Team collaboration apps have become essential additions to the IT stack, providing a platform through which remote workers can work cooperatively with colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers. However, some research suggests that companies are struggling to get their employees to use these tools.
Industry estimates vary significantly, but it is believed that roughly three-quarters of U.S. businesses have adopted one or more team collaboration solutions. While business leaders see the value of an integrated platform that enables video meetings, file sharing and multiple messaging options, employees don’t always share their enthusiasm.
According to Nextiva’s 2020 State of Business Communication Report, most end-users say they prefer to use email or the telephone for business communications. Sixty percent said they are indifferent about team collaboration apps while another 16 percent either said they “disliked” or “hated” the apps because they are distracting and disruptive.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
The negative view of collaboration likely stems from the disjointed way these tools came into the workplace. In most organizations, individual departments began enhancing collaboration by adding messaging and file-sharing capabilities to their existing business communications systems. Over time, they also began taking advantage of cloud-based services such as Dropbox, Box, WhatsApp, HipChat, and many others.
Without a well-developed governance strategy, this viral adoption often leads to a chaotic environment in which people must use multiple tools to connect with different audiences. In one survey of IT decision-makers, 83.5 percent reported that collaboration tools in their company differ by department and are not used across the entire organization. Another study found that workers use an average of four separate collaboration applications, although it isn’t uncommon to have six or more. This leads to high levels of frustration and inefficiency among employees who must continually switch among multiple applications to complete work.
A solid governance strategy backed by strong management oversight and paired with ongoing end-user training can help bring order to the collaboration environment. The executive team should work with department managers and workgroup leaders to develop usage guidelines and policies that promote sustained use and increased employee participation. Online training modules will help employees become more comfortable with the platform’s advanced features, allowing them to use the platform for more than just another messaging app.
Standardization on a single platform is also key to breaking down communication silos. With recent enhancements to its MiVoice Business communication platform, Mitel has made it easier than ever to integrate full-featured collaboration tools into your business communications system.
MiVoice Business is a unified communications solution that creates the foundation for a powerful collaboration platform through the integration of MiCollab, MiTeam Meets and MiCloud Connect.
- MiCollab is Mitel’s collaboration software and tools platform that allows users to collaborate anywhere on any device with the same set of tools and a consistent look and feel. It provides advanced conferencing features such as remote desktop control, screen sharing, public and private chats, file transfers and more.
- MiTeam Meetings leverages the Amazon Web Services global cloud infrastructure to integrate video, chat and voice with MiCollab to provide a real-time, virtual meeting and workspace. It creates an integrated workstream with messaging, content sharing, white boarding, task assignment, and real-time voice and collaborative meetings.
- MiCloud Connect gives you the flexibility to move communications and collaboration to the cloud.
Team collaboration apps have helped organizations around the globe adapt to recent workplace disruptions by enabling teamwork among remote employees. Without effective governance, integration and training, however, these tools can frustrate users and hinder productivity. Give us a call to learn more about creating a cohesive environment with Mitel’s portfolio of communication and collaboration tools.