Collaboration tools

Everything you need to know about collaboration tools and solutions for succesful teams.

What are collaboration tools?

Collaboration tools help people work together effectively. The purpose of collaboration tools is to support goals such as communicate with others (online and offline), share information, manage tasks, work together on documents, projects and much more. Working together with others is unavoidable in today’s business environment. Thankfully, there is a myriad of tools that can support and improve collaboration. .

Learn more about:

→ Online collaboration tools for businesses
Technology solutions for businesses
How businesses can benefit from these collaboration tools
How to improve team collaboration with the right tools

Online collaboration tools for businesses

Today’s workplace is 100% digitalized, with every employee equipped with a laptop, smartphone and other devices such as tablets and smartwatches. Thanks to VPN, employees have access to private servers and cloud storage from any location. The digital workplace has made it very easy for companies’ employees to carry out their tasks from anywhere in the world.

While this has given employees a lot of flexibility and companies the freedom to hire anyone, anywhere; it has created its own set of challenges. How can companies ensure that team members can collaborate and stay updated on what others are doing? That’s where collaboration tools come in.

Online collaboration tools are software, websites or apps are used to aid collaboration, make processes more streamlined and effective and increase employees’ productivity.

Collaboration tools enable teams to:

  • share calendars
  • breakdown projects into tasks and milestones
  • get a quick overview of project statuses
  • share documents and collaborate on them in real-time
  • chat with individual or several team members simultaneously
  • have video meetings or conferences
  • chat, share screens and other material while having a video meeting

Some examples of team collaboration tools are Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Asana, Google Hangouts, Adobe, Canva, Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, OneDrive and Evernote. Many collaboration tools roll several features into one – requiring less tool onboarding while also increasing the chances of team members using more features and making it easier for everybody to adopt the tool.

Technology solutions for collaboration

Of course, online collaboration tools require hardware and other supporting elements that enable them to be successful. For example, most tools require a stable internet connection and reasonably fast bandwidth to be able to operate smoothly. This is especially relevant when having video meetings or working on documents simultaneously. Collaborating in a shared space such as a meeting room requires tools such as traditional whiteboard, interactive whiteboards and projectors or wireless screen mirroring technology to project a laptop screen’s content on a large TV or projector screen.

Other tools, especially unified communication tools such as Skype, GoToMeeting etc. require some essential hardware – audio and video equipment such as webcams, microphones and speakers. Check out some other conference room tech must-haves here.

How do collaboration tools benefit businesses?

Online and physical collaboration tools can provide businesses with many benefits:

1. Reducing travel-related costs

With the right tools, it’s no longer necessary for employees to be physically present at the office to carry out their work, reducing daily traveling costs for employees. Furthermore, meetings with clients and external partners can also be carried out online, saving the company money when compensating employee’s incurred travelling costs.

2. Reducing communication-related costs

Thanks to cloud technology and online collaboration tools, companies no longer need to have physical copies of documents, saving a lot of money for office stationery and physical storage. Furthermore, unified communication tools have drastically reduced costs for phone services, as now employees can make calls directly over the internet.

3. Saving time

The right collaboration tools save time, and not just by reducing the need to travel! Many tools can send automatic notifications to team members when actions are performed, for example when uploading documents, completing a task, reaching a milestone etc. This enables a much faster workflow, as team members would not need to waste time updating each other on the status of projects.

4. Streamlining processes

Collaboration tools keep track of activities and workflows, making tasks such as generating reports a very simple process. Furthermore, some cloud-based tools enable several team members to work on documents simultaneously and communicate while doing so, streamlining the process of collaboration.

5. Increasing employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is essential to keep team members’ motivation and performance high. Collaboration tools in their essence make employees’ jobs easier and free up a lot of their time for more important and fulfilling tasks. A company investing in collaboration tools sends the signal that it wants the best for its employees.

How to improve team collaboration with the right tools

Now you know more about online collaboration tools, the hardware that supports them and the benefits they provide businesses, let’s talk about how you can implement in practice and improve team collaboration!

Let’s take video conferencing as an example. A laptop’s integrated microphones, webcams and speakers are not of superb quality and are not enough to ensure that several team members in an online meeting are seen and heard. Audio & Video equipment’s quality can heavily impact the quality of communication between team members.

While it’s certainly an option to purchase a separate webcam, microphone and speakers for a meeting room, it’s rather inefficient; it complicates the equipment setup, takes employees longer to set up and get their meeting started, and creates the potential for more time-wasting IT issues.

Biamp has created a technology solution that unifies all the requirements of a successful video conference:

  1. High-quality audio
  2. High-quality video
  3. A stable internet connection

Collabo 2.0 by Neets is an all-in-one video conferencing hub that is installed in meeting rooms; providing a microphone, webcam, speakers and wired internet connection – all through one USB cable!

It removes the need for any extra equipment in a meeting room. Employees simply need to turn on the TV and connect their laptop to Collabo 2.0 – Collabo 2.0 turns on automatically - and employees can simply open their video conferencing application and get their meeting started.

Request a demo of AV technology solutions from Biamp

Are you interested in learning more about the AV equipment that Biamp provides for meeting rooms and video conferencing, and how you can benefit from a Biamp installation?

Submit your information using our 'Request a Demo' form and we will get in touch with you to hear more about your needs. We will then plan an online demo or put you in touch with your nearest Biamp reseller.