There’s no doubt that the business collaboration market is growing and evolving significantly. “State of Collaboration Report,” 2013, Collaborative Strategies Inc., states that 82% of users feel that “cutting cycle time” and “improving teamwork” are the greatest benefits of using collaboration tools.
As a result, there are now many different vendors offering a great range of competing tools with often overlapping value propositions. Businesses that want to use digital collaboration solutions to boost productivity and streamline internal operations sometimes get lost with the vast range of options currently available. However, these solutions, if carefully selected and planned, can often integrate with each other to maximise the benefits to your organisation.
To shed some light on this topic, we’ve created a list of what we think are the recommended, and most popular, collaboration solutions for businesses to adopt. Check it out:
Lead client collaboration
By deploying new tools that merges Client Relationship Management – CRM software with customer, partner and employee engagement, organisations can streamline and automate their business processes, eliminating the need for dual data entry, and save time and money with fewer data redundancies or errors. Microsoft, SAP and Salesforce can deliver on this. Important to remember that these tools are highly recommended not only for Marketing and Sales departments, but for the entire business as they provide better clients’ insight and enables a customer-focused approach.
Tools like SharePoint, OneDrive, Box, Dropbox and Egnyte can take your cloud storage and document sharing to a next level. They offer enterprise-grade file sharing, document management and collaboration features that enable organisations to operate more effectively.
Collaborative project management
SharePoint, Clarizen, Wrike and Smartsheet are examples of web-based project planning and collaboration tools that allow businesses to prioritise tasks and assignments, follow timelines, monitor updates and provide timely feedback.
Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, amongst others, offer a combination of voice, video conferencing, text and instant messaging under a single platform. Receive calls on your mobile from your landline when away from your desk. Humanise your meetings with interstate offices and properly interact with mobile workers. The benefits are endless.
Team sites, intranets and messaging
Microsoft Teams, Slack, Atlassian and Facebook are examples of cloud-based collaboration tools that allow communities, groups and teams to communicate publicly or privately. These tools are bringing employees closer and creating new and innovative ways for knowledge contribution and distribution.
How the ideal collaboration suite would look like:
Benefits of building a collaboration suite for your business
By combining some or all of the features mentioned above into a single cohesive package, with one vendor, business collaboration suites deliver significant time, money and productivity savings compared to using individual tools. Integrated solutions, such as Microsoft Office 365, enable employees to operate more effectively within a secure cloud-based collaborative environment.
What will your collaboration suite deliver?
Research shows that the average remote employee saves one hour per day when using a collaborative suite of tools. Inter-department teamwork is also simplified when each section of the business uses the same software. On the other hand, alternating between different programs and learning how to use multiple tools negatively impacts productivity and limits the ability to collaborate.
Price is another major factor, with solutions delivered by a single vendor generally involving lower license and maintenance costs than multi-vendor solutions, thus freeing up resources for other business programs. It’s also easier and faster to update and maintain the system, and training costs are reduced when employees don’t require education on dissimilar platforms.
Also, communication is vastly more effective under a cohesive collaboration platform, as opposed to a situation where employees use a range of unconnected chat clients. Comms applications like Skype for Business and Yammer are integrated into the Office 365 suite, making it easy for workers to collaborate within a consistent environment.
A single vendor also ensures you always know who to contact for support. 24-hour cover for critical events is provided as standard with Office 365 business plans, and problems are easier to troubleshoot without having to worry about competing service providers pointing the finger of blame at each other. Likewise, security and privacy is more robust under a single system where it’s easier to identify anomalies, attacks and unauthorised activity, instead of attempting to maintain distinct security models across disparate platforms.
If you’d like to know more about digital collaboration suites, and how they can enhance your productivity compared to using multiple unconnected tools, simply contact Bremmar today on 1300 991 351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.