Finding the right collaboration tools and connecting them for powerful collaboration
Digitalisation – you hear it everywhere. It is not a new issue and we are all in the middle of it. Nevertheless, many areas in the professional environment still lag behind today’s possibilities as well as important prerequisites. The use of collaboration tools has become indispensable, especially due to modern new-work approaches and the rapid increase in home offices and remote workplaces in the last two years.
Before implementing a new software solution in the company and changing or modernising processes and workflows, one naturally asks oneself the necessary question: What does the collaboration software really serve in the company?
What is collaboration software actually?
First and foremost, collaboration tools or collaboration software as a digital tool should support people in working together and help them to achieve common goals. Collaboration is improved through opportunities for collaborative project work, easy communication and topics such as collaborative editing of documents.
Types of collaboration tools
Software is not just software. There are different types of collaboration tools, which are mainly differ in their functionality. The choice of collaboration software to be used should therefore always be based on the company’s own internal requirements and actual needs. Before we go into the decision-making process, however, we will first look at the different types of collaboration tools:
1. project collaboration tools
This type of collaboration tool refers to the planning, creation and distribution of tasks and deadlines. Such project management software creates a platform on which teams can organise upcoming tasks live and manage projects efficiently. Functions within a project collaboration tool include, for example, creating and managing tasks and projects, setting up processes and workflows, task assignments, comment functions and much more. (These include, for example, Trello, Zenkit, Asana or Monday.com).
2. communication tools
Communication is in many ways the path to success. Especially the cooperation within the company and the organisation of teams only works with good communication. An important basis or basic prerequisite for this is the provision of digital communication possibilities in the company.. In most project collaboration tools, the a communication function is already included. This can be in the form of mentions, comments or social reactions . In addition, there are also explicit communication tools that create a platform for group chats, calls, text messages, video conferences and meetings. (E.g. Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom or Discord)
3. management and processing of documents
Collaboration in the processing, filing and management of documents and information can also be improved through the use of collaboration tools. This ensures that documents are not only accessible to all participants, but can also be edited live and in parallel. Following on from the management of documents and information, solutions for cloud storage should also be mentioned. In most cases, this feature comes combined with document management collaboration software. (Here are helpingtoolslikeEvernote Business, OneNote, Google Drive, Dropbox und Microsoft SharePoint)
4. further tools for cooperation within the company
There are also tools that enrich collaboration in the company in the areas of brainstorming and idea management. This includes functions such as mind mapping and designing and building prototypes. Last but not least, there are social intranets or social media-like team networks to share general information and promote interactions between employees. (E.g.Canva, Miro, InVision, Facebook Workplace und Yammer)
All-rounder or individual solution?
In the jungle full of different collaboration tools, the question quickly arises as to which tool should be used. best covers the internal requirements. Before a decision is made for a collaboration software to use, it is useful to answer the following questions:
What should the collaboration tool be used for?
Here one should ask oneself which activities and requirements the focus should be on. What areas does the tool need to cover – project management and task distribution, communication or joint editing of documents? Which data and requirements can be connected to the collaboration tool? Are there areas, activities or processes that should be better separated to ensure the most efficient processes?
How is cooperation organised within the company?
When working together in a company, it is important to consider how large and different the respective teams are. Are many small cross-divisional projects managed, or just a few business areas? How do we work with each other, or how should we work with each other? How is communication done and what kind of data and documents must be able to be shared? When answering such questions, it makes sense to look at the organisation independently of tools, evaluate the actual cooperation in the company and then define the desired state.
Responsive. Remote. Mobil.
The topic of mobility is a central aspect when choosing the right tool. Should the collaboration software function as a pure desktop solution or does the way of working in the company require a functional mobile version? Is it necessary for employees to be able to access data and functions from anywhere? How important are interfaces and connections to other tools outside the office?
When deciding on one or more collaboration tools, the budget naturally also plays a role. Are people prepared to pay monthly costs for extended functionalities or good customer service?
Connect collaboration tools and other business applications to optimise collaboration and processes
In many cases, the decision does not fall on just one collaboration tool. In addition, there are other business applications to ensure daily business operations. And then there are mailing programmes like Microsoft Outlook or Notes. Because despite the many communication tools and possibilities, the email inbox is still one of the central hubs for internal and external communication and the passing on of information. Information is often left lying around or has to be laboriously filed in the respective business context or transferred to the appropriate collaboration tool.
The Mailissa product family brings clever solutions into play that allow you to optimise your email handling and collaborative processes for a modern and digital working environment. You can transfer e-mails and important information directly to the desired target application with just a few clicks and process them further there. The loss or long search for important information and long confusing e-mail chains are over with Mailissa. In addition, there are possibilities to comment on e-mails and tasks directly in Outlook, to assign them and to provide them with processing statuses. And the best thing about it: with Mailissa you connect all your tools and applications in just one Outlook add-in.