We live in a world that has seen incredible change in the way we do ordinary tasks. Just as GPS changed the way we travel, online retailers changed the way we shop, and review sites changed the way we pick restaurants, social networking has changed the way we communicate and collaborate with our friends and family. Social networks make it far easier to keep up to date on what your friends and family are doing, plan events and share life milestones.
In the secure enterprise collaboration business, we aim to bring that same transformation to daily work life. With the right enterprise-grade collaboration solution and integrations, employees can tackle the day’s challenges and shift from working in siloes to working in a collaborative community.
Today’s average worker has a set of standard daily processes. First, most workers check their phones, skim through email inboxes and access their critical applications to determine the day’s activities. A marketing exec may scan email, a salesperson checks Salesforce, while a DevOps team member plans the day with Jenkins or JIRA. Once the triage is set for the day, work begins.
Most of the time, workers need to collaborate with other employees to complete tasks or determine best ways to move forward if there is an issue. Just as often, they may need to source knowledge or expertise from other employees – for instance, the marketing exec may need to respond to a support question on Twitter while a salesperson needs assistance responding to an RFP. Employees use a variety of tools to collaborate and crowdsource, like emails, instant messaging, conference calls and in-person meetings.
For employees at most companies, these activities are done in a siloed and disjointed manner. Collaboration solutions aim to bring together these daily work activities in a single work stream. Let’s look at how enterprise collaboration solutions can transform these daily activities and become your daily work companion:
Today, workers are checking various places to triage their messages and plan their day. Email and third-party applications like Salesforce, Workday, JIRA or Twitter are among the top apps used for work in various fields. After getting a good idea of the day’s activities, they get to work. With an enterprise collaboration solution, the daily triage can be streamlined into the social network stream. With third-party application integrations like the Socialcast Integration Store, workers can get all alerts, notifications and tasks within a single, unified activity stream.
Workers use email, chat solutions, conference calls or meetings to collaborate with team members around tasks. While these traditional forms of collaboration produce results, they aren’t very effective at ensuring all of the right resources are at the table (e.g. someone gets left off an email or you only source one person rather than a group in chat). Also, once the conference call is done or meeting is over, there isn’t always a way to look back at that meeting or collaboration at a later time.
So if a similar situation or problem arises, you’re back to square one and need to start the process over. With an enterprise collaboration solution, collaboration is transformed. Formal and informal teams within the organisation can create groups to collaborate on projects. These groups can even create collaborative projects and can include individually-assigned tasks and due dates, alerting employees when a particular assignment needs to be completed. All of these interactions are archived within the social activity feed and employees can refer to or share these conversations at any time.
Crowdsourcing and sharing of knowledge
Many times during the day, workers need to source experts. Today, a worker could email a distribution list or walk to an area of the office where the experts work, but these traditional methods have restrictions.
First, workers may neglect to engage resources in other offices or regions for their intel. Also, when sending a mass email to a distribution list, the recipients don’t always know if the question has been answered. And similar to the collaboration situation above, there’s no way to save this information for historical use. If another worker has the same question, there’s no way to know if there is already an answer.
With an enterprise collaboration solution, crowdsourcing and knowledge sharing becomes a much more open and collaborative process. Users can post questions to groups, regions or users with specific titles. All users can see when a question is answered, and the information is available to all for later reference.
Now, let’s put this into the perspective of a salesperson. She begins her day logging into her enterprise collaboration community integrated with Salesforce and Marketo and sees what she has missed while she was asleep – messages from co-workers, changes to sales opportunities, marketing campaign results (daily triage). That shapes her days’ activities, meetings and demos. Preparing for her first call of the day, she notices a critical tool for her presentation isn’t working. She sends a quick message to the sales engineering group (team collaboration).
Within minutes, there’s a response from a sales engineer with a solution to the problem. She then tags her sales team in the post with the answer, so all colleagues are aware of the problem, and the sales engineers only need to answer it once (sharing). After her sales call, she wants to send the prospective customer an example of a current customer with a specific use case, so she posts a question to the sales social group page looking for an example. A fellow salesperson from another country responds with a case study that fits her request (crowdsourcing). The same scenarios can be transformed for virtually every department within an organisation.
In addition to being a daily work companion, a secure enterprise collaboration tool like Socialcast can also be trusted with mission-critical corporate information. At Socialcast, we’ve made security part of our product DNA, and in combination with AirWatch, you can manage your apps securely. We are integrating with the AirWatch SDK and so you can deploy our solution either on-premise or on vCloud Air in data centres around the globe to bring the VMware level of security to our Socialcast platform.
Enterprise collaboration platforms are set to transform our daily lives in just the way personal social networking has changed the way we interact with our friends and family. Are you ready to make collaboration tools your daily work companion?
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.