you should have a good enough understanding to confidently begin your journey with this valuable tool.

Communications

One of the best things that Bitrix24 does for your team is facilitate communication. Bitrix24 handles internal communication through a number of features. The most important communication component, however, is the activity stream.

Activity Stream

The activity stream gives Bitrix24 users a high-level overview of any changes that have taken place within their organization. Any time a user posts a poll, a new employee joins the team, you schedule an event on the calendar, a summary of the change will appear in the activity stream. Take a look at how the activity stream helps you know what’s going on in your organization.

Chat

Another important feature collaboration tools should have is chat. After all, collaboration depends entirely on being able to talk with teammates. Bitrix24 is no different and that is why they implement chat into their platform. While Bitrix24 users can send messages to other individuals or groups, chats are the less formal, one-on-one, counterparts. There is also a public chat hosted for all employees to contribute. The same view that handles chat also facilitates phone calls and video conferencing, so you can do your more formal meetings via Bitrix24 as well.

Document Management

Document management is another handy way Bitrix24 facilitates communication within your team. Bitrix24 comes with three different document drives:
  • My Drive.
  • Group Drive.
  • Company Drive.

You can probably tell what each of these does by simply looking at their name, but I’m going to give a brief explanation of each just to be safe.

My Drive is Bitrix24’s personal file storage. Documents stored in My Drive will never be seen by a user’s colleagues. Documents shared in other places can be connected to My Drive so you can always easily find it.

Group Drive is a drive shared by all members of a workgroup. Only members in that workgroup have access to files in a Group Drive.

Company Drive is where a company will store files they want to be accessible by all employees. This is where you store non-sensitive documents such as brand assets or executive summaries.

Let’s take a look at how Bitrix24 helps keep your company’s documents organized.

 

Tasks and Projects

Bitrix24 explains their tasks and projects as, “Helping you understand who’s doing what, improving transparency, and distributing workload more effectively.” That’s a great vision, but there are plenty of other project management tools out there that aim to do the same thing. Let’s take a look at what Bitrix24 does to set itself apart as a task and project management tool.
Bitrix24 does a lot of the same things other project management tools do. The differentiating factor is just how many of these features are integrated into Bitrix24 project management. While some project management tools integrate or focus on only a few of these features, Bitrix24 is one of the most complete project management tools I’ve come across. Let’s look at all of the different task/project management features they integrate.

Gantt Charts

Gantt charts are a staple of many project management tools. They are a graphical representation of a project schedule and the tasks associated with it. Having this graphical representation makes it easy to visualize where a team is in the production process, and whether they are lagging behind.
Gantt chart example

A simple visualization of Gantt Charts.

Despite being so useful, many of the big-name project management tools out there don’t even offer Gantt charts. Gantt is just one of the many ways this company has created a great project management tool. Bitrix24 Gantt utilizes dependencies (relationships between tasks that dictate the order in which they must be completed) to create a project schedule that effectively coordinates tasks.
Gantt charts in Bitrix24

Gantt charts in Bitrix24

Kanban.

Kanban is another feature found commonly in project management tools. This Japanese technique is another way to visualize progress in a production process, though more simplified. This method utilizes a drag and drop approach of moving tasks through different statuses on their way to completion. For example, when a task is created, there are a number of statuses that the task can be in before it is completed. The task can be assigned but not undertaken, undertaken but not completed, completed but not reviewed, or both completed and reviewed.

Kanban example

Still, despite how useful and easy to integrate Kanban is, many tools out there don’t have Kanban task managing features. Bitrix24 does, of course, have Kanban and it’s a nice Kanban tool at that. This implementation of kanban is able to do things that traditional Kanban cannot. Bitrix24 utilizes task automation to set triggered events upon certain changes in our project. Let’s take a look at how Kanban and task automation works in this tool.

Reporting

All good task/project management tools need a way to review information gathered over time. This is usually done via exporting data from tasks that have been completed or worked on in the past. Bitrix24 is no different and they have task reporting that allows users to export data in either CSV or Excel format. You can always, of course, view reports from within the application itself.

Task reporting in Bitrix24

A report on some of the tasks in my article writing project.

The reporting section comes with 6 pre-made reports that will show you different task info. Users can always create custom reports that cater to the data that they specifically want to track.

CRM

Customer relations management is an increasingly important aspect of every business. Bitrix24 understands this, and this is why they’ve invested so much into creating a quality CRM solution.

Bitrix24’s focus on CRM has paid of as PC Magazine named them a “Best CRM Tool” just a couple of years ago. In fact, Bitrix24 receives widespread acclaim as a quality CRM tool, with the only consistent downside being their complex user interface.

Bitrix24 describes their CRM tool as a “lead-to-deal, full scale cycle CRM and marketing automation platform.” Its hard to give a high-level summary of this CRM solution as it aims to be a full scale platform that can handle any problem thrown at your business. Still, I will go ahead and highlight some of the most important features of Bitrix24 CRM.

Contacts

Every good CRM tool needs a way to organize clients and leads. Bitrix24 has a quality contact management system that allows you to create custom contacts with different fields. Contacts can be imported, exported, or searched and are the primary element in trying to secure deals.

Bitrix24 includes both views with detailed contact descriptions and reports that aggregate all contact data. Contacts no longer have to be seen simply as a phone book as these reports give color to how your contacts prefer to be interacted with. This can certainly add value to your sales team.

Individual contacts can also be linked with sales data to help sales teams visualize things like value of deals won, deal conversion rate, total amount of unpaid invoices, and more. These individual insights are just another way Bitrix24 makes contacts smarter.

Deals

Another area where CRM excels is in their “deals”. Deals are CRM objects that contain the interaction with a client or company pertaining to a transaction. The deals dashboard makes it easy to always know where sales opportunities lie for your company. The deals dashboard adopts the Kanban style seen in the tasks/projects tool but makes it more sales-oriented. Users can immediately see the value of all deals at each stage of the sales process, from prospective sales to the final invoice.

Deals can be linked up with contacts and be given specific notes so sales teams always know how to deal with each client. Data can also be gathered to generate reports that help users see and understand trends in their sales pipeline. Let’s take a look at how Bitrix24 does deals.

Telephony

Bitrix24 is a fantastic tool for telemarketing agencies or other companies that make a high number of calls. While Bitrix24 allows for free calling to any other employee within your organization, telephony lets users rent local phone numbers in more than 58 countries from just $4/month.

Telephony integrates well with the deals dashboard as you can quickly select multiple deals and create a call queue from the associated phone numbers. Large phone number lists can also be delegated to multiple individuals so that workload is evenly distributed. There is also a slew of call options, including the option to record each phone call. This ensures that calls can be audited or reviewed to improve performance over time.

This demonstration by Bitrix24’s CMO dives into some of the more in-depth features of Bitrix24 telephony.

Live Chat Support

When we say live chat support, we aren’t referring to Bitrix24 answering your questions about their software. We are referring to integrating live chat into your website so that site visitors can quickly talk to an employee. Live chat is an important part of converting website visitors into users of your product, so Bitrix24 has made sure to have their own solution.

The best part about Bitrix24’s live chat is that it is free. And we aren’t talking about freemium, we are talking about free, unlimited chat sessions for up to 12 employees. This includes on-site chat, email, Facebook, Skype, and other third-party chat applications.

Here is a quick demo of how live chat could look on your Bitrix24 site.

Website Builder

The final and newest feature that Bitrix24 offers to your business is their website builder. Launched in 2017, Bitrix24 Sites aims to create “beautiful sites and landing pages that help you sell more.”

There are plenty of website builders out there, so what sets Bitrix24 apart? Well, Bitrix24’s argument is that they not only provide a website builder, but also all of the other features that help your business all in one platform. The differentiator is that Bitrix24 offers more than just website building, all in one application.

Bitrix24 sites come with unlimited hosting bandwidth and lets you create as many pages as you want, all for free. Bitrix24 also offers a number of website templates catered for most industries. This means that you can create an appropriate website, even with little technical expertise.

Check out this great overview of how Bitrix24 can help you build a great site, for free!

Pricing

Bitrix24’s pricing is a little different than many software companies available. This is likely due to just how comprehensive of a tool it is. The thing that I love about Bitrix24 is that each of their plans offered are charged at a fixed price instead of on a per-user basis. This adds great flexibility to your team as you can bring on new employees without having to worry about your bill increasing.

Bitrix24 also adds flexibility in the fact that they offer both cloud and on-premise hosting. This means you can either pay a monthly or annual fee for cloud hosting, or a one time fee to use Bitrix24 on your own network.

Cloud hosting is divided into four different plans: free, CRM+, standard, and professional. Let’s take a look at how each one stacks up.

Free

The free plan is good for up to 12 users. This plan targets businesses that are “just starting out.” It comes with just 5GB of storage, and limited features in all areas. This makes sense, as any company’s “free” plan is always going to be its most limited. Still, this is plan is technically the best bang-for-your-buck considering you get all of its features for free.

Pros

  • No cost.
  • 12 users.

Cons

  • Only 5GB of storage.
  • Pretty limited features.

Price

  • Free.

 

CRM+

CRM+ is where these pricing plans start to get interesting. What’s funny is that the number of users available under this plan is actually less than in the free plan. The CRM+ plan allows for only 6 users. This is likely attributed to the fact that it includes some more exclusive features.

CRM+ gives users access to more features in all areas. As the name implies, this plan focuses on small companies that want to sell more. In this plan, users get access to sales automation and recurring deals and invoices. There is also an unlimited number of open channels available to those running live chat through your site. All of the advanced CRM features are available in this plan, so this could really be worth the price increase. File storage is also increased ten-fold to 50GB, which is great.

Pros

  • Access to advanced CRM features.
  • Larger file storage.

Cons

  • Only 6 users authorized.
  • Still missing some more advanced features.

Price

  • $69/month for all users (billed monthly).

 

Standard

Bitrix24’s standard plan is the most popular plan offered. The company explains that this plan will “suit most companies looking for workflow automation and increased efficiency.” This is because standard comes with a lot of features that CRM+ doesn’t offer.

Standard increases file storage to 100GB, but it also adds a lot of new features. This plan also allows for up to 50 users, which is a massive increase from CRM+’s 6 users. Standard also allows for 5 account administrators, which is a huge leap from the one administrator offered in cheaper plans.

Standard also sees added features such as:

  • Better business process automation.
  • Absence charts.
  • Bulk emails.
  • Custom task fields.
  • 10 sites (compared to 1 site in cheaper plans).
  • Custom telephony permissions.
  • & more.

Pros

  • Full task management and contact features.
  • Larger file storage.
  • 50 users, 5 admins, and up to 10 sites.

Cons

  • Still has limitations, including total users.

Price

  • $99/month for all users (billed monthly).

 

Professional

Professional is Bitrix24’s most complete plan. It includes all features offered and doesn’t have a maximum user limit. This plan is best for, “companies of any size that need cutting edge project management, internal communications and sales automation tools.”

Professional is really Bitrix24 unlimited. Not only are total users not limited, but users in this plan also receive unlimited file storage. This is huge for extremely large companies, like telemarketing agencies or social media firms. Many won’t need all of the features offered in this plan. But if you can afford it, professional really improves the user’s experience.

Pros

  • Access to all Bitrix24 features.
  • Unlimited users and file storage.

Cons

  • Bitrix24’s costliest plan.

Price

  • $199/month for all users (billed monthly).

Recap

So, what is Bitrix24? Bitrix24 is one of the most complete collaboration tools out there. It is a platform that aims to handle every aspect of your business. If you can master Bitrix24, it will do everything but “run the business for you.”

Bitrix24 is trusted by millions of organizations and even more users worldwide. Governments, educational institutions, and businesses alike all benefit from the collaboration features offered by the software, and you can too.

I hope this read was helpful and informative! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any collaboration software questions you may have!

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