Team communication is a vital factor in the 21st-century workplace. Technological advances mean that it’s possible for people to stay in touch wherever they are. There are numerous business communication tools available that aid productivity and collaboration. From video conferencing to cloud file sharing. However, the sheer choice can be quite bewildering. Here we take a look at 10 tools that you might want to think about for your organisation. In order to enhance team communication and improve project management success.
Let’s start with one of the major players. Office 365 is how Microsoft prefers you to use its well-known suite of tools (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint) these days. This cloud-based offering includes additional applications that tie everything together and enable you to manage company-wide communication. Such as online meetings, instant messaging, OneNote and OneDrive (more of which later).
Recent upgrades have concentrated on artificial intelligence enhancements. For example, highlighting people with whom you’ve shared items previously who might want to attend your latest meeting. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices as well as all Internet browsers. This subscription-based service can be integrated with a number of other Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications & is well worth considering. If you want feature-rich programs and familiar functionality.
Microsoft’s main competitor in unified business communication tools is Google’s G Suite. Google was at the forefront of developing online apps previously seen only on a desktop. The slick performance and powerful features. Including its email, instant messaging, video conferencing and file transfer apps. Make it very appealing to a small company or one with remote employees. All of the Google functionality available in personal accounts, such as Gmail, Hangouts, Google Drive and Google Docs, are here in a business context and can fit easily with your employees’ workflows and communication needs.
Available as part of Office 365 or separately, Skype offers instant messaging, audio calls and high-definition video conferencing, either one-to-one or for groups. It’s easy to share screens and set up subtitles if required and calls can be recorded and downloaded if you need a full record of important meetings. And if you need to keep a conversation confidential, industry-standard end-to-end encryption ensures privacy.
Zoom is another tool that offers all the meeting solutions you might need. By installing a single app for messaging, voice calls, voicemail, meetings, conferencing and video, your employees can communicate with anyone from anywhere. Security is paramount. With data encryption and multi-factor authentication as standard and data can be archived for up to 10 years. There is also has a central portal for administrators to manage users and run reports.
Often referred to as the Facebook of the corporate world, Yammer (now part of Office 365) is a social networking service designed purely for enterprise communications. A company’s Yammer implementation enables different offices and teams to communicate with each other transparently. Meaning that employees can see what other teams are doing and share knowledge and achievements, helping to foster a sense of togetherness in internal communications.
Jive is another internal communication tool, designed to connect all of your employees and content in a single secure intranet on all devices. In addition to offering a variety of communication streams such as blogs, videos, news feeds, and real-time chat, it includes out-of-the-box integration for other software including SharePoint, Google, JIRA, Dropbox and Salesforce, making it easy to unite disparate communications and workflows.
With mobile working and collaboration triggering a shift away from traditional on-premise solutions, Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage platform provides both online and offline access to your files. You can store, share and edit your files whenever and wherever you want. Employees can work more flexibly and collaboratively; local and online versions of Word and Excel allow co-editing by multiple users and everyone can see which part of a document is being edited by which user. Documents are stored securely in the cloud, meaning no unexpected data loss.
The Microsoft Teams unified communications platform is available with Office 365, but also has a free version supporting up to 300 people and including unlimited chat messages and search, plus audio and video calling for groups. While it obviously integrates with other Microsoft products, it also offers several non-Microsoft extensions such as SurveyMonkey and Hootsuite. Making it a viable option for companies who don’t want to commit to the full Office 365 suite.
Bloomfire aims to provide all the knowledge your employees need for business communication. Bringing it all together on one searchable, secure platform. Everyone has access to the same content, regardless as to their role or department. Meaning teams are better informed. This also reduces the time needed to dig out crucial information and ensures that knowledge is preserved in a central location rather than on someone’s hard drive or worse, in a former colleague’s head.
A cloud-based platform that provides valuable functionality for project management. Taskworld enables teams to communicate clearly and securely. It includes time tracking, reporting, file management, and task allocation, all geared towards effortless workflows and strengthening your collaborative work environment. And that, in turn, can only lead to increased project and company success.