An evolution in the mobility of the workspace is happening right now. We do business from everywhere and that requires being connected wherever you are and whenever you need it. For companies that know how to leverage the collaboration systems available, connections are more productive and meaningful.
Successful collaboration requires more than buying communication systems that offer collaboration tools; it also requires a partner who knows how to use those tools for your success.
How Collaboration Tools Work
Collaboration tools bring people together and make the information and productivity tools they need available across a shared workspace. That space might be an open group chat window or a video conference call with screen sharing and group access to a shared document with live updating.
Collaboration tools move your team beyond the kind of unproductive, time-killing group emails that plague most businesses today. You know the ones we mean. The emails where recipients are copied or removed seemingly at random and where most responses are at least three emails behind and opine on issues already decided.
Instead, consider a common case we find among our clients once they have adopted the right collaboration tools and we’ve helped them learn to use them:
A salesperson is speaking with a prospect who raises a technical question. Instead of saying, “I’ll get back to you” and losing the mojo she has worked hard to generate, the salesperson pings the on-call person in the relevant technical department and a 3-way conference call is instantly launched.
The benefit here is clear. Not only does the prospect receive a timely answer, but the business demonstrates how seamlessly it pulls together experts to solve a customer’s problem.
Collaboration Takes More than Tools
The collaboration tools you deploy are what you might call necessary but insufficient. Achieving meaningful collaboration depends on your company culture, how well your team is trained on the use of the tools and how the tools are configured.
Just because you have the tools available doesn’t necessarily mean your team will utilize them. Establishing a culture of collaboration is the first order. It involves developing workflows, processes and polices that initiate and enable collaboration.
Knowing how to use the tools at hand is the lynchpin that makes the wheel go ’round. This includes, but goes beyond, an initial education. Sometimes corporate culture fails to adopt new tools immediately and additional education can pave the way. There’s also staff turnover to consider. Once everybody is finally humming along, the vendor releases a new version that looks nothing like the previous one. In these cases, refresher trainings are key.
How tools are configured
Configuration is about enabling the features you need and identifying who needs access, when, and with what permissions. Just as too many bells and whistles can cause paralysis within your organization, having every member of the team participating in every interaction at all times will not produce meaningful collaboration.
The Right Help to Make Your Collaboration Meaningful
It takes a lot more than downloading and installing the application to make collaboration tools meaningful for your team. That’s why it’s so important to engage the support of a knowledgeable partner. A trusted partner will help you determine:
What you need
Who needs it
When to use it
How to use it
Many Value-Added Resellers (VAR) will install your new system and then set you up with a tutorial video. If you’re lucky they might train one member of your staff who will try to train the rest.
Gregg Communications does it differently. We support you through the entire onboarding process and only consider the job “done” when your full team is trained and successfully using the product to achieve meaningful collaboration.
Our promise of meaningful collaboration means we work with many vendors to help you select the right tools, remain engaged to support you for new version releases and perform periodic check-ins to ensure the tools are working as they should – enabling your culture of collaboration to thrive.
Give us a call at (630) 706-8222 or email when you’re ready to make meaningful collaboration a reality and we’ll help you get there.