What Really Counts
4 Functions That Embody Efficient Collaboration

What Really Counts in Collaboration

  • Thino Ullmann
  • User Productivity, Unified Communications
  • Collaboration, Communication

In today’s working world, assuming that a colleague is always seated “right next door” might well be a misconception. In order to remain effective, companies need to take a close look at modern working methods and technologies that help their staff complete their assignments simply and efficiently across a number of locations. This makes a good collaboration solution the obvious choice when implementing a modern workplace.

When viewed from a purely rational perspective, email remains the biggest common denominator for communication within companies. In the worst-case scenario, however, entire groups will be discussing issues via a sprawling CC mailing list. The applications are essentially as rudimentary as the communication itself, with colleagues forwarding Word documents from one pair of hands to the next, until the innumerable comments make the text virtually illegible. Some companies are a little more sophisticated and have established an in-house intranet in addition to the extremely popular telephone conferencing system. But even these tools don’t adequately ensure dynamic collaboration across different locations. Although employees will find a collection of information about the company and may even be able to book meeting rooms via the intranet, the opportunities for interaction are nevertheless non-existent: You are neither able to share important documents, nor can you discuss current processes in groups. And telephone conferences still suffer from the inability to transmit facial expressions and gestures, which can be a little daunting at times, especially for more reserved employees, who quickly feel pushed to the fringes.

One-stop collaboration solutions: Microsoft’s Modern Workplace

“Social collaboration” is ultimately the answer to the requirements of the globalized economy and working world. A vast array of collaboration tools are now available, offering every conceivable feature from chats to file sharing. So when searching the market for the ideal solution, it is understandable that some may ask whether it is better to use the best stand-alone option for each requirement, or instead to pick an integral platform that considers all aspects of effective collaboration “under one roof”.

Independence and flexibility are the trump card of the first option, the so-called insular solutions. But the drawbacks quickly become apparent when faced with the challenge of integrating a variety of tools and ensuring practicable maintenance or support, which ultimately leads to questions of efficiency. Compared to introducing a host of insular solutions and ensuring their best-possible integration, a single collaboration solution provides clear advantages: Uniformity, consistency and the highest standards for usability and security. Ultimately, costs can be optimized – from licensing and deployment, to support and maintenance – by reducing the number of software vendors to an all-in-one solution.

Integral collaboration solutions promise greater user acceptance

There are still immense discrepancies in regard to digital affinity, producing two different types of employees regarding their approach to collaboration: The first group can barely wait to get its hands on a collaboration solution that finally prepares the ground for modern working practices. But these and similar attitudes to work are anathema to the second group. While the first group would thankfully accept any improvement, the other one responds very hesitantly to any new options for collaboration. And the second group can quickly become frustrated when faced with a befuddling selection of user interfaces, logins and experiences.

Four functions that embody efficient collaboration

The perfect modern workplace needs to harmonize the requirements of different user groups and break down the barriers preventing dynamic collaboration. The first stage is easily completed with the Office 365 technologies, as automatic integration of the individual applications ensures nothing gets in the way of an ideal collaboration environment. Here are the four most important benefits:

1. Social intranet - with Yammer Enterprise:

Hierarchical communication by email or a rigid intranet are hardly likely to foster the enterprise-wide sharing of information and knowledge. But an interactive social intranet like Microsoft Yammer can significantly speed up the rate at which information is shared. It is quite similar to social media applications that employees use in their personal lives as a matter of course. Microsoft Yammer allows you to connect your employees, foster dialog and in doing so boost your company’s innovative drive.

2. Collaboration and content management – with SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 Groups

A customer needs something and nobody knows how to get it done – or do they? Recording and preserving the knowledge available within an enterprise are crucial factors in securing its success. SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 Groups are the ideal applications to promote information distribution, interaction, dynamic knowledge sharing, collaboration and connectivity.

3. Videoconferencing and chat applications – Skype for Business and Office 365 Teams

Certain reservations may plague discussions if colleagues do not know each other or come from different cultures. Reserved employees quickly seem unmotivated on the telephone, and language barriers can occasionally thwart communication entirely. Videoconferences bring colleagues closer together. Facial expressions and gestures are easy ways to overcome language barriers, while the Skype voice translator can eradicate them entirely. In contrast, exchanging quick messages on Skype for Business is certainly enough for short inquiries. The “presence status” indicates whether a colleague is available. So worrying whether fellow staff members in different time zones are available or not becomes a thing of the past.

4. Device- and platform-Independence – for x86, iOS, Android or OSx

Depending on the situation, employees have their own preferences when it comes to favorite working devices, whether it be an Android tablet, a Microsoft desktop or an iPhone. Despite this diversity, it is nevertheless imperative that your entire staff can access the information they need securely and conveniently, regardless of the device and platform.

 

So it is important that you always keep your eyes focused firmly on your objective: To create ideal conditions for you and your employees to work productively in a modern environment.

Looking for a Collaboration Solution?

Our Unified Communications team is looking forward finding the best solution for your needs. Reach out to their advise today.

Contact our UC team
  • Tuesday 08 May 2018

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Author

Thino Ullmann, Senior Technical Presales Executive

Thino Ullmann Go-To-Market Manager Central Europe

Microsoft products with a focus on Modern Workplace and Cloud Computing

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