When businesses evaluate their needs for unified communications and collaboration, often they’re thinking of ways to improve communications within their own business processes – how employees work together using tools for voice, video and messaging. What happens, however, when the customers, organizations or vendors you work with need to collaborate with you on a project? Traveling for in-person meetings is cost prohibitive in many cases, but phone calls and emails can only get you so far on a research project, new project bid or complex issue resolution.
To solve this problem, many businesses turn to their internal collaborations tools, in the hopes that other businesses will use them as well. With the number of collaboration tools on the market, working across organizational boundaries can get complicated quickly. Luckily, there are some very powerful ways to streamline that process, to keep your team focused on solving the problem or making the sale, rather than wrangling collaboration applications.
Stick with what you know.
Some organizations elect to deploy multiple collaboration tools to stay in touch with customers or other external colleagues. A better choice, however, is to look for a collaboration tool that can handle both sides of the coin. With a collaboration tool that can communicate between organizations, there is no need to manage multiple applications, spend extra money or create confusion around when to use what.
Instead of trying play provider musical chairs, strategic companies look for a unified communications tool that is built to integrate with and collaborate across other communications tools, with minimal disruption for users. By using the right kind of collaboration tool, your team can actually communicate across platforms from within their own system, with no go-between necessary at the user level.
Wondering whether your team collaboration tools and strategy are helping or hindering your cause? Check out the 2017 Workplace Productivity and Communications Technology Report from Webtorials to find out. >
You’re on MiCollab, they’re on Skype for Business. No problem.
With the right communications tool in place, you don’t have to worry about what system each customer, partner or other collaborator is using. Instead, users can chat directly with one another regardless of platform by using federated communications tools, like Mitel MiCollab.
For example, with a federated collaboration tool, an employee can send a chat message via MiCollab to a colleague at another organization, where it arrives via that organization’s Skype for Business interface. The key point here is to find a communications tool that can handle federating across multiple providers, so your users don’t have to waste time trying to get connected.
But what about ongoing collaboration?
Chat’s not the only way your team needs to work with others outside your organization. Projects need a place for shared document storage, asynchronous chat and group visibility without cluttering up email inboxes. Project management is even more critical when working with another organization, as you won’t have access to the same internal storage systems between organizations.
With an external-friendly team chat application, your team is able to invite external parties to participate in file-sharing, chat, audio- and video-conferencing from within one unified interface. Some applications, like Mitel MiTeam, even have to-do list schedulers within the interface, to keep your project on track.
The future of collaboration is seamless across organizations, not just internal departments. It’s time for your business to consider how you interact with customers, vendors and other colleagues. Do your communications tools provide a seamless, efficient experience both inside and outside your organization? If they don’t, they should.