Blog · 03 Apr 2020

Choosing the right collaboration tools for your digital workplace

As organisations rapidly move to remote working, how can you make the right choice and get the most out of your collaboration tools?

As recent developments mean more and more people are working from home, it’s never been more apparent how valuable connectivity tools are.

Unified Communications (UC) and collaboration tools can completely transform the way you work and, for many organisations, they’re the key to keeping business on-track.

They can enable your employees to connect remotely and allow them to share documents and collaborate in real-time, allowing meetings to be more productive with less need for time consuming follow-up tasks.

Because consumer apps like Slack, Apple Messages and WhatsApp are so easy to use, many individuals and organisations have already adopted these and use them proficiently. This means that there’s now a demand — even an expectation — for workplace tools to be just as intuitive. As organisations move rapidly to more connected, virtual workplaces, they are met with a huge choice of tools to come to grips with and manage.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing collaboration tools for your digital workplace.

When it comes to connectivity, all teams are different

The marketplace is already crowded with a range of UC and collaboration tools, and different platforms are market-leading for different reasons. Tools and apps like Zoom, Teams, Webex and Skype, for example, all offer different functions and features. So, depending on the work you do and how your team likes to communicate, different products will suit you better — one size doesn’t fit all!

For many large organisations, this has led to teams moving away from a single communication solution and developing smaller user groups. This adoption of different tools can create issues when people want to communicate effectively across departments using different platforms. That’s why the best UC solutions enable different products and their various features to communicate with one another. A simple example of this is when Skype communicates with Teams, with both tools mirroring the “busy” presence indicator.

As uptake of collaboration tools increases, the market will continue to move towards solutions that give users the best features for their different user groups which is why flexibility and integration of various platform features is key. The focus should therefore be on finding a provider that offers bespoke solutions to suit your organisation — integrating different technologies and offering flexible contracts that scale to your needs. It’s about UC as a service, rather than a collection of products.

Adopting UC tools effectively and securely

Transformational collaboration tools are already here; the challenge is adopting these and developing best practice so that they improve our working lives. Many individuals and teams are already using their personal mobile devices to collaborate effectively, which is why so many organisations run “bring your own device" (BYOD) programmes. As these users are already familiar with using consumer mobile device applications over the internet, why should corporate apps be any different? Providers need to work flexibly with customers to enable disparate communication and collaboration tools to work together. An expert user adoption team, for example, can help teams to work in a more effective, efficient and confident way across the various tools they’re using.

Collaboration tools can also help to keep your team secure. The internet is inherently insecure, so there needs to be secure encryption of your data and voice channels. Remote device management is an important consideration as it provides encryption for data on the various mobile devices your teams are using, and also means that you have the ability to wipe these remotely it if lost, misplaced or stolen.

Providers need to be flexible

Providers ideally need to be able to work with all the most popular communication products to make sure they work together effectively. In addition, they should comply with the industry’s security standards and audits, providing end-to-end security, including encrypting and securing data on the end user’s device.

We have the technical expertise and experience of using, integrating and deploying collaboration solutions on a global basis. As well as the technology, we can provide a consultative user adoption service to help embed the right tools into the working lives of all your users.

Find out how you can make the most out of the myriad UC platforms available to improve your digital workplace. 

If your organisation has a rapid need for remote working or you want to know how to make the most out of the myriad of UC platforms available, please get in touch. Whether it’s practical help or reassurance, we’re here to help.