Essential Guide

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Modernizing enterprise collaboration software

This Essential Guide contains information selected by our editors to give you a comprehensive view of the challenges and benefits of using enterprise collaboration software.

Introduction

For consumers, social media, instant messaging and file-sharing apps have forever changed the way we share information. We can instantly find answers to our questions, connect with people around the globe, and take part in virtual communities.

This kind of fast, simple information sharing has permeated enterprise collaboration software as well, with vendors touting social features and cloud-based models to make collaboration easier to access. While some businesses seek a simple, secure way to share documents, the value of enterprise collaboration software can be extended well beyond document sharing. Companies are creating knowledge-sharing communities that not only boost the productivity and effectiveness of internal employees, but also bring external collaborators into the fold. And social business extends business operations into the consumer realm, encouraging customers to share expertise and impact product development on social media channels.

But businesses face hurdles in modernizing their approach to collaboration, including poor user adoption, and security and governance concerns.

This guide explores the challenges of effective business collaboration in a world that's both more connected and less connected than ever before – as well as the promise of collaboration technology for not only sharing information, but also generating new ideas.

1Collaboration Trends-

Companies face new collaboration challenges

Collaboration used to involve a lot of in-person meetings, phone calls and paper documents circulating around offices -- or getting stuck on someone's desk. While paper-based practices persist, of course, the increasingly rapid pace and dispersed nature of business operations often calls for a new approach. Organizations are using enterprise collaboration software to keep remote workers and external contributors connected, to streamline project workflows and to share information more efficiently. For some, the real promise of collaboration tools -- expertise sharing and crowdsourcing -- is also becoming a reality.

Feature

Connect collaborators inside and outside the enterprise

With increasingly dispersed workforces, collaboration tools must make it easier for organizations to connect mobile, global and external collaborators. Continue Reading

Feature

Do companies just want document sharing?

Today collaboration tools can help develop knowledge-sharing networks and spark product innovation like never before -- but many companies just want an easy way to share documents. Tools that easily allow simple, secure document and workflow management could be a revolution in themselves. Continue Reading

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How to encourage knowledge sharing and innovation

Organizations are creating global networks of expertise that allow their customers and workers across the globe to take part in live brainstorming sessions. Continue Reading

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Has collaboration software found its ROI?

Collaboration software tools are moving beyond simple internal conversations among employees to change business models. Continue Reading

2Social Business-

Social business involves customers in collaborative process

For some companies, even customers have become part of collaboration processes. Social business taps into customer activity on social media channels, not only to improve brand exposure and customer service, but also to generate new product ideas. While social media may seem like the perfect platform for endless knowledge sharing, companies need to take control of online communities to guide conversation in a substantive direction and to prevent sensitive company information from being exposed.

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Companies can't ignore social business

Social business has extended business operations outside the traditional box to include customer feedback on social media channels, which can become a critical part of customer service, marketing and product development. How can companies use social communities in a meaningful way? Continue Reading

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How to corral collaborative communities

Collaborative communities can be a great crowdsourcing tool, but companies need to think about governance and security measures that can help maintain the value of these communities, rather than create new risks. Continue Reading

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How the sharing economy affects social business

At Sidecar, a ride-sharing marketplace that connects drivers with people who need a lift, a custom-built application allows people who aren't employees of the company to access a network, coordinate rides and help drive the company's success. Continue Reading

3Strategies-

How to modernize a collaboration strategy

A common problem with enterprise collaboration software is that companies expect the tools to automatically make workers more productive. But like any technology, collaboration tools have to be matched with a business problem to solve in order to succeed. Companies should link collaboration initiatives to use cases to prove the ROI to upper management and the everyday workflow value to employees.

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Build a case for social collaboration

Some organizations may be wary of social collaboration tools, but using social collaboration to solve a specific, critical business problem can help overcome hurdles. Continue Reading

Tip

Get collaboration tools to work

Implementing collaboration software won't magically make employees collaborate more. The success of collaboration tools has to start with a solid plan. Continue Reading

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Rules for introducing collaboration tools

No matter how fancy a collaboration tool may be, it's likely to fail if a company doesn't follow certain rules and put in some work to encourage user adoption. Continue Reading

Tip

Make cloud-based collaboration a reality

There are compelling reasons to move collaboration to the cloud, but it's a daunting change for many companies. Here's how to avoid cloud-based collaboration mistakes. Continue Reading

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