Calm VS. Chaos
4 Collaboration Platform Flaws that Will Decrease Productivity
Shopping for a team collaboration platform? Businesses tend to leave “user experience” off the list – to
negative results. Without considering the functionality your employees need to succeed, your investment
will almost always miss the mark.
Consider these four factors of collaboration platforms that can ruin employee experience and productivity.
1. Bad design
Every platform you use daily should be designed in a way that’s both sharp and sensible. Features should
offer convenient functionality. Your platform should also allow for user feedback to evolve tools and
improve efficiency and productivity when possible.
2. Not mobile friendly
Internal and external teams use a variety of devices to collaborate – not everyone is in an office or on a
desktop computer. More and more employees use their mobile devices for meetings and multi-tasking
during work hours. That means your employees need mobile access to your collaboration platform.
Without having multi-device versions of your site, employees will be forced to work in ways that slow them
down or discourage work on the go.
3. Poor functionality
Nothing is more frustrating than when software tools can’t do what employees need them to. One
example? When employees feel like their hands are tied when functionality is limited while hosting a
meeting or conference call. When employees feel restricted by a tool, eventually they will just stop using it
– meaning your business just lost the confidence of your workforce, along with the investment you made
in those tools.
4. Difficult to use
Software is only effective when it is intuitive and easy to use. Ease of use depends on software providers
who consider the user experience in the design and development process. When employees can’t
intuitively navigate a tool, they’re unproductive and will likely eventually give up. Tasks will fall to the
wayside, and employees will complain about the solution while they wait for something better.
If your employees are struggling with your collaboration platform, it may be for these reasons or more. If
these complaints sound familiar and you’re ready to make a change, take steps to update your platform
today and sign up for GlobalMeet Collaboration.
Smart Collaboration Tools that Breathe Life into Virtual Meetings
Change is inevitable in today’s fast-paced world. The integration of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots and other computer-driven communication systems are reshaping team interaction during virtual meetings. No matter your business size, you need to be agile – and you need flexible, intuitive collaboration tools that can keep up.
The effectiveness of virtual meetings relies on the smart collaboration tools that transform the user experience. Here’s how this all works.
Evolved note taking
Note taking in virtual meetings is a necessary evil. But traditional note taking is time-consuming and can actually be disruptive to a meeting’s flow. Smart collaboration tools today combine note taking and transcription functionality within the platform. Recording or transcribing meetings can save you a lot of time and allow team members to efficiently offload note taking and focus on higher-value tasks.
Workers waste a substantial amount of time orchestrating work vs. actually doing it. It’s no secret that smart collaboration tools rejuvenate productivity by reducing tedious, manual and mundane tasks. Teams that leverage AI tools integrated into their collaboration or meeting software (like recording reminders, transcription services, calendar-aware scheduling and follow-up reminders) can save time. Now, your work week can be used to handle your most important and pressing tasks.
Praise from remote teams
Remote teams tend to be optimistic about smart collaboration technology. Virtual meetings are the primary way these teams communicate, so they tend to be eager for advancements in smart collaboration technology. When implementing a new generation of smart collaboration tools, count on remote teams to help support rollout.
Improved IT processes
IT teams are in the trenches day in and day out with technology, so they have visibility into what needs improved. Because of this, IT teams also typically embrace collaboration technologies because they streamline communication. By leveraging top collaboration technology, IT teams can increase adoption rates and virtual meeting software usage. And reliable platforms decrease the demand for IT support resources, giving them time back in their day for other pressing issues.
Are you ready to implement these groundbreaking smart collaboration tools and more? Learn more by taking advantage of a free GlobalMeet Collaboration trial today!
Employees today – especially those in the millennial general – demand transparency and real-time information sharing. But remote employees and global office locations mean enterprise workforces are now spread beyond the single office setting. Getting more than a handful of people from a department in one room at the same time can be a difficult task – and getting a workforce of thousands (or more) can be just about impossible.
Thankfully, that’s where live streaming helps out. Live video conference calls and webcasts allow enterprises to bridge the physical gap to help colleagues, customers, prospects and partners come together. Today, video is no longer a luxury – it’s as critical to collaboration as the conference room, speakerphone or whiteboard. Read on to learn why.
1. Expressions & body language matter
Audio calls and emails just don’t cut it anymore, when compared to interacting with someone live on video. Facial and emotional context clues can mean the difference between knowing if an idea landed with a thud or if your audience is speechless with delight. It also makes your content more memorable to those you’re communicating with.
People today remember just 10 percent of what they hear after three days have passed. But retention increases to 65 percent when the same information is shown with a visual. So for important information, an email or call won’t cut it. You need to be able to address the audience face-to-face virtually.
2. Transparency makes for a happy workforce
A third (31 percent) of employees say they want more transparency from management on the health of the business – and three-fourths say they care deeply about their company’s well-being. Unfortunately, only about a quarter (23%) say they have full insight into how their company is actually doing.
This gap must be filled to create company trust. Live video conveys authenticity in a way no other medium can. And since time in person isn’t always an option, live streaming can create positive feelings about the company.
3. Let all voices be heard
Everyone can become familiar faces with live streaming, from the CEO to team members in faraway cities. It also increases the ability to have true “all-hands” meetings with distributed staff.
Live streaming means fewer barriers to getting everyone together. So instead of annual or quarterly meetings, more frequent time with your team (weekly or monthly) can make senior leaders and staff more accessible to each other, and allow everyone to understand the company’s direction.
4. Ongoing engagement is critical
Live meetings can take place only once – and absent attendees will miss out on info shared. Conversely, live-stream meetings can be recorded and watched at a later time. This increases knowledge sharing and collaboration, and also captures the event much better than a post-meeting recap could.
Any kind of content can be recorded and shared with live streaming, from a major corporate presentation to an informal brainstorm with staff. Content can be shared openly on company social media channels or privately on a company intranet, while searchable transcripts can be automatically created to make it easy to find the content you need.
5. It’s already how people already communicate
Thanks to social media channels and smartphone apps, it’s already easy for anyone to live stream from their phones. The tool is as much a part of the way we communicate as email or chat. And the numbers back it up: 80 percent of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and just as many (82%) prefer live video from a brand over social posts.
And it isn’t only millennials. Almost two-thirds (59 percent) of senior execs would rather watch a video than read text. With live streaming, you can make it easier for employees and leaders to communicate and receive information the way they’re most comfortable
How Hosted PBX Can Save Enterprises Time & Money
As the size of a business increases, expenses like phones and voicemail systems for each employee can become grow exponentially. Enter Hosted PBX, which is one way leading enterprises deal with these issues. Some of the advantages Hosted PBX can offer the enterprise include worldwide access to voicemails, ease and affordability of setup, and access to upgraded features and functionalities.
Hosted PBX: What It Is and How It Saves Money
A hosted PBX, or private branch exchange, is a cloud-based alternative to traditional phone and voicemail systems. With hosted PBX, your team can use the popular features and functions of any multi-line phone and voicemail system, but needs a smaller financial commitment and a shorter implementation time.
In addition to installation, hosted voicemail can also have ongoing costs due to the maintenance required, but not hosted PBX. Hosted PBX means having a dedicated team of experts to address these problems – instead of having in-house IT employees attempt to troubleshoot issues.
Easy Access & Use
Hosted PBX is made to be intuitive and easy to use, which means your team can begin using a hosted PBX right away from any location. This virtual accessibility allows employees to access messages from home or any remote location, which helps keep downtime to a minimum. It also provides a backup plan in the event of inclement weather or a natural disaster that prevents team members from physically coming into the office.
Valuable Advanced Features
In addition, many hosted PBX services include added business-critical features – like the ability to transfer calls, make conference calls, play hold music or activate an after-hours message at the end of the day.
Looking to trade your in-office phone system for a hosted (or cloud) PBX that’s managed by experts? Consider UCaaS as an easy to use and affordable solution.
What Does Elevated Communication Mean for Today’s Workforce?
Digital transformation impacts every aspect of the business — perhaps mostly to communication. By increasing collaboration and breaking down silos, communication is the foundation on which all other digital transformation initiatives are built.
Communication is becoming a differentiator and a competitive advantage. Businesses that are better at facilitating communication will be more creative and innovative, making them more likely to outperform their less collaborative and communicative competitors.
Here are the five disruptive technologies every company needs to focus communication on in the coming year.
While mainly known for its applications in digital currency, blockchain is also used to build the foundation of modern communication systems. As Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) systems become more complex and regulated, blockchain-based solutions can help companies unify their communications and store everything on a common but private ledger. Blockchain-powered platforms will also give businesses the ability to monetize information, providing new sources of revenue.
2. Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS)
CPaaS is designed to alleviate the issues that come from managing multiple real-time communication channels. Rather than requiring customers or employees to keep track of communications across separate, non-integrated channels (like video conferences, calls, chats and apps), CPaaS embeds communication into processes and workflows to make communication mobile, flexible, instant and contextual.
Mobile has been a key communication channel for years, but it has often been secondary to other channels like a company’s website or call center. But as mobile devices like smartphones and tablets overtake computers as the primary devices of customers and employees, companies will need to ensure that the CX and work experience is built mobile-first. This means prioritizing investments like mobile apps and collaboration software – as well as updating policies that give employees the ability to work anytime, anywhere.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are already powering chatbots to deliver personalized and effective customer experiences across multiple channels and devices. By using AI to deliver a relevant, contextual and personalized experience through web self-service, mobile apps and virtual assistants, companies are able to reduce costs, boost customer satisfaction and increase human agent productivity, resulting in smarter collaboration.
5. Live Streaming
Employees have become more distributed due to remote offices and work-from-home policies. This makes live video meetings and events crucial to maintaining company culture and collaboration. Today’s live-streaming platforms make it simple to record or broadcast any type of meeting, from a simple video chat with a co-worker to a major all-hands meeting with thousands of employees. To ensure smooth live streaming, companies will need to pay close attention to network performance, while security policies will need to be put in place to ensure sensitive data doesn’t get broadcast out to the public.
7 Business Benefits of UCaaS
Working remotely is commonplace in today’s business environment. Though advances have been made to make the location of work no longer matter, many business communication and collaboration tools continue to frustrate employees. As people are used to using video, instant messaging and other social apps to share information with family and friends in their personal lives, employees want similar tools in their professional lives.
Many businesses prohibit the use of consumer apps for work purposes. This makes sense, given the ongoing risk of data and security breaches as well as the desire to present a professional image. Thankfully, that’s where Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) comes in. UCaaS allows businesses to get the security and control they need while providing workers with the user-experience and flexibility they want.
The business case for UCaaS is actually growing stronger every day. IDC predicts that by 2020 nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce will use mobile technology, and companies that make provisions for telecommuting and distributed workers via UCaaS will realize many benefits, including the following:
1. Collaboration in an Instant
Online collaboration services enabled by UCaaS allow communication and collaboration without dropouts, buffering or other video streaming quality issues. Remote workers can contribute to a meeting from anywhere, and can enter virtual conference sessions ready to view and share documents, video and graphics.
2. Provisioning That’s Scalable
UCaaS networks are scalable to match the ups and downs of business. It is key to have the flexibility to scale up and down to reduce wasted bandwidth. With UCaaS, businesses can start small, deploy and move resources where they’re needed, and scale down once a project wraps up or if an office closes or moves.
3. Reduced Upfront Expenses
Instead of shelling out big bucks for designing telecom solutions, businesses can reduce their upfront costs by using a UCaaS provider. Leased phones and equipment allow companies to adopt new technologies in new locations without worrying about features becoming outdated. Service fees for initial setup (like configuration and installation) are also reduced.
4. Lower Operating Costs
UCaaS replaces variable premises-based infrastructure and software maintenance/management costs with predictable monthly fees. Shared data centers deliver service more efficiently than onsite infrastructure, and companies no longer are required to pay energy bills, obtain rack space or configure and manage connections.
5. Better IT Staff Utilization
With UCaaS, companies can shift equipment purchases, updates, and maintenance tasks associated with telecom to the provider, while deploying IT staff to focus on more strategic projects to ensure faster and more targeted impact of technology investments.
6. Boosted Security
As a cloud-based service, UCaaS providers have tight measures in place to monitor networks for known risks and potential vulnerabilities. Performance redundancies protect against downtime, and security patches and updates are applied as part of monthly service programs.
7. Higher Customer Value
For most businesses, technology investments deliver the greatest value when they enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Advanced UCaaS solutions drive internal productivity and agility, which often result in better products and services, as well as faster and more reliable product and services delivery to their customers.
UCaaS is allowing telecommunications networks to become more efficient, and more devices are being served than ever before. Companies can build and further develop their telecom foundations with services like instant messaging, video conferencing, and data sharing. The result? A safe, secure and affordable platform that provides communication and collaboration in a way that engages employees and allows them to work when, where and how they need and want to work.
5 Trends in the Hosted PBX Market to Complement Your UC Strategy
If you’re looking to connect your teams across all channels, a unified communications (UC) platform is one of the best business developments to choose. UC gives your business the ability to stay connected with customers, employees, and shareholders. Learn more about five influential trends in the hosted PBX market to complement your UC strategy.
1. Phones in the cloud
Traditional desk phones are no longer an office staple. As more and more enterprise teams telecommute and work in offices all over the world, they need tools to stay in touch wherever they are.
A cloud-based phone system supports both desk phones and mobile devices, giving businesses modern features like text messaging, chat and HD video. GlobalMeet a provides unified communication as a service (UCaaS) offering that delivers these cloud-based phone capabilities directly from the cloud.
2. Mobile apps
Today’s world relies on flexible, fast-paced communication: Enter UCaaS. Your business can maximize productivity with a cloud-based phone system, and hosted PBX services are complemented by robust mobile apps that include mobile messaging, group chat, texting, and calls.
3. Digital receptionist services
Your business hours may not be 24/7, but you still need to be constantly accessible. With digital receptionist services, you’re able to capture important information at any time. You can even create custom greetings based on the time of day, business or holiday hours. Digital receptionist services also make it easier for callers to reach specific contacts by routing calls via dial-by-name directory.
4. Virtual voicemail
Listening to voicemail after voicemail can be a pain – and a time-consuming one, at that. Save time and headache with virtual voicemail, which allows you to filter and isolate voice messages and send them directly to your inbox as either audio files or transcribed voicemail.
5. Customizable hold times
Hold times during business calls are a necessary component of phone communications – but they’re often mundane. And extended hold times can give callers an imminent fear of being disconnected from the call. Instead, give callers the assurance that they are connected by playing custom messages or music during their hold time. Hosted PBX services allow you to stream music and messages while your callers patiently remain on hold.
Ready to get started with a hosted PBX service that unifies the user experience in the cloud? Request a demo today and redefine the way you work with UCaaS.