How to Choose the Best Collaboration Platform

27 July, 2022

If your idea of team collaboration is huddling your team together in a conference room, either virtual or physical, once a week to discuss ideas and status of projects, then you are missing out on a lot more than you think. The concept of team collaboration goes much beyond the basic idea of working together. On some level, both are branches of the same tree, but how an organisation treads the almost imperceptible line between the two, makes all the difference.  

Covid-19 compelled many organisations to embrace remote working, and leaders had to bring about a complete shift in their strategy by focussing on facilitating the cross-functional team collaboration.  

Researchers have found that the shift in work model has reduced ‘bounce time,’ an impromptu brainstorming session amongst team members that usually takes outside a formal setup. 

Industry leaders have had this realisation for many years now, that an effective collaboration strategy opens the door for all channels of communication between teams and lays out the blueprint for a productive workflow. It also helps to break down data siloes, optimises business operations, and serves as an engine to accelerate revenue growth. 



Modern Workplace Scenario in Post Covid-19
 

Covid-19 brought about an unprecedented change in an ever-evolving hybrid work culture. While it is commonly believed that the pandemic-induced lockdown brought about this change, it will not be far-fetched to say it only acted as an accelerant. 

Most industries experienced tectonic shifts in business operations over the past two years, but what is important to note is that more business leaders have come to realise the transformative nature and potential of modern collaborative solutions. Today, it is easier than ever to bridge the gap between traditional and modern collaboration tools to connect the teams operating remotely. 

According to a study, 52% team members who started working for an organisation remotely due to Covid-19 felt less connected with their colleagues. At least 34% employees expressed desire for their organisations to provide a modern collaboration and communication tool for them collaborate effectively and boost their productivity. 

 



Common Barriers to Effective Collaboration

In an effective collaborative workspace, team members can find all the required tools and resources on one platform. The collaboration tool goes beyond connecting them with their team members and serves as a strong element for them to complete their work more efficiently and quickly.  

Having said that, ineffective collaboration can stunt the growth of an organisation, lower employee engagement and productivity, and even compromise customer experience. Let us take a look at some familiar challenges an organisation faces in creating a collaborative space for them teams.  

  • Disconnected Organisational Goal 

Did you know that at least 30% employees lack clarity on the impact of their work to the broader business strategy?  

Without an effective collaboration model in place, your employees are bound to feel disconnected from the organisation’s goals. If employees do not have visibility on the organisation’s roadmap of growth, it will spike the business’s attrition rate beyond measure sooner than later.  

Moreover, team members should not find it challenging to simply connect with one another due to lack of an effective communication tool.

  • Disjointed Communication 

If your employees feel disconnected from one another, they are less likely to ask important questions, request help from colleagues, and contribute effectively on projects. 

In order to improve your team’s productivity, it is important to provide them with a coherent platform that enables them to work together more effectively.

  • Organisational Silos 

Apart from hampering a business’s growth, organisational silos also limits an individual's success within the organisation. The problem usually begins when employees pursue departmental goals that are not in-line with business goals. This often occurs due to scarcity of information and lack of proper communication platform for cross-functional teams to connect and collaborate more effectively. 

  • Multiple channels of communication 

What is worse than no communication? Too many communication channels. If you expect your workforce to work in a collaborative environment, then they need to be provided with a unified platform to pool resources effectively. If your employees are switching between multiple channels of communication to interact with your customers as well as with each other, then it is bound to create a cobweb of disjointed data, that is not beneficial to anybody.



Choosing the Right Solution to Improve Workplace Collaboration

Collaboration solutions should offer features that allow teams to quickly find the information they need to complete their work, and effectively communicate and work together on common business goals. Let us look at what makes for an effective collaboration platform: 

  • All-in-one Collaboration Suite 

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A powerful collaboration suite can combine all the channels, both internal and external, into a unified workspace.  

  • Email 
  • Instant Messaging 
  • Telephony 
  • Virtual Meetings 
  • File Sharing 
  • Video and Call Conferencing 
  • Screen Sharing, and more 

A one-stop collaboration suite like CINNOX provides a gateway for employees to connect across multiple channels of communications that they need to do their work. It enables them to host video and call conference calls, share files securely, connect with cross-functional teams, as well as with customers using both, digital and telephony channels, and offers a range of staff management tools to improve productivity. 

  • Boost Business Performance 

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An effective collaboration tool serves as a conduit that bridges the information gap within an organisation. We do not need to emphasise on the importance of data transparency in the times we live in. How a business creates, retains, and shares data goes a long way in establishing an efficient workflow. 

  • Real-time Monitoring and Actioning Capability 

An effective tool enables team members to collaborate without disrupting the flow of communication. A powerful platform should facilitate a team lead to monitor communication between staff and customers in real-time, and even pitch in if the need arises. This way, businesses can ensure there are no lost opportunities.

  • Real-time Actionable Insights 

An effective tool also provides your team a holistic view of customer journey in real-time and enables them to work together to create a consistent experience for the customers across different channels of communication, ensuring joint accountability. It should also enable managers to leverage the data gathered from interactions and reports to optimise business performance and adjust their CX strategy to benefit the business in the long run. Data must flow freely across teams to enable top-notch customer experience.  

For example, an organisation’s product team should have a visibility on customer complaints about the products and services in real-time, even as the customer support team engaged with the customers. 

This not only helps businesses improve their performance, but also helps in improving customer satisfaction. 

  • User Experience 

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An effective collaboration platform should be intuitive and easy to use. Your team should feel confident in using the features. It should integrate with their workflow seamlessly and improve your efficiency, instead of being a burden that makes them wary of using the tool altogether.  

It is only natural for your team members to exchange tons of conversation in various chat groups within the platform. An effective tool should have a provision to bookmark or pin important messages in the chat window for later reference. Your team should also be able to pin the chat groups they frequently use to easily reconnect with their colleagues on important matters.

  • Workflow Automation 

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The right collaboration tool should work for you, and not the other way around. Using an effective platform your teams should be able to design and orchestrate workflows that can add flexibility to their complex schedule.  

Here is an example: Using CINNOX, your team members can combine Percentage and Time Routing as Multilayer Routing settings in a channel and even establish a bond between customers and specific staff or business unit, using the Sticky Routing feature, ensuring your customers receive quick and consistent problem-solving experiences. 

This not only opens up more time for your team to engage with customers, but also ensures round-the-clock operational efficiency.

  • Solid Workspace Security 

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Using a collaboration tool with a weak security system can increase the risk of cyber threats. Security forms the backbone of any collaboration and communication platform. It is important for a platform to have robust authentication and authorisation measures like data encryption, data protection systems, Audit Log, Allow List and Block List, to minimise chances of data leaks. In most organisations important data flows freely between team members, external parties, and customers using collaboration tools. Hence, it is particularly important to choose a secure collaboration platform.

  • Seamless Integration with Other Applications 

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As a collaboration platform will be used by all members of your organisation, it needs to have the flexibility to facilitate and maximise digital transformation by expertly integrating external-facing interaction data with various backend systems, so that the data can easily flow between internal systems. This helps in providing customers with services that is backed by data, and maximises the value brought to the business. The platform should easily integrate with a business’s tech stack. 

All said and done, an effective team collaboration tool goes beyond serving as a platform that is conducive to teamwork. It boosts productivity, internalises an organisation’s culture and provides you flexibility to create an experience that is indigenous to your organisation’s culture, and centralises business operations. When teams within an organisation come together to work towards achieving a common goal, collaboration truly becomes the norm. 

CINNOX empowers you to connect, orchestrate, and evaluate all internal and external communications by unifying traditional and digital touchpoints, to deliver a frictionless omnichannel experience that elevates business performance and optimises productivity. 

Take the first step towards crafting a winning collaboration experience for your organisation.

 

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