Collaboration in the workplace is something that all businesses need to succeed and is not a new concept when it comes to effective communication. However, as businesses become more global and teams increasingly dispersed, facilitating team communication and collaboration can become more challenging. Fortunately, cloud communications and various advancements in technology have helped produce tools that enable employees to collaborate more effectively, enhancing productivity without boundaries.
Ryan Smith, Director of Product Marketing at Mitel, shares some insights on what businesses should consider when choosing a team collaboration solution and discusses how their team collaboration offering, Mitel MiTeam, is changing how teams collaborate.
Choosing the Right Collaboration Tool to Transform Workplace Performance
Today’s workforce is able to go beyond traditional telephony, email, or video conference to collaborate with team members. With the vast array of cloud-based team collaboration tools available in today's market, organizations and their teams are better equipped to perform both smarter and faster. And in fact, the cloud collaboration market is expected to grow larger in the coming years as more organizations seek greater efficiency in their teams. A report released by Markets and Markets revealed that the cloud collaboration market size is expected to grow from USD 23.39 Billion in 2016 to USD 42.57 Billion by 2021.
However, along with the rise of apps and tools tailored towards enhancing collaboration and boosting productivity (and a company's bottom line) also comes the dilemma of deciding which solution is best for a business. Smith says, “If a company is looking for a team collaboration solution, they need to address what their business has to have in order to be a relevant player in market number.” And according to Smith, there are three factors businesses must consider when looking for a solution: mobility, integration, and the tool’s ability to solve a business’ unique needs.
- Mobility - Mobility is one of the key driving factors behind business communications as more employees today do work outside of the typical work environment. According to Smith, “Current trends are centered around the way people work: it is no longer an 8-5, sitting-at-a-desk-all-day environment. Nowadays employees are highly mobile, moving laptops from office to office or to conference rooms, even going fully mobile on their smartphones, answering emails and conference calls from anywhere.” Therefore, it is vital for companies to choose a collaboration tool that helps users accomplish a task anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
- Integration - Beyond mobility, another factor to consider is integration. Smith says: “Switching between apps to do your job means there’s going to be a disrupted workstream. By having integration with things like Salesforce, employees can work seamlessly with their tools and communication system.” The ability to seamlessly bring in tools and applications together help users better manage their workflows and access and share information more efficiently without having to access multiple apps.
- Ability to solve a business’ unique needs - Smith also highly advises people to look for and ask for what they want or need. For instance, if a business constantly works together with clients, suppliers, and other people outside of the organization, it is important for them to choose a solution that goes beyond employee-only collaboration. "Are there capabilities for chat, file sharing, task management, projects, ad-hoc video, face-to-face, screen share or share? Can you promote conversation from chat to video?" Smith says these capabilities are important, especially if you have mobile or remote employees.
But what if you have yet to switch to a cloud solution? Smith says that before you do, you should first and foremost understand the problem you are trying to solve. "Getting new technology for the sake of technology is great, but you should really be interested in solving problems. Getting a cloud solution should help you try to gain an advantage or solve a problem, increase productivity, or help with an overworked IT staff," he noted. Additionally, Smith mentioned that your type of organization will ultimately determine your solution and type of deployment as well. Enterprises tend to want a more private cloud solution and may host their own equipment on-site, whereas smaller businesses with high performance will likely side with a purely hosted cloud solution.
Easing Collaboration with Mitel MiTeam
A leader in business cloud communications, Mitel understands that businesses need the right tools to connect, collaborate, and take care of their customers better. And so last year, the company steered their focus on advancing the mobile-first, cloud-enabled, and millennial-focused workplace with their team collaboration software, Mitel MiTeam. MiTeam includes a powerful set of capabilities for advanced workflow and collaboration, specifically designed to meet the needs of today’s modern enterprise and teams. It brings together all of the different methods of communications, collaboration and sharing into one integrated workstream.
Here’s how MiTeam offers a more collaborative business experience for enterprises:
- Intuitive, easy to use interface - MiTeam sports a modern and easy to use interface that helps users quickly access features (including group chat, voicemail, and meetings) in a few swipes or clicks.
- Open collaboration - According to Smith, MiTeam takes collaboration one step further by enabling collaboration with users outside of the organization. “True collaboration needs to happen with suppliers and partners and customers, and that’s where a number of team collaboration solutions fall short because they only work within the employee community. Mitel MiTeam extends beyond the firewall to a frictionless environment, where employees outside of the organization do not have to install a new app or use a username and password to join in on the collaboration.” The ability to work with other people outside of one’s own organization is one of the things that MiTeam does differently from the other solutions on the market today.
- Voice communications - Consumer-based team collaboration systems often struggle with the issue of voice and how to integrate it into a team collaboration tool. However, providing native voice services within an app isn’t a problem with MiTeam. “At Mitel, the MiTeam solution solves this question of voice because MiTeam is embedded within the Mitel voice solution,” says Smith. Plus, MiTeam makes your contacts and team directory easily accessible.
- Integration with apps - Helping businesses get more out of their business tools, MiTeam offers integrations with more than 50 leading business applications including Dropbox, Salesforce, and Zendesk.
- Full range of features - MiTeam comes with a range of features that helps teams take productivity even further, such as push-pull notifications that alert team members to actions taken in real time, access to full team collaboration history, audio recording capability, instant or scheduled meetings, video chat and screen sharing, and device flexibility.
Smith, who was around during the time when Windows Live messenger was hailed as the best collaboration solution, believes that Mitel is close to “getting it right” in terms of technology and approach towards team collaboration. “Now I really believe we are at a point where we are getting this right. We are solving problems of people trying to get people together for meetings,” he said. Comparatively, it is a much easier solution than trying to rally employees and organize schedules to just get together in a conference room. MiTeam lets users "do more with what they have", responding from any device and from anywhere they choose.
So whether employees are simply contributing a piece to a project or are seeing the project from start to finish, Mitel MiTeam makes it easy to collaborate, contribute, share, and access files thanks to an intuitive interface and a timeline history of all communications within a project. It is one of the biggest ways that Mitel is helping to bridge the gap between traditional business communications and new-age technologies.
Learn more about MiTeam and Mitel’s comprehensive range of communication solutions by visiting their website.
A true global leader in the enterprise and mobile communications solutions space, Mitel powers more than two billion business connections every day. Mitel delivers a range of products and services that provide flexibility and simplicity to help businesses communicate, collaborate, and take care of their customers with ease. Their suite of products includes MiCloud Communications, MiContact Center, MiCollab, MiVoice, mobile products, as well as business phones. Additionally, the company owns over 1600 patents and serves 60 million end users in over 100 countries each day.