In a world that is always on, where there is an expectation of immediate and responsive communication and collaboration with our colleagues, customers, suppliers, etc., we are all looking for ways to help us perform smarter, faster and more productively.
The widespread accessibility of technology and connectivity is revolutionising the way we connect and interact with one another and with the rest of the world.
Real-time interactions, quick decision making and on-the-move technology capabilities are all drivers of the rapidly transforming workplace.
Time-saving technology is no longer an optional extra; it’s essential for success in the modern business landscape. IT professionals have a potentially huge role to play by enabling technology features that allow businesses to transform how they work.
If you’ve got Microsoft Office 365, you can unlock the value of collaboration in your workplace and improve efficiency with some very quick and easy steps.
Instant Messaging & Presence
It has been suggested that only one in three business emails we receive are essential for work, yet email remains a huge drain on efficiency.
- 4 million emails are sent every second
- Unsolicited junk mail accounts for 86% of the world's e-mail traffic
- The average number of business-related emails sent and received is set to soar to at least 140 each day by 2018
Skype for Business is part of the solution to the email problem. In businesses that have adopted it, the IM & Presence features have been proven to save time by reducing the number of emails sent and received.
Instant Messaging is a form of text-based, real-time communication, carried out between two or more people. IM lets you get a quick response to urgent questions, reducing the need to send out emails, and is a fast way of sharing documents, files and presentations.
By its very nature, IM encourages people to be brief and to the point. Productivity increases by eliminating time wasted switching between various communication methods, such as sending and waiting for a response to an email, calling someone and leaving a voice mail, or walking down the office to see if someone is available only to find that they are in a meeting.
The Presence feature on Skype for Business is also great for facilitating collaborative working. By enabling employees to set their status to show their availability and location, Presence allows their colleagues to choose the most effective way to communicate with them. The feature is linked to your Outlook calendar, so when you are busy or out of the office, your presence will automatically adjust for this.
If Presence says your colleague is not available, you can simply tag them for status changes and you will receive an instant alert to let you know when you can contact them.
Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations and content so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. We are all familiar with endless email chains that resemble War and Peace, and have all experienced the annoyance of crossed replies, and never knowing if you are responding to the latest thread of the chain.
With Microsoft Teams, you can see content and chat history anytime in a team chat or in private chat. You can schedule small group or team meetings, post an email in the thread to keep the team in the loop, and search for public teams to collaborate on shared projects. It is a hub for teamwork & collaboration.
Microsoft Teams enables a more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible - across the team - so everyone can stay in the know.
Skype for Business external connectivity (federation) provides a trusted link between two organisations that enables a Skype for Business user to connect with users in other organisations. Your internal users can enjoy all the benefits of IM & Presence as shown above, but with your external partners, customers & suppliers.
Federated contacts can see Presence, communicate by using IM, and make Skype-to-Skype audio and video calls.
Imagine your internal workers enjoying all the above benefits of collaborative working with your external partners, customers & suppliers. Speed the decision-making process; share screens and work on documents instantly, and record the calls/presentations.
Screen Sharing & Collaboration
One of the major benefits of Skype for Business is the ability to share your screen with other users through the “Present” feature which is available within every conversation. Not only can you share your desktop but also programs such as Microsoft Word, ExCel and PowerPoint.
Real-time collaboration allows colleagues to edit a presentation, spreadsheet or document instantly, together, without the need to wait for emails back and forth, and go through tracked changes.
Combining the Presence features mentioned above, you can easily see which of your colleagues is available, send them an IM to see if they can jump on a call, pull in any other colleagues or Federated partners you need, and make the changes you need there and then! No need for time delays.
white paper: transformation by design
The demand for anytime, anywhere connectivity is accelerating as workforces become increasingly mobile and virtual. Yet few enterprises have been able to realise the full potential of unified communications.
Our whitepaper explores the issues that cause transformation projects to fail and provides solutions to stop this happening. We discuss a range of topics including:
- The value of a unified approach
- User-centric planning
- Maintaining long term health and performance
Louise Mahrra | Global Marketing Manager
* averages taken from a variety of Industry reports as well as Modality Customer Experiences research 2015/16