8 ways collaboration tools help teams work better together

Aragon Research describes people-centric collaboration as ‘enabling seamless communications and collaboration’. Users want to work within a single interface across different devices for calling, messaging and meeting. But what should a truly user first experience offer?

 

Here’s 8 ways an enterprise-grade collaboration tool can give users a digital work hub which is truly enabling:

Calling

When users can stay calling and working in a single application, it saves them time and drives higher engagement. Integration with telephony gives users a whole range of business calling features available from within a single application, which makes life simpler. Softphone features enable calling from any device. You can create hunt groups and set up your virtual call centre team while working remotely or take advantage of call routing and IVR to channel calls to the right place. IP Telephony integrated within your UCC makes it easier for internal and external teams to stay connected and enables delivery of great customer service.

 

Messaging

Messaging is one of the fastest and most non-invasive ways to collaborate, surpassing phone calls and email. It’s quick, it’s simple and it allows instant feedback. Research shows that messaging has a much higher probability of being seen and acted upon and we know this, because this is how it works on mobile devices. Instant messaging is at the heart of a digital work hub.

 

Meetings

The age of the video-meeting has arrived with many organisations turning to online meetings to enable teams working remotely to continue to work together. Within a flexible enterprise collaboration platform you can expect HD audio, video and screen sharing with consistent performance for any size or type of meeting, from a quick ad hoc meeting for two participants to a large-scale conference. The ability to choose different levels of functionality for different users means you can give users just as much or as little functionality as they need. After all, the needs of your knowledge worker differ from your mobile worker or your desk sales team. So why treat all the same?

 

Spaces

When teams can message and meet within team spaces, it not only allows users to organise group chats around a single topic or larger project, it gives users context and allows them to search for information easily. The ability to create team spaces helps users to organise content, to message, meet and to share files within a single space, then refer back to previous history – data which is stored securely for future reference, so they can always stay up to date with what’s going on.

 

Any device, anywhere

Users want to stay productive and have the same user experience regardless of where they’re working and on what device. For example, in the course of a day a user can be moving from one location to another and switching devices. User-centric UCC platforms can enable users to pass calls seamlessly from mobile to desktop phone as the user walks in the office, to take calls on their laptop while working from home, or to meet on any device in or out of the office. This enables your mobile workers to continue communicating and collaborating wherever they are.

 

Digital Assistants

Imagine having a digital assistant which can help schedule or begin a call, start recording, schedule and launch meetings, provide automatic transcription and capture items to action. This is the way that chatbots are using natural language processing capabilities to assist the user with specific, routine tasks. The use of AI is increasing and AI enabled platforms give users the ability to leverage digital assistants opening up the potential for even more productivity gains.

 

Integrations

Integration of commonly used tools helps teams work smarter. For example, integration with Office 365 or Google Calendar means users can arrange a meeting within their collaboration tool and always see all their scheduled meetings from within their UCC app. File sharing can integrate with DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive. Integration with CRM solutions such as Salesforce mean users can easily access their everyday applications from a single place. It’s all about streamlining the user experience.

 

Security and Privacy

Keeping user communications safe and their data secure requires enterprise grade security. Enterprise tools use message encryption to ensure third parties cannot intercept messages or meetings and this is a key consideration for those working in highly regulated industries or with sensitive data, as many consumer tools fall short of the mark in this area and some consumer tools have been designed to listen for keywords that can be tracked and given to advertisers.

 

 

Making the right choice

It can be difficult to make the right choice with so many different options on the market, which include a proliferation of consumer tools with tempting starter packages which are quick for individuals to start using without knowledge or consent from IT. This is where a managed service provider can make a huge difference to making the right choice and save a lot of time and effort.

 

While ease of deployment and security will be high priority for an IT Manager who is rolling out a company-wide solution, ease of use is still the key to quick user adoption and a successful implementation. So it’s important to do a thorough evaluation and ensure that individual users do not go down the path of choosing their own tools as this is not only a security risk but makes it hard to keep track of user adoption and often results in a proliferation of different tools which can sow confusion and end up hindering communication.

 

A user-centric enterprise solution, with built-in security, deployed quickly and smoothly can break down geographic divides, reduce friction and ensure swift adoption so that your users get a great tool to improve communication and collaboration while your organisation get’s a quick return on investment from increased productivity, smarter working and continuity of customer service and communication.


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