Almost all of my closest colleagues are remote. On my team, I work directly with people who are based in Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania and even India. But judging from our easy rapport — not to mention how much we accomplish together — an outside observer would probably assume that we all sit next to each other in the same office every day.
This sort of dynamic is only possible, of course, because of advancements in communication and collaboration technologies. I can exchange a couple of quick text messages with a colleague across the country in less time than it takes to walk down the hall for a chat, or initiate a video call with someone across the world and talk to him or her face to face. But what’s really taken our teamwork to the next level is the emergence of solutions that tie all these tools together.
Need a Collaboration Tool? Look to Your Cloud Productivity Suite First
Take Microsoft Teams, for instance. This digital group workspace — included as part of Office 365 — brings together a team’s files and interactions in one place, allowing workers to communicate with their colleagues and quickly access information pertaining to a particular project. When integrated into existing workflows, these tools can help improve collaboration and productivity at very little cost to an organization.
Many companies already have access to tools such as Microsoft Teams — even though managers, employees and IT shops may not realize it. This is because it is typically other tools or goals (such as moving away from on-premises email) that drive adoption of cloud productivity suites such as Office 365. It’s common for other tools included in the suite, such as Microsoft Teams, to get lost in the shuffle.
Also, tools such as Microsoft Teams help support the way many employees are already working. It would be difficult to find an organization where employees aren’t already sharing files, text messaging one another and collaborating via voice and video calls every day. And yet, these different channels are typically disconnected. Text message threads get forgotten, emails get buried and employees forget which files they’ve shared with which team members. In Microsoft Teams, everything is in one place. So, mobile messages, shared files and even video call recordings all live together on the same team-centered platform. No more searching for lost emails, forgetting to invite a vital team member to a call or scrolling through hundreds of text messages. Everything is all right there — and searchable — on Microsoft Teams.
How Collaboration Solutions Streamline IT Ticketing
Finally, tools such as Microsoft Teams can really improve IT ticketing. An IT shop will follow more or less the same processes as any other team, but using Teams to respond to IT issues quickly illustrates how dramatically the tool can improve productivity and streamline existing workflows. Instead of calling techs individually to see who has the expertise and time to handle an issue, the person monitoring the ticketing queue can ping everybody at once. Then, everyone on the tech team can see the ticket, share information that might lead to a resolution and quickly identify the best person to tackle the problem.
Even as collaboration and communication tools have made it easier for employees to connect, these solutions have also sometimes introduced complexity and confusion. By bringing these solutions together, tools like Microsoft Teams help organizations to eliminate their potential drawbacks — while continuing to reap the benefits.
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