nick's top tips blog

Nick’s Top 8 Online Collaboration Tools

Online collaboration is essential to the way that we work, whether you’re back in the office or still looking to maintain more flexible practices. Even if you’re very happy to see the back of mute buttons and virtual meetings, there are still many collaboration services that I think can be incredibly useful to you, especially if you have to work away from the office unexpectedly.

At RHM we have great experience working with a range of collaboration features, both in our own office and with our customers. In this time, we’ve learned what works well and what doesn’t quite hit the mark. My team and I know every business is different, but we believe that some collaboration services can benefit just about any team. Here is our top 10, curated by me, Nick Thomas.

1. Instant Messaging

 

Over 6 billion texts are sent every day. Texting has overtaken calls and emails to become our primary mode of communication with our teams, but texting and consumer grade messaging apps lack professionalism and aren’t designed for business. That’s where instant messaging comes in.

IM services allow you to stay in touch with your team in any situation. They come with all of your existing team contacts built in, and have far more capability than consumer-grade services. From file sharing to the ability to escalate to a call, this solution is built for business.

 

 2. Presence

 

Presence is a system built into unified communication services. UC has exploded in popularity recently, with MS Teams being the most well-known service. Presence is a standout feature designed to make remote collaboration simple.

With a presence system, I can easily see the status of any of my colleagues at a glance. Whether they are available to collaborate, away from their device, busy on a call or even on holiday. This removes one of the major barriers to remote collaboration.

 

3. Office365

 

Collaborating remotely can be challenging if you can’t take your most important files with you when on the go. Office365 means you have access to every document and can share and collaborate on them with ease.

Office365 operates over the cloud, meaning all you need is an internet connection to access it. From here you can collaborate with your team in real team on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more.

 

4. Calendar Integration

 

When you need to collaborate with your staff, the first thing you need to do is have a clear understanding of who is available for you to work with. Calendar integration makes this planning stage far easier.

Unified communications services are once again essential here. These platforms work alongside leading scheduling software such as Outlook and Google Calendar. From here you can see which of your colleagues are busy at specific times, and add call notifications so you know when your next meetings are coming up.

 

5. Video Conferencing

 

Love it or hate it, video conferencing is here to stay. I believe it’s vital that everyone in your team can access this service with ease. Having video calls at your disposal means you can make collaboration far more efficient. For support staff, just being able to get a visual idea of the issue occurring can be important, and for general teamwork, a face-to-face connection is far more pleasant.

 

6. UC Call Rates

 

As much as video and messaging services can be incredibly useful for teams, voice is still the key to successful collaboration. Without the right communications infrastructure in place though, calls between members of your team can end up being far more expensive than they need to be.

One again it is unified communications services that can solve this issue. UC calls are handled through the internet rather than fixed lines, meaning they are far less expensive, and can be handled in any location. Perfect for ad hoc team collaboration.

 

7. Unified Contacts

 

This follows on from the presence system discussed earlier, but how comprehensive is your contacts list? Many people in a company, even managers don’t actually know the phone numbers of all of their staff. This obviously isn’t great for teamwork, but can easily be fixed.

A UC system allows you to consolidate your contacts. It can draw in contact details for any team member and even external users and makes them easily accessible, whenever you need them.

 

8. CRM Integration

 

When collaborating with your team, it’s massively important that everyone stays on the same page. The details of your customers are often changing, and your team needs to be aware of this.

Our communication services integrate seamlessly with a huge range of Customer Management software. This updates through the cloud, so even when you’re working away from the office, your team can quickly see the customer details that you need.

 

I hope that some of the services mentioned here can make a difference to the way you and your team work. To find out more about anything mentioned here you can reach us at 0800 041 041 or send us an email at enquiries@rhmtelecom.com

Need more information or advice? Call us now 0345 136 60 60

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