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Productivity Primer: 3 Tools to Boost Employee Impact

Posted by Insightlink on 04/27/17

Companies need collaboration. With more employees working remotely and satellite offices a viable opportunity for SMBs and enterprises alike, continued growth demands the ability to quickly and easily connect team members across locations and time zones. The solution? Collaboration tools.

The challenge? Many companies now face "collaboration-tool overload." With both startups and established vendors offering their own take on employee-driven digital cooperation, how do you single out tools that offer the biggest boost to employee impact while still keeping costs and complications under control? Here are three toolsets that fit the bill. 


The goal of collaboration tools is to enhance staff ability to interact, cooperate and complete projects. But these tools don't always hit the mark. While over 80 percent of professionals say that collaboration solutions play a "very or extremely important role" in meeting business objectives, 46 percent are frustrated that these tools don't allow them to make contractors, consultants and other third-party providers part of the collaboration loop, a CIO survey reports. As a result, it's a good idea to look for a tool that allows external users but also supports the security of two-factor authentication. Here, it's a question of balancing inside and outside needs. While internal collaboration is critical, business opportunities don't exist in a vacuum. Going beyond corporate walls is now a requirement.  

The Office, Re-imagined 

What does your meeting room look like? Are you still using the tried-and-true method of gathering staff in one place to haltingly attempt a cross-country live stream, fighting with technical issues that threaten to derail any actual work? Or are you still paying for staff and C-suite executives to fly back and forth between offices for face-to-face meetings?

Breaking this cycle means adopting a new outlook. Cutting-edge solutions, like virtual meeting software, offer the ability to meet with anyone, anywhere using HD presence, chat, voice and video software. By giving employees the power to create their own meetings across both mobile devices and desktop workstations, it's possible to remove one of the biggest barriers to digital collaboration: Time. Make it simple and easy for users to leverage collaboration services (choose a Microsoft Office-integrated solution, for example) and you're already a step ahead of the game. 

Cloud Cooperation 

Enterprise collaboration is exciting again thanks to tools that offer value-added services, such as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) control for the emerging device-driven environment. But the glue that holds this collaboration structure upright? Applications powered by the cloud. Simply put, the bandwidth and throughput needed by video applications, robust analytics tools and IoT controls isn't something most companies can afford or manage, even with a team of dedicated IT staff. Add in fluctuating traffic demands and the need for on-demand scaling and cloud-based collaboration tools offer the most direct route between employee potential and ideal project outcomes.

Considering a cloud-based collaboration tool? Start by asking the right questions. Where does you data live, and what happens if you change or add services? What kind of uptime guarantees are offered? Are there limits on the number of users or devices which can simultaneously connect? The right cloud solution should do two things: Simplify the collaboration process and take the pressure off local stacks. 

You need collaboration, but not all tools deliver on this promise. Best bet? Balance inside/outside demands, improve your office environment and find confidence in the cloud.



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