Choosing Collaboration Software – 4 Essentials to Look Foron 3 May 2016
342 unread emails in your inbox, 5 different stacks of documents on your desk, meetings and excessively long to-do lists. To make matters worse, Steve from down the hall is merrily chatting away about his latest weekend trip to Spain.
Stress is mounting, productivity is going down the drain and the constant distractions make you feel like having a breakdown ala Michael Douglas in Falling Down. But before you grab the nearest baseball bat and go to wreak havoc on your immediate surroundings, consider the alternative you:
Two unread emails (thank you notes from clients), a clean desk (since all documents are neatly ordered in the cloud fileserver), no meetings (issues are quickly resolved by workspace integrated chat), and a pleasingly manageable to-do list (the product of a more collaborative effort all round and effective project management). Steve is still going on about his trip, but strangely that's less of a distraction now; you might even take a passing interest.
When deciding on making the workplace better, more efficient and less stressful, there are a number of things that need to be taken into account. Here are some of the key points when choosing the right software for you.
A solid collaboration software is able to replace old-school email communication. Email is for information, not for discussion or collaboration. With today’s accessibility and global networking many think email is a smart idea, but it can hinder productivity by being distracting. It’s far better to communicate in real-time via chat or conference call, both of which should be an essential part of any system you choose.
Having all documents available on the go is fundamental in the fast-paced and mobile world we work in. During business trips, when telecommuting, or as part of a remote team: all data needs to be readily available regardless of time, place and device used. Work directly in the cloud or sync locally to work offline, all options should be available.
Another important part of cloud-based solutions should be file storage with added version history. Always have access to the latest documents such as proposals or plans, so even if it’s a living document you can be sure it’s the latest one. Avoid multiple versions attached to emails and utilise the cloud for a more organised workflow.
One common argument against cloud-based services is security, but it’s usually an argument based on feeling, and not on facts. Any solution you employ should have top-of-the-line encryption and secure servers. Data should be encrypted when transferred, as well as when stored. Backup and redundancy systems should be in place at the data centres used. Look for ISO certifications and systems that minimise the exposure to risk.
One aspect of a new system that is often overlooked is customer service from the provider. Fast, accessible and complete support is of paramount importance when implementing a new system. There should be all of chat, email and phone support to accommodate your preference. With continuous, high-quality customer support the provider shows they really care about you as a customer.
Glasscubes is user-friendly collaboration software for businesses. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace which improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other. For more information please contact us by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.