Reading this article will give you an overview of tools and technologies that will help you and your teams collaborate effectively and productively.
Collaboration and teamwork can make or break a company. Long gone are the days when your employees could work independent of each other. In today’s market, if you want to stay competitive you need to use collaboration to the fullest. Thanks to various tools and technologies, this task is simple.
WHICH BASIC COLLABORATION SOFTWARE AND TOOLS ARE RIGHT FOR ME?
Every business needs to use some kind of collaboration platform. In fact, there is no business in today’s world that can survive without basic collaboration technologies such as a company Intranet, email server, a fax/print server, or a time management functionality (for instance, electronic calendars). These technologies are so fundamental that most likely you have been using them for ages. So, you might be surprised to learn that you are actually already using collaboration technologies but you just didn’t know it!
However, you may also be surprised to learn about additional tools that you may not be using today that will help improve your company’s collaboration efforts.
In addition to the basic collaboration software and tools you have used for years, new ones are emerging all the time. Below is a list some of the most popular collaboration technologies you can use in your day-to-day operations.
• Conferencing tools – Audio and video conferences have become a daily necessity for many companies. No matter whether you use audio and video conferencing to communicate with your distributed team, or with suppliers and clients from all over the world, these collaboration technologies can be very useful.
• Document and application sharing – When many people work with the same document at the same time, it is very inconvenient when you have to wait for your colleagues to finish his or her tasks with that document, so that you can proceed with your work. Document and application sharing make that inconvenience history since it’s now possible for many people to work simultaneously on the same document. Google Docs started this, but Microsoft Office Web Apps and others are offering the same or better functionality and integration in your computing environment.
• Workflow and project management – Workflow and project management technologies will help you manage your business more effectively by minimizing downtime and increasing the performance of your employees through organizing tasks better.
• Online collaboration – Even if you don’t have many (or any) tele-workers and remote workers, online collaboration tools are great because you can access them from everywhere and you can work at any time you please. Additionally, you can share these tools with your suppliers and clients and further improve your sales and customer service process. A very popular online collaboration software tool is called Microsoft SharePoint. This is available as a limited free service added to your existing Windows Server, which is called Windows SharePoint Services, or more recently Windows SharePoint Foundation Server. This is also available as a more robust and secure deployment on-premise or hosted online “in the cloud”, known as SharePoint Server or SharePoint Online.
• Change management – Maintaining multiple versions of the same document is too much of a hassle, but not when change management technologies handle this for you. When you use these technologies, you can maintain as many versions of a document as you like, and all of them will be neatly organized and readily accessible.
• Knowledge management – Knowledge is power, and there is hardly a company that will not benefit from a company wiki or other form of knowledge management system.
The collaboration software and tools listed here are just a sampling of what’s available. There are literally hundreds of collaboration platforms available and depending on your particular needs you may choose one or another. Of course, it is best if you evaluate your needs very thoroughly first. Contact us if you need help with an assessment or a demo of Microsoft SharePoint.