What Do We Mean by ‘Collaboration Tools’?
‘Collaboration tools’ are digital tools that allow you to easily share information with your colleagues and work on projects together, even if you’re not in the same location.
They include tools that allow you to:
- Gain insight to how well employees are collaborating
What Are the Top Collaboration Tools for 2021?
- Video conferencing
- Voice calls
- Collaboration tools that let you access, share, and edit information
There are times when you don’t want to send an email. What you need is an immediate response to your query. That’s where chat comes in.
Chats allow you to connect with colleagues quickly and easily, whether they’re down the hall or in another country. The top chat collaboration tools of 2021 give you a chance to express your personality, too, with gifs, stickers, and emojis, either in group chats or one-on-one messages.
Other times, you need a face-to-face meeting with people who can’t be in the same physical location at the same time. With video conferencing, you can hold virtual meetings for a few people or an entire business.
Market-leading video conferencing collaboration tools are easy to use. The right tool should make it simple and quick to schedule a video conference, and it should allow for a large number of attendees.
Although voice calls are the least technologically sophisticated item on this list, there’s still a place for them within your set of collaboration tools for 2021. The difference between traditional voice calls and the voice calling capabilities of modern collaboration tools is that these calls are made digitally.
Digital phone calls should be clear, reliable, and secure. In addition, when you use digital voice calling services, you should be able to see who is entering and leaving a call so you can rest assured that only the right people are on the call.
Collaboration Tools that Let You Access, Share, and Edit Information
Collaboration is built on the principle of being able to share information easily. However, if you can’t access information or edit it in real time, effective collaboration simply isn’t taking place.
The best collaboration tools for 2021 are those that not only allow you to share a file or document, but those that enable you to access and edit it in real time. When you can carry out those activities immediately, tasks are completed faster, which keeps your company operating on a competitive edge.
The Underpinnings of the Top Collaboration Tools for 2021
The technology and infrastructure that supports 2021’s top collaboration tools is equally as vital. These components support the collaboration tools’ abilities to function and deliver value to the organisation.
These underpinnings include:
- Trusted business applications
- Mobile applications and infrastructure
- Data and AI
Trusted Business Applications
Being able to access and share data is an essential part of collaboration. Yet, how can you make good decisions about the information that’s being shared if it’s not from a trustworthy and reliable source?
That’s why the underpinnings of your collaboration tools for 2021 and beyond should be a set of trusted business applications. They should only draw information from business applications that are approved of by the company, not from shadow IT apps that can pose real security threats to the organisation.
Mobile Applications and Infrastructure
Given the events of 2020, the idea of working from home has gained significant traction. Even before the threat of contagion forced us to work remotely, employees who had to travel for work relied upon their mobile devices to get things done. Because not everyone can be in the office, it’s critical that your collaboration tools work properly on smart phones and tablets as well as desktops and laptops.
Robust and secure mobile applications and infrastructure allow employees to share information and complete tasks wherever they are.
Data and AI
You need data as one of the underpinnings for your collaboration tools for the following reasons:
- They provide analytics on how your collaboration tools are being used
- Employees need data tools to be able to share information with one another, including data visualisations
AI is an important element in the foundation of your collaboration tools because it can help you discover which analytics matter to your business, so you can make better decisions.
Microsoft Office 365: The Right Collaboration Tools for 2021 and Beyond
Microsoft Office 365 offers the right collaboration tools for 2021 and beyond. Here’s why:
- It allows you to collaborate anywhere
- It’s secure
- It’s a cost-effective solution
Microsoft Office 365: Collaborate Anywhere
Microsoft Office 365 offers a comprehensive set of collaboration tools including chat, voice calls, and video conferencing. Moreover, users can access, share, and edit documents from within the Office suite in real time.
Employees don’t have to be in the office to utilise Microsoft Office 365; it’s supported by a robust and secure mobile infrastructure, so they can take it on the go.
Microsoft Office 365 Is Secure
Microsoft Office 365 keeps corporate data safe. It defends against cyber threats and encrypts data to prevent access by unauthorised outside users. In addition, it features identity access management capabilities to prevent internal individuals from having access to information that isn’t relevant to their jobs.
Microsoft Office 365 Is Cost-Effective
Some vendors focus on point collaboration tools, so you have to purchase several tools to get all of the collaboration capabilities you need. Microsoft Office 365 builds in these collaboration tools to save you time and money.
Also, these collaboration tools integrate with the widely-used Microsoft family of products, so users don’t have to open up a new application—they can collaborate from within the app they’re already using.
Enlighten Designs: Helping You Implement the Right Collaboration Tools Today and in the Future
At Enlighten Designs, we understand how critical the need for collaboration is. We’re a proud Microsoft partner; in 2020, we won Partner of the Year Award New Zealand. Our Modern Workplace team are proven experts at transforming businesses into collaborative, productive organisations that connect employees and clients seamlessly. To learn more, contact us.