According to the 2016 US State of Enterprise Work Report, the amount of time office workers spend doing their primary job duties decreased in 2016, from 46% to 39%. So what’s going on? Shouldn’t we all be more productive than ever before with all our team collaboration software tools? Maybe that’s the problem - we have too many. Most organizations have multiple tools to collaborate with each other, their customers, partners, contractors, etc. Additionally, teams use other tools for sharing files, and we all use email to get tasks done, ask others if they’ve done their tasks and remind them if they haven’t. It’s no wonder our inboxes are totally out of control.
As a result, many businesses are looking for productivity solutions like CafeX Spaces to help streamline collaboration. These tools create centralized, virtual workspaces that bring together the right participants, activities and resources in an optimal way to drive specific objectives. Whether it’s a consulting engagement, introduction of a new product, online training, or recruiting and hiring new talent, if you’re the project lead, here are four capabilities to look for in a virtual workspace tool:
- External engagement: you have to be able to securely collaborate with your customers, partners, suppliers and colleagues, and the connection has to be simple. Guests should be able to join a secure virtual workspace with one click. No technical difficulties. No hassles. Easy. Your tool should also be visually appealing and organized so that the user can immediately see what she/he needs to do. Review a document? Send comments? Post a document? Sign or approve a contract? Check, check, check, check. Read a user guide? No need.
- Integration with existing tools: You already have tools for messaging, audio and video conferencing, sharing files, etc. Making these tools accessible to participants typically involves sending out separate links, and most of us have experienced issues like reviewing outdated document versions, sending/receiving multiple reminders or having no record of chat messages, with bits of information stored in different places. A good workspace tool should not only integrate with and front end your existing tools, but it should also enable you to share files securely, chat, send emails, view if tasks have been completed and see if documents have been read by customers, all within one virtual workspace. And users should only have to bookmark one link.
- Remote walk-through and ad-hoc meetings: Online meetings should occur within the context of the overall project rather than as a standalone experience. Look for a tool that allows you to initiate ad-hoc audio and HD quality video meetings from within the workspace simply by sharing one link (with nothing for participants to download or install). You may also need an audit log of who met whom when. Make sure your tool has the ability to remotely walk through a document, tasks, or anything else in the workspace to guide your customers through processes. Live guidance goes beyond screen sharing, in that the user views the document on his/her smartphone or desktop with your direction. CafeX Spaces, for instance, consumes only about one thousandth of the bandwidth of conventional screen sharing and the user retains control of his/her screen.
- Easy to customize by LOB: Your line of business admin should be able to create and personalize a workspace in minutes. There should be no additional IT configuration or control needed. The admin should be able to invite members from your teams and remove them when their involvement is done. Your LOB should easily view who has done what when and receive audit logs for all actions, archived after the outcome is achieved.
To find out more about how guided virtual workspaces offer new collaboration capabilities in areas such as wealth management and community outreach to drive business results beyond what traditional tools can deliver, download a whitepaper written by Dr. E Brent Kelly, President and Principal Analyst at KelCor, Inc.