Leverage Collaboration Partners to Drive Innovation

It’s no secret – the collaboration space is pretty complex. There are tons of service providers out there and the decision-making process can become confusing. It can be hard to understand what exactly you need in communications and how to deploy it.  Furthermore, weighing the cost and ROI on your investment can be stressful. How much will my business pay upfront? Are there additional fees? What happens when no one uses the technology implemented?

These questions, among others, can keep IT leaders up at night and can often lead to extremely time-consuming processes. Thankfully, PGi partnered with Frost & Sullivan to produce this whitepaper, Leverage Collaboration Partners to Drive Innovation. This piece reviews what to look for in a service provider and how to successfully leverage a collaboration partnership to drive communication success. Download today.

The Most Common UC Terms Explained

There are many important Unified Communications (UC) applications and tools available today and, yet, the terminology can often be misunderstood given the many capabilities and delivery models of UC.

Unified Communications consolidates phone, email, chat, video, conferencing and collaboration, enabling communication on any device regardless of platform. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a delivery model in which a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services are outsourced to a third-party provider and delivered over an IP network, usually the public Internet.

Here’s a list of the most commonly used terms and their definitions as they relate to UC and UCaaS:

IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange)

Unified Communications includes a phone system that integrates with external components -- sharing presence information and voicemail. The phone can be accessible using your computer. Computer-based call control enables people to answer and transfer calls, initiate dials and adjust phone features from their desktop, laptop or mobile device.

Email

The second most used and critical components of any UC solution is email because it is where most digital workers keep schedules and contacts.

Unified Messaging (UM)

Messaging refers to the ability of the PBX to deliver voicemail and faxes as email to eliminate the need to check a second (or third) location for messages.

Instant Messaging (IM)

Also referred to as chat, IM is a type of communications that doesn’t require a phone conversation, IM was also the first real presence application (to see if someone was available).

Presence

Typically presence and IM are one in the same, but this term refers to a message that someone leaves to describe what communication method they prefer as well as when they are most available to be contacted.

Desktop Video

Simple video communication using embedded or attached webcams. The technology is moving fast, and it is an important consideration in the UC landscape, especially since face-to-face is one of the best ways to communicate.

Collaboration

Collaboration includes conferencing services such as voice or audio, web and video. Typically, this is team collaboration or project-based collaboration which is different from more traditional conferencing tools.

It also describes the ability to pull multiple parties together into a workspace to share documents, presentations, video, etc.

Mobility

Mobility generally enables people to use a mobile phone to perform many of the functions listed above. But, via UC, mobile can also refer to the ability to answer calls that were intended for an office line from any location – meaning that UC systems can easily function on your phone.

Application integration

Integration reduces double work and ensures data still reaches multiple systems, like customer relationship management (CRM) to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting systems.

To learn more about Unified Communications, please download our new Unified Communications 101 eBook, today.

Unified Communications 101 eBook

From small businesses to multi-national enterprises, having a Unified Communications (UC) plan is becoming the go-to strategy for many companies looking to improve collaboration in today’s world. Enterprise leaders are ending their multi-vendor, multi-contract communications setup and instead seeking a single, highly secure and globally scalable solution. This shift to streamline collaboration providers allows them to save money and focus their resources centrally.

As UC is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, PGi’s Unified Communications 101 eBook will give readers a basic understanding of what UC is, what terminology to look out for, how to stay ahead of the game and what features to look for in a UC vendor.

What to Look for in Your UC&C Partner

From small businesses to multi-national enterprises, a highly secure and globally scalable UC&C bundle is top of mind for every company. In fact, according to Salesforce research, 86 percent of executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Clearly, communication and collaboration are the cornerstone of a successful businesses.

Once seen as simply a value-add solution, unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions have gained traction as one of the most prevalent topics within the Carrier community. And as it is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, it’s important to stay ahead of the game, and understand the best features to look for in a UC&C partner.

To help you stay relevant with your customers, PGi’s Partner Channel has put together a checklist of the ten key factors that can strengthen a Carrier’s role as a cornerstone in the UC&C practices of your customers. Check out the free checklist now to learn how to stay ahead of the competition, maximize legacy revenues and distinguish your offering in an otherwise commoditized space.

Webcasting Solution Improves Global Employee Engagement for Belden Inc.

With 9,000 employees all over the world, Belden’s ability to connect and engage with all of their teams has been challenging. To help meet its goal of being a world-class company in employee engagement, customer satisfaction and shareholder value, Belden knew it needed a solution.

Belden turned to PGi to provide an intuitive, flawless webcasting platform to power their quarterly CEO town hall meetings. Belden utilizes iMeetLive to produce live streaming town halls to keep its associates in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia engaged with the company’s executives.

Using iMeetLive, Belden has been able to reach its global network of employees through HD video and audio. The reliable, consistent experience during each town hall has not only impressed their CEO, but their employees as well.

Not only is it easy for me to set up these web events, but thanks to the great user experience, employees from all over the globe are asking how they can use iMeetLive in their offices.Michelle Foster, Corporate Communications Manager

IT’s Evolving Role: A Frost & Sullivan Perspective on UC&C

Hear Frost & Sullivan’s perspective on IT’s role in shaping business.

Hear from Frost & Sullivan Associate Fellow and VP of Research for Connected Work, Melanie Turek on:

  • Trends in the workplace that are driving change for IT, such as the rise of virtual workplace, BYOT, increased need for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
  • Redefining IT’s role within an organization, with an increased understanding of the collaboration use cases.
  • A need for IT’s strategic focus on emphasizing and enabling collaboration to deliver measurable value – and mold these highly customizable solutions to the business’s unique needs.

This on-demand webinar presented by:

Melanie Turek, VP of Research for Connected Work at Frost & Sullivan

As an Associate Fellow and VP of Research for Connected Work at Frost & Sullivan, Melanie Turek covers a broad range of markets, leveraging long-standing relationships with leading industry participants’ senior executives and customer organizations. Melanie has more than 25 years’ experience covering video and web conferencing, social networking, unified communications, voice, IP communications, and instant messaging and presence, as well as a wide range of business software and services. Melanie brings deep technical expertise and in-depth understanding of the ways in which technology can positively impact business processes and performance. She studied social anthropology at Harvard, and she views technology transformation through that lens.

Barbara Bacigalupi, Director, SaaS Engineering at PGi

Barbara has over 30 years of experience selling and implementing emerging technology solutions that enhance business outcomes, by making business process owners more efficient, responsive, and competitive. With PGi since 2010, Barbara directs a team of Sales Engineers, which spans the customer spectrum from identifying opportunities for collaboration enhancement to ensuring successful implementation and ROI. Prior to joining PGi, Barbara developed expertise in Customer Interaction solutions: inbound and outbound voice and data messaging, IVR and speech-enabled self-service, contact center, CRM and web conferencing. Barbara holds a Bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

2016 Future of Business Collaboration eBook

This year’s Future of Business Collaboration eBook focuses on the idea that technology is evolving to help create a more employee-focused workplace, and to help workers everywhere become more efficient and effective in communicating and collaborating.

Experts from Frost & Sullivan, x.ai, Interface, VMware AirWatch and DaVincian Healthcare bring you exciting new insights into this year’s business collaboration trends:

  • Security in the Age of BYOT
  • The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence
  • The Future of Workspaces
  • Design of the Workplace
  • The Evolution of Telemedicine

Proving the Value of Collaboration Software and Get Buy-Ins from Decision Makers

Collaboration software transforms the way we work together and share information. Today, many organizations are leveraging those solutions and tools to promote efficient communication and innovation across the enterprise. As these companies promote social software initiatives, proving the value of collaboration software can be a challenge when trying to get buy-in from decision makers or line of business leaders.

As we’ve covered in a previous post, in order to prove the value of collaboration tools, it is crucial to first measure it. Utilizing a consistent measurement framework is key to capture the relevant data needed to properly evaluate the solution and influence the buy-in decision. This framework can provide important insights into the actual usage of collaboration tools, how they are influencing both the individual user and organizational culture, and how ROI is being generated.

One of the most effective ways to gain acceptance and get decision makers on board with your proposed collaboration solution is with real, quantitative numbers, coupled with the softer, qualitative benefits that are a bit harder to prove.

Return on Investment

Showing decision makers real numbers on ROI and increased revenue is crucial, as it is typically the most direct path to solution approval. It is important to be aware that ROI is not measured purely in profits, as there are soft benefits as well. Both must be clearly addressed when selling leadership on your collaboration software solution.

ROI Metrics to consider:

  • Reduced travel time and costs
  • Increased employee adoption and engagement
  • Increased sales and revenue
  • Increase of new ideas and improved processes
  • Decrease in Shadow IT solutions across the enterprise

Sales and Marketing Enablement

Sales and marketing enablement has a direct line to increased revenue. It should come as no surprise, that when your most effective sales people can easily share their best practices, insights, and wins across the sales organization, any gains in effectiveness among lower performers translate directly to increased revenue. Soft benefits in sales and marketing enablement include better employee morale, stronger commitment to company culture, and rapid rate of adoption and engagement.

Organizational Engagement

Engagement is key. Investing in the best collaboration platform on the market will be a waste of time and money if your organization fails to adopt it and engage with it. Promoting the wrong solution will diminish your credibility and likelihood of buy-in when you evangelize a major investment that never gets used. Conducting a 90-day pilot program in a specific department can be a great method to determine if it meets operational needs and requirements. In that timeframe, it should be obvious whether a proposed solution is the right or wrong fit for your organization.

In summary, carefully consider your collaboration solution options before proposing your solution to decision makers, weighing capabilities against your company’s particular needs and culture. Find a solution and make the case for how it will be implemented and used, the results it will produce, and your pilot program strategy. As stakeholders and influencers within an organization begin to realize the real business value of the software, acceptance and promotion will begin to spread organically, ultimately leading to the buy-in from decision makers.

iMeet® Central by PGi is a powerful collaboration solution that enables teams to collaborate around files, combine knowledge, inspire ideas and manage projects — at any time, from anywhere in the world. Try it free now.

Buyer’s Guide for Marketing Collaboration Workspaces

Collaboration solutions have become essential to every successful marketer’s game plan. They support seamless communication between teams and facilitate improved project management. And, in an age of disbursed teams, they can inspire innovation by bringing collaborators together in a virtual environment that’s the next best thing to being in the same room.

To help you identify the right solution for your team, download our Marketing Buyer’s Guide for Online Team Workspaces for answers to key questions and explanations of essential features.

Quiz: What’s Your Virtual Collaboration Style?

No doubt about it, collaboration (much of it virtual) is the way of getting things done in the modern workplace. In fact, it pretty much “takes a village” to finish any kind of sizable project. And, every village (aka your workplace), has its cast of collaboration characters, from the big cheese to the minutiae manager.

But which collaboration character are you?  Take our “What’s Your Virtual Collaboration Style Quiz” with personalized results and tips for what’s good about your particular style as well as what you can do to improve or change.

Ideal collaboration results from the blend of your personal style and how you use your communication technologies to work with teammates.

Take the Quiz Now

A CMO’s Guide to Winning Friends and Influencing People

How do you trust, communicate, manage and collaborate with colleagues and partners you never see? For today’s workforce, that’s the new reality, and to stay effective, CMOs must figure out how to build better virtual relationships.

A whopping 84 percent of companies now employ remote workforces, and considering marketers are now regular cross-functional collaborators, learning how to build, strengthen and maintain relationships from afar is critical for CMOs.

Learn five steps you can take to strengthen your virtual teams and five tips to stay productive no matter where you are. Download the new, free eBook from PGi: “The CMO’s Guide to Winning Friends and Influencing People (Without Ever Meeting Face-to-Face).”

A CMO’s Guide to Virtual Collaboration

Marketing departments are growing in size, skills diversity and location. And today’s CMO is more involved than ever with the entire organization—including services, sales, product, IT, HR and finance. With all these disparate stakeholders engaged, sometimes it can feel like herding cats and corralling chickens!

That’s why for CMOs, virtual and online collaboration are more important than ever. Check out PGi’s new infographic, Herding Cats and Corralling Chickens, which takes a look at the virtual workforce and offers up some tips to help work more effectively together.

Wearables in the Workplace

Wearable technology is here, but we’re still early in the lifecycle. If you’re like me and already wearing an Android smartwatch, Apple Watch, Pebble or Fitbit, you’re still comfortably in the realm of “early adopter.”

Wearables haven’t yet achieved their iPhone moment, when this new category of device reaches mass adoption and begins to invade the workplace. However, the ability to more easily receive alerts and notifications – a streamlined, personal way to filter information and prioritize actions – is already catching the attention of developers, and has certainly streamlined my workdays quite a bit.

For example, let’s say I’m sitting in an impossibly long meeting where I can’t be using my phone. An email comes in, and my smartwatch unobtrusively alerts me. At a glance, my watch allows me to quickly make judgment calls about whether an email is urgent enough to warrant a response or, in critical situations, whether I should even duck out of my meeting. And it’s all done in a seamless way that helps me stay “in the moment” more than being glued to my phone screen.

These may seem like relatively insignificant improvements over glancing at a smartphone (although we’re doing that upwards of 110 times a day), but in an interconnected workplace where speed is everything, every little improvement positively affects collaboration, productivity and efficiency.

Designing for the Wrist
Creating apps for wearables, while seemingly a novelty today, will eventually mark a key growth point with consumers and businesses. The wearable interaction paradigm means a shift in design philosophy from full-on functionality to brevity. The goal is near-instant access to information in a relatively sparse platform.

For example, PGi’s iMeet® Agenday, our award-winning smart calendar app, is pretty basic when you get right down to it: aggregated calendars and notifications. But with additional, contextually relevant information like LinkedIn profiles and voice-activated access to common meeting features (for instance, sending “I’m running late!” messages), it brings together information that helps you work more productively and efficiently and packages it up into a user experience designed for your wrist.

As the Internet of Things gives way to the Workplace of Things, the influence of wearables will begin to expand. This is just the opening chapter of new technology that will likely have a long story arc. The hardware, features and APIs will continue to evolve, allowing us to craft experiences we can’t even picture yet.

Gird your wrists. With Business Insider predicting the wearable computing market will reach 148 million units by 2019, the wearables are most definitely coming.

For more insights on wearables’ potential impact in the workplace, download our free eBook “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition” today.

This post originally appeared on CIO.com’s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi. 

C-Suite Collaboration: Earning and Keeping Marketing’s Seat at the Table

Not surprisingly, by 2017, CMOs will direct more corporate technology spending than CIOs. However, the leader most often left out of the C-suite is still the CMO, according to research in the newest eBook by PGi.

Marketing leaders, it’s time to make your mark and learn how to earn a bigger role in setting the corporate agenda. Get your copy of the “C-Suite Collaboration” eBook now for four easy ways you can earn the respect of C-level executives and help guide digital transformation.

Download this must-read, free eBook from PGi today: “C-Suite Collaboration: Earning and Keeping Marketing’s Seat at the Table.”

Presentation Tools to Collaborate & Create Better Sales Pitches

Crafting a sales pitch is a key component to becoming a successful sales professional. Modern effective sales pitches require collaboration and conversation—a two-way street between you and the buyer, listening to their concerns and offering them tailored solutions.

Knowing this, creating an effective sales pitch may require some collaboration with your peers. Instead of relying on traditional methods – like practicing in the mirror – here are some presentation tools that can help you work with your peers to create a great sales pitch:

Online meeting tools, like PGi’s iMeet®, are great presentation tools to use if you’re preparing a sales pitch for a prospect. After you’ve crafted your presentation, log into your iMeet® room to record yourself with both video and audio so you can see where the strengths and weaknesses lie in your presentation. You can then access your recordings in your iMeet files for future reference.

Take your practice to the next level with real-time interaction. Use your iMeet room to video conference a colleague or sales leader before your client meeting. Present your pitch and ask them for critiques on your body language and tone. Because body language is important when making first impressions, this is a great exercise to critique your natural reactions to questions during your pitch.

 

Team workspace tools are easy ways to make sure you’re keeping up with the latest marketing and product messaging. Among various other uses, these spaces are designed to upload documents, like product and marketing materials, to help sales professionals stay aligned with a company’s messaging and goals.

Use this database to help build your pitch with useful information like product specs, unique selling points and benefits and tailor them to your buyer’s needs. Have questions or need ideas? Some team workspace tools, like iMeet® Central, have the ability to create discussions, so you can work collaboratively with your team members in the workspace, instead of flooding your inbox with email threads.

Smart calendar apps are designed to keep you organized. As a sales professional, your schedule is probably packed with meetings with prospects and clients. Use a smart calendar app, like PGi’s Agenday®, to ensure you’re never late for a pitch again. You can also log your calls straight into Salesforce from the Agenday app to streamline the sales process. You’ll be able to keep track of contacts, make notes about your conversation and record where the prospect is in the business process inside Salesforce.

Harness the benefits of technology and collaborate with your peers to create a better sales pitch by using these presentation tools. Want to learn more about the new era of sales and how you can continue to use technology to improve your sales process? Download PGi’s new free eBook, Join the Social Sales Revolution: Your Guide to the New Way to Sell.

How to Encourage Collaboration Between Sales Teams

It might seem contradictory to encourage collaboration among some of the most competitive workers in your business, but research shows sales teams that collaborate together, win together. According to data in the PGi eBook, “Join the Social Sales Revolution,” world-class sales performers collaborate on large deals, account management and customer profiles at much higher rates than other sales professionals.

And the key to making teamwork happen in sales is collaboration technology. Collaboration tools like audio, web and video conferencing help some of the most dispersed sales teams and field offices connect and learn from their counterparts across the region and the world, no matter where they are.

The Benefits of Collaboration Tools for Sales
A lot is written about the importance of building sales alignment with marketing, but what about the importance of collaboration among sales teams themselves? That’s how modern sales teams are breaking ground on new ways of driving leads to closing.

Collaboration tools enable greater knowledge sharing in sales, which helps breathe new life into sales opportunities with roadblocks. It happens not only in formal virtual sales training programs but also now in regional meetings and peer-to-peer mentoring. For sales teams, who face pressure to adapt to constantly evolving buyers’ journeys, training and learning, investing in the right collaboration tools will help encourage everyone to take the initiative to find and share information.

Your leaders in social selling have invaluable insights on what works and what repels prospects on social media sites, and your veterans have years of experience to give newbies a kick in the right direction. Everyone has losses and successes for your sales organization to learn from, and you never know who might help you uncover a soft lead to close a major deal.

Plus, every sales rep knows that response time makes a huge impact on interactions with prospects. Without the technology to make ongoing, real-time collaboration possible, you miss out on the potential to make response times faster by rapidly crowd-sourcing ideas and expertise.

Getting Started
If your sales team’s technology has always consisted of tools for reporting and customer relationship management, you’re probably wondering, “Where do I even start looking for the right collaboration tools?”

The easiest way to ensure your sales reps have technology they’ll use with ease and frequency is looking for an all-in-one collaboration solution. By combining audio, web and video conferencing into one, user-friendly interface, sales reps have enough collaboration options to suit their unique communication styles and on-the-go workdays, without having to navigate multiple platforms.

Social Sales eBook Cover

Looking for more resources on collaboration for sales? After you download your free eBook, “Join the Social Sales Revolution,” to learn about the role of team collaboration in the new sales landscape, check out these blog posts to learn more about the importance of cross-functional collaboration for your sales team:

Why Do I Need to Collaborate with My Team?

Regardless of the size of your business or industry, working efficiently with internal and external parties is key to keeping a business functioning successfully. Whether those parties are local or global, finding an effective collaboration solution is inherent to keeping everyone connected and engaged.

Each business practices different methods of collaborating based on trial and error of what works for their team and environment, but for those who are working with both in-person and virtual teams, collaboration software may be the best choice.

Check out the benefits of collaboration software and how it helps various teams within one company work together to produce better results for the business:

Project Management
If you and your team are constantly dealing with projects that have tight deadlines, then you know that having a workflow system in place for all your projects is crucial. With collaboration software, you can break down and automate each part of your workflow to manage projects easier.

Collaboration software centralizes all of your projects in one simple interface, and creates transparency with task lists assigned to team members to keep them accountable for their responsibilities. You’ll also be able to see the progress of projects through calendars with due dates and through discussion threads.

Organization
Managing projects that end up with tons of revised documents can get really tricky when multiple people are involved. If you’ve tried using email with a large or remote team, then you have suffered the annoyance of tracking down the correct version of your project documents. Collaboration software solves that frustration.

By hosting documents in one place, like a discussion thread or group hub, you and your team will stop wasting time looking for the correct documents. As you upload documents, the software will keep track of how many versions have been uploaded and if they’ve been changed. This way, you’ll spend more time seamlessly collaborating instead of tracking down documents to meet project deadlines.

Communication
Whether you’re working with internal employees or external stakeholders, you know how important communication can be when it comes to collaborating. And you also know how important it is to keep everyone on the same page, especially with how quickly modern business moves.

With collaboration software, you and your team will be able to communicate within one single interface, allowing you to collaborate quickly and efficiently as you share and revise documents. And because collaborative software is accessible from the cloud, you’ll have access anywhere and at any time without having to worry about corporate firewalls.

Collaboration software allows businesses to stay organized and communicate collaboratively to produce better results. Ready to collaborate smarter? Try a powerful collaboration solution, Central Desktop by PGi, free for 15 days.

How Do I Measure the Business Value of Collaboration Tools?

For many users, you know when collaboration tools are successful by the way they make your workday feel easier or your brand look sharper. But it’s important to measure the real business value of your investment beyond soft ROI metrics.

For instance, hard ROI helps you:

  • Defend your decision against critics and showcase the benefits to drive user adoption.
  • Prove the value to your superiors to gain leadership support for the technology.
  • Justify your department’s budget and demonstrate your contributions.
  • Make more informed decisions in the future when you’re considering switching solutions or changing vendors.

Capturing the ROI of Collaboration

Cost Savings
One of the easiest ways to evaluate the business value of collaboration tools is dollars saved. Travel and facility costs are common metrics to monitor, from marketers traveling to trade shows to HR professionals flying in interviewees. Simply compare your monthly travel and facility costs (if you rent rooms for meetings or space for live events) since deploying your solution with the previous year.

Productivity Improvements
Productivity is a top reason many companies buy collaboration tools, but this intangible concept can be hard to measure. Tracking work quantity would be a monstrous task and monitoring quality would be subjective. Instead, track metrics like:

  • Eliminated travel time. Removing downtime while traveling for dispersed teams and workers in the field translates into more productive hours.
  • Shortened time-to-hire. HR professionals can do even more in the same amount of time when video conferencing speeds up the hiring process.
  • Increases in engagement and interaction. Attendance, questions, downloads and survey responses indicate improvements to online-enabled training, since those activities help employees better retain information.
  • Projects completed ahead of or on time. If you’re using online team workspaces, you can easily view built-in reports to compare project acceleration and missed deadlines.
  • Cuts in absenteeism. Instead of completely checking out when life happens, employees that have means to collaborate and access work remotely keep productivity up.
  • Diminished service requests or ticket resolution time. If IT gains more time and resources to tackle projects outside of operational tasks, it proves your technology is reliable and your vendor’s service effective enough to practically run on its own.
  • Faster time-to-market. Anyone involved in launching a new product (marketing, engineers) gains time to do more when your time-to-market accelerates due to collaboration.
  • Dips in client complaints. If your collaboration solution is customer-facing, monitor improvements in customer service and client interactions by how satisfaction improves.

Revenue Growth
Sales and marketing teams that use collaboration tools to increase customer interactions, improve customer relationships and target new leads can tie new collaboration technology directly to revenue growth. If you’re using a professional webcasting solution to reach new leads, pre- and post-event reports provide instant insights on the impact of a single web event on your demand generation and lead nurturing. And collaboration solutions integrated with Salesforce help sales view the impact of video conferencing and online presentations on pipeline velocity.

Learn More

Featured Image Source: Albumarium

How to Use a Collaboration Solution for Better Project Management

For the average worker, projects just keep multiplying and accelerating at faster paces. However, by employing a collaboration solution, you can get a better handle on dispersed teams, aggressive deadlines, incoming requests and high-volume collaboration and improve your project results.

With robust features, iMeet® Central by PGi helps to solves common project management challenges, like:

1. The challenge: Managing multiple teams and projects.

The solution: Centralize everything for in-person and virtual teams with iMeet Central – files, schedules, updates, conversations, tasks – within searchable workspaces and make it easy to view color-coded calendars and status reports across multiple projects from your desktop or mobile dashboard.

2. The challenge: Overseeing projects with large, diverse team members.

The solution: Collaborating with multiple parties and external collaborators often slows communication (and in turn, progress), but with iMeet Central, you’ll be able to initiate communication seamlessly with integrated web and audio conferencing. The collaboration solution also makes it easy to control the authorization levels of all team members and see who’s editing or viewing tasks with audit logs.

3. The challenge: Keeping everyone on track to meet deadlines.

The solution: Break every piece of a project down into transparent, actionable tasks in iMeet Central, and set deadlines, priority levels and time budgets for each one so each project team member knows when their commitments are due and are accountable.

4. The challenge: Measuring the real-time status of projects.

The solution: Up-to-date data is critical to ensuring that you deliver projects on time and within set parameters, so the iMeet Central collaboration solution lets you create milestones out of tasks and generate Gantt charts and status reports to visualize and summarize your entire project as needed.

5. The challenge: Responding to last-minute changes or major overhauls.

The solution: iMeet Central helps you carve in room for flexibility and agility. Once you assign work requests, workflow rules you establish automate repeatable review-and-approve processes thereafter, granting you more time to make project changes as needed instead of micromanaging the details. The collaboration solution also archives all activity and document versions so you can track changes and get a complete view of project modifications.

Though project management success depends on a variety of factors – like better planning and getting the right people on board – the right tools and processes enable you to get the rest right, even in the face of rapid movement and redirection.

Whether you’re connecting teams in the office or afar, creating your next big marketing campaign or connecting global development teams, having the powerful collaboration features of iMeet Central at your fingertips will help you do it on time and on budget.

Request a demo today to see how much easier your teamwork and project management could be with a proven, trusted collaboration solution like iMeet Central.

Collaboration Software vs. Email

We’ve all been there – you have a project with a quick turnaround that needs your team’s input and feedback. How do you collaborate? Traditionally businesses have used email, the default communication medium. But without truly collaborative components like project management and real-time document collaboration, email is quickly being replaced by collaboration software as the tool of choice for the modern team.

Struggles with Email
While essential to the workplace, email lacks vital collaborative features and can become cumbersome and inefficient. Take a look at some of the disadvantages of using email as your main communication tool instead of more advanced collaboration software.

  • Overflow: One of the biggest issues with collaboration through email is the inevitable overflow of email into your inbox. Sifting through email chains with identical subject lines and different attachments can become a huge waste of time.
  • Restrictive: Email often becomes restrictive – and frustrating – when it comes to sending attachments. Documents exceeding a certain size are often left pending in your outbox or may never be sent at all, a situation that isn’t ideal when you’re trying to quickly work on a project.
  • Version Control: When a team of people works together on a document, collaboration can get messy. More often than not, various editions of the document will be overlooked, leading the next set of edits to be on the incorrect version – just when you thought the document was finalized.
  • Safety: It happens – you’ve sent an email to the wrong person. But what if that information was confidential? With email, it becomes far too easy to put sensitive information in the wrong hands.

How Collaboration Software Helps
Collaboration software is a great alternative to the clunky, archaic collaboration tool that is email. Here are some ways that collaboration software can help your team establish a more effective and collaborative environment.

  • Cloud Collaboration: Most collaboration software is centralized into a single cloud-based application. This way, you and your team can access your projects, files and tasks anywhere on any device.
  • Streamlined Communication: Instead of sifting through dozens of emails, team members can easily and efficiently communicate through discussion threads.
  • Document Editing: Thanks to cloud sharing, everyone will have access to the latest version of the document you are working on. Even better, most collaboration software will lock the document if a team member is editing it, putting a stop to numerous members creating different editions of a document.
  • Workflow and Project Management: Speed up your routine business processes by assigning tasks, sending alerts and more. You’ll know exactly where your projects stand and be able to manage resources to keep things moving forward.
  • Reduce Risk: A great perk of collaborative software is the security it offers. You’ll be able to control what individual users can do and prevent unauthorized access. Some collaborative software will also perform daily system-wide backups to ensure no data is lost, keeping your confidential information safe and protected.

Collaboration software is a powerful tool that enables teams to collaborate around files, ideate, manage projects and combine knowledge from anywhere at any time. Stop struggling with email and start streamlining your communication by trying iMeet®, a smarter way to collaborate.