The combination of geographically disparate workers, increasingly frantic schedules and businesses pulling the reins on budget spending has made maintaining efficient communications more important than ever. Professionals today have no choice but to do more with less, and that’s exactly where business collaboration comes into play.
At Esna, we’ve seen just how communication channels for personal use – like phone, voice, live chat and text – can be seamlessly translated to achieve stellar workplace efficiency (after all, only one member of our marketing team works out of Esna’s HQ office, while the rest of us work from home offices). Read our collaboration success story. We’ve experienced first-hand how this can provide working teams (even those who have never met in person before) with the insight they need to engage peers, generate more ideas and more easily collaborate with their external customers, partners and vendors.
And we’re not alone. It seems that businesses everywhere are perking their ears when they hear about the benefits of collaborative technology. In fact, we found that 90 percent of enterprises have unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) investments scheduled for the next year, according to IDG Enterprise. And similar to our industry, 61 percent of these organizations are specifically doing so to heighten productivity levels.
If anything has changed over the last few years, it is the state of collaboration and, more specifically, how it has transformed the workplace. So…how can social and collaborative tools work to provide big business benefits? Let’s take a look at two below.
Achieve Faster Response and Delivery Times
Collaboration is not about cutting down on time, but eliminating it altogether; there’s no need to wait for previously laborious processes. There’s no longer a need to even pick up the phone with the right collaboration tools in hand.
Let’s take a look at a retail manager (let’s call him Joe) who – like hundreds of other retailers during the month of August – just launched his big “Back to School” blowout sale. Of course, Joe wants to stay ahead of the competition; he wants parents to bring their children to his store to stock up on all of their clothing needs, and so he extends his store hours in the hope of attracting more customers.
Luckily for Joe, his plan works. In fact, it works so well that he soon needs to restock on inventory. He finds that there’s not a lot of time to head into the office to make a call, so he instead pings a warehouse worker while on the sales floor to request a new shipment for later that day. That 61 percent of companies are looking sharper by the minute.
Empower Your BYOD Initiative
Collaboration is about employees using their personal devices to be more effective and efficient. Not only are there clear benefits of using one’s personal device for collaboration, but there are bigger business opportunities for organizations that embrace today’s huge shift in focus on mobility.
Imagine walking in the shoes of Mary, a young, bright and promising college grad who’s looking to put her degree to hard work. Mary is part of the 40 percent of Americans who own a smartphone and she would love a position that offers mobile opportunities (as part of the Millenial Generation, this is a strong suit of hers). Because your business embraces the age of bring your own device (BYOD), Mary becomes your newest team member and gets to show her mobility chops; meanwhile, your business’ collaborative efforts get a serious boost.
Collaboration has a hand in everything that keeps your company afloat – whether it’s the exponentially large, “make or break” sales meeting or the quick chat session you had months earlier to get the ball rolling. From start to finish, collaboration tools are absolutely necessary to keep your business afloat.
So to answer the golden question: Collaboration matters because your business does.
What collaboration tools make your business run? Download the Osterman Research report on cloud collaboration and communication to learn more.
Photo Credit: mikecogh on Flickr