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    What Does Online Collaboration Really Mean?

    on 12 July 2017

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    Posted by Franklin Williams-Smith
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    Imagine that you’re part of a new product rollout for the next big thing that’s finally going to put your company on the map. Your engineers are in Brighton, your marketing team is in Edinburgh, and most of your design team is all the way in San Francisco.

    Not too many years ago, it would have been a huge headache to make sure that everyone was on the same page, with the same information at the same time. Can you imagine making something like that work using old-school tools? How would you like to lead an international project using Windows 95, floppy disks, and a fax machine? How about doing it with email, even? All those chains of split conversations, team members in then out of the conversation, time zones, attachments all over the place.... you may as well be using carrier pigeons.

    Fortunately, we aren’t in the Stone Age anymore. With recent innovations in online collaboration software, it’s much easier to keep everyone working together smoothly and efficiently.

    But what does online collaboration really mean? On the surface, it could mean anything from a basic instant messaging application all the way to an enterprise-level workflow regulation and a project management platform. Well what we at Glasscubes mean by ‘online collaboration’ is a cloud-based software system that allows for real-time remote work and sharing – the virtual office made simple. Why work cooped up in the same office together when all your communications and files can be handled neatly online – safely traceable and accessible?

    Still, even having a reasonable definition isn’t enough. If you’re going to pick a tool to replace the physical office and paper trail, you need to have a full appreciation of where your existing solutions for team collaboration are falling short. The Glasscubes solution packs a plethora of features, so it’s worth taking a bit of time to decide which features you can really envisage making a difference to your teams’ daily experience of working together.

    This means it’s time to do a bit of research. Look at your people – what kinds of tasks do they perform as individuals, and what tasks do they perform as teams? Now what tools are they using to complete those tasks? How big are their projects and how many people work on them? What kinds of documents need to be shared – what are the file types and sizes being used? How do your teams communicate? Where are the weak points in that communication? Can you identify cases of repeat queries or conversations? Can you spot any duplicated tasks? Do they use several tools when one would do?

    Could those teams benefit from conference calling? Does your business require enterprise-level secure file storage? Should your team members be sharing workspaces and a whiteboard for creating and exchanging their ideas? Do you expect world-class technical support?

    Finally, how prepared is your business to invest in training and implementation for a new solution to its team collaboration? Would your business need to be wary of the hidden costs that come with so many collaboration software tools? 

    Finally, after all of this is said and done, you should have a pretty good picture of what it is that your team – and business – needs in order to get their teamwork humming. At this point, many information officers and technology managers still find themselves at a loss. It can be a daunting prospect, finally seeing where all your weak points are, and knowing that to have those issues resolved you’d need to undertake a mini cultural revolution throughout your organisation.

    Yet these are the exact conditions that are most conducive to bringing about positive change. The Glasscubes solution isn’t just ideal for businesses because of all that functionality (all the features mentioned above and more), but also because of its simplicity. Switching from the traditional office – or an idiosyncratic internal system, or a complex and costly enterprise suite of tools and plugins – needs to be swift and painless. 

    Online collaboration means intuitive use, zero training and no specialist knowledge required. It means being able to work with simple, logical workflows. It means avoiding all those unnecessary business costs that so often come with working in a physical office. And it means having your teamwork and creativity facilitated every time you work on a project, from the day that project starts to the moment it is complete.

    Wondering whether Microsoft Teams, Slack, or SharePoint would be the best collaboration tool for your team? We reached out to users to find out the merits and drawbacks of each one, and you can read their answers here.

     

    Glasscubes is a user-friendly collaboration software for teams. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace that improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other.

    For more information, contact us by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310 or email us at enquiries@glasscubes.com

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