As the owner or CFO of a small- to medium-sized business, it must be frustrating when you see how difficult it is for members of your staff to form temporary groups for collaboration on projects. At times, it seems like the process is too slow and laboured to be practical. But what other alternatives do you have?
The key to effective collaboration is open and easy communication. You can get started with collaborative comms today once you get an overview of what they mean for your business processes.
Information technology professionals use the term ‘collaborative comms’ to refer to software developed to assist a group of individuals to work together toward a common goal.
It relies on high-speed connections between computers, tablets, and smart phones and often includes a cloud-computing component. Collaborative comms are an extension of an earlier concept known as unified communications, which UC Strategies defines as “Communications integrated to optimise business processes.”
A collaborative comms solution will support your team by letting them share files and engage with one another in real time via voice calls, video conferencing, text messaging, and many other communication pathways.
Once deployed, you will witness a digital transformation in your company. With employees finding it much easier to stay on the same page and work together, they will waste less time getting together. The result is they can devote resources more quickly toward common projects, and that’s good for your company’s bottom line.
Deploying a Solution for Communication & Collaboration in Your Business
Your employees will appreciate it when they find out you’re going to adapt collaborative comms in their work environment. Depending on the demographics of your workforce, it’s possible that many younger employees are already accustomed to collaborative comms systems.
For example, according to a recent article at Real Business, “Millennials expect their employers to provide collaborative communications tools to enable them to be productive wherever they are, and our data suggests that collaborative working is something they excel at.”
Collaborative comms include virtual meetings held via videoconferencing systems. What makes them particularly useful is the inclusion of instant chat and the ability to share documents with one another. Your team can also use collaborative comms to share their screens so they can work together even when they are not in the same physical location.
For those who could not attend the meeting live, they can view recordings at their convenience as well as access notes exchanged during the conference.
If your company’s expansion plan calls for an increased number of employees working remotely and even in different countries, collaborative comms will be necessary lest you fall behind other businesses that know how to connect their workers more intelligently.
A salesperson racking up big deals on the road can continue to participate in a strategy meeting with people from headquarters and other remote locations via collaborative comms instead of having to come back early just to be in the same room as the other participants. This translates to more sales and less time wasted in conventional meetings.
Reduce Low-Level Work for Your IT Staff
You can give your IT department a break if you deploy your collaborative comms solution via cloud computing.
“Growing popularity and adoption of cloud computing is also assisting the unified communications and collaboration market growth with organisations preferring cloud-based solutions to affordably migrate their communication processes over cloud platforms,” noted a report from Global Market Insights.
Since the IT staff will no longer have to project how much server space they’ll need to accommodate growth (the cloud computing services provider will take care of this for them), they can devote themselves to more pressing concerns.
You’ll be at a competitive advantage over businesses that host their own software because they stand to lose more in terms of downtime and budgetary miscalculations about their growing hardware requirements.
A managed service provider (MSP) can also be a good alternative, especially if you think your internal IT department could be slow to transition. MSPs have industry-leading experience and will take the time to figure out your business’ unique needs. They’re usually cheaper than an internal IT department too.
Benefits of a Collaborative Comms Setup
A range of benefits will come your way once you establish your own collaborative comms system, including:
- Improved employee satisfaction - Give them better tools and morale will improve.
- Video conferencing - A picture paints a thousand words, so you can communicate more effectively when you can use gestures and facial expressions instead of just your voice.
- Find my phone - Automatically send a call to your office landline and then switch over to your smart phone if you can’t pick up within a few rings.
- Better customer service- When you can provide customers faster access to the right person in your company, you can expect them to appreciate the service and remain loyal to your brand.
Bringing Your Company into the Modern Era of Communication & Collaboration
If your organisation fails to establish a better system to allow staff to communicate freely, you cannot expect to do well in situations that call for collaboration. What’s more, if you’re not pursing a modern solution for communication, you can assume that your competitors are pulling ahead.
Instead of giving your rivals an edge, it would be prudent to build a use case now for installing collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365 and getting your team on-board to use it on a consistent basis.
To learn more about harnessing collaboration tools or to speak with experts about how collaborative comms can lead to a digital transformation of your business, get in touch with Lanrex today.