5 Points To Consider While Choosing Your Enterprise Collaboration Software

How can businesses pick the right enterprise collaboration platform?

Recently, we wrote about the leading online collaboration tools that facilitate remote work in 2020 and which are the best alternatives to Microsoft Teams your business can consider. We know how important it must be for you to facilitate remote work collaboration among your teams positioned far and wide, at their homes or co-working spaces. That’s why this time we decided to share a few tips on what all you need to consider while choosing the best enterprise collaboration software for your business. 

Half the year down, COVID-19 is still doing its rounds worldwide, pushing the economy to a slow reopening after months of lockdown. While some countries are experiencing drastic spikes in the number of cases, others are witnessing a gradual decline of cases. Irrespective of their geographical positions, a huge section of the global workforce is poised to continue working remotely for a long time to come in the interest of safety.

Read more: 5 Tips To Effectively Manage Remote Teams During Challenging Times

So, here are 5 things you need to keep in mind while choosing an enterprise collaboration platform for your business:

1. Evaluate your needs

All modern-day enterprise collaboration platforms have tons of features and each of these features may sound exciting when you hear or explore them initially. However, not all businesses need all these features to be present in their collaboration software. You need to go back to the drawing board, run a campaign internally within your workforce to identify the challenges they face in collaboration, the tools, and support they need through a collaboration platform, and then have a look at features offered by leading vendors. This will help to keep your digital infrastructure optimized and personalized according to the needs of your workforce. 

Rather than the management implementing a platform that is most appealing to them, the focus here is to garner requirements from the actual workforce who would be using this platform for collaboration and then pick a vendor that offers these features on demand.

2. Scalability

It is likely that every collaboration software you came across in your search will be a cloud-based one. Thus, you assume that they will be scalable. But scalability is not restricted to just storage on the cloud. By scalability, we mean the ability of the platform to grow across all dimensions as more departments and processes in your business go into the platform. It includes support for feature additions, easy development of new features, accommodating multiple processes and new policies over time, and above all, handles more complex computing needs in the future based on your business’s growth. 

A digital collaboration platform is not something that you invest and implement for the short term. It will be a crucial digital platform that will grow with your business and adapt to changing work trends in the future.

Read More: How IT Teams Can Prepare to Support Remote Workforce During COVID-19

3. Cost Efficiency

As described in one of the previous points, your business may not need all features as advertised by vendors. By subscribing to more features, you will end up paying more on the subscription fee if the platform offers a “pay for what you use” model of subscription. Some features may be needed only in the future when your business grows and more employees use these features. Hence a platform that allows you to configure your subscription is the most desired option from a cost perspective. Once you identify the features you really need as described earlier, you can pick a vendor that offers you the freedom to pay for only those features on demand.

4. Security

When almost all of your employees work remotely, it is likely that confidential and sensitive customer information will be handled through the enterprise collaboration platform you deploy. Hence there needs to be an adequate security protocol in place within the software that lets you make governing policies on data and information exchange within the digital environment. Permissioned access, transparent work and project management, logged activities, etc. will be required to ensure that there is no compromise in security.

Read more: Why Is InfinCE A Better Choice For Safe Video Calling Than Zoom

5. Usability

When employees are suddenly moved into a new paradigm of working, there will be disruptive impacts on their daily routine. On top of that, if they are allotted a new collaboration platform without adequate onboarding time and awareness, the chaos will multiply many folds. To make a smoother transition into a new enterprise collaboration software, companies must pick a digital platform that has a high focus on usability and provides a comprehensive support and training exercise to help make the transition seamless. 

These tips could be video demonstrations, how to use manuals, a comprehensive FAQ section, dedicated support associates available all time, and much more. Platforms with intuitive interfaces and a shorter learning curve can be given preference for quicker adoption in your workforce.

The remote work culture is here to stay for a long time. We did not mean to say that there will not be a return to the office, but even when work resumes from office, employees would certainly feel much more comfortable to avail of Work from Home options occasionally. The pandemic showed us that it is possible to maintain your productivity levels while working from home to be on par with an office-based culture. 

Read more: How InfinCE Helps You Quickly Transit to Remote Working

Hence the only requirement is that you make the right collaboration platform available to employees. With secure information policies, seamless cloud-based deployment and management, InfinCE offers the best enterprise collaboration platform for today’s businesses. Get in touch with us to explore more. 

11 Online Collaboration Tools That Facilitate Remote Work In 2020

Here is a list of the leading remote collaboration tools of 2020

We’re nearing the halfway mark of 2020, and most of the world’s working population has shifted to remote working. This transition would not have been possible if powerful digital collaboration tools for employees to stay connected were not available. From schools to IT companies, every organization has integrated an online communication and collaboration platform to help their workforce carry out daily operations smoothly and interact with their peers, customers, or any relevant stakeholders in their work. 

Read more: 5 Best Practices To Enable Seamless Communication For Your Remote Workforce

Here is a look at the top 11 online collaboration tools that made a difference for businesses in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. InfinCE

While collaboration and communication are the key elements to look forward while choosing a digital platform for your business, InfinCE offers enterprises with a host of other features in addition to the key elements like an integrated CRM, Rich management dashboards, cloud-based secure web hosting, virtual desktops and much more. It is one of the best online collaboration tools for small and medium businesses.

2. Microsoft Office 365 and Teams

One of the most popular players in the global software industry, Microsoft has helped numerous organizations manage their remote work operations smoothly with their pool of collaboration tools and platforms. From productivity tools like MS Word, Excel, etc. to video and conferencing solutions like MS Teams, they offer a large set of options for businesses to choose from.

3.  Slack

Slack definitely needs no introduction to several global companies as it has helped millions to collaborate efficiently even before the COVID-19 pandemic took things in a different direction. Offering personalized experiences, video and team conferencing, mobile app support, and seamless integration with popular cloud storage services, Slack offers a solution for all your remote work needs.

4. Zoho Cliq

From simplifying team communication to managing real-time messaging, task schedules, and automation, Zoho Cliq offers enterprises of all sizes with a comprehensive suite of collaboration tools. It also offers easy integration with other 3rd party platforms for storage, calendar management and even offers easy management of customer relationships by integrating seamlessly with Zoho’s own established CRM solution.

5. Trello

Trello has a massive fan base across the globe, be it amongst organizations or individual freelancers and consultants. The primary reason for this fan following is undoubtedly the simplicity of the platform to help organize multiple tasks that require collaboration from a number of employees. The simple interface and easy navigation within individual Trello cards help managers and employees to handle even complex projects efficiently with Trello and it integrates well with other platforms such as Slack, Google Drive, GitHub, etc. to make the experience even more rewarding for teams.

6. Asana

From organizing workflows, tracking work progress, and facilitating seamless communication, Asana is still one of the veterans in the online collaboration space and has been around since 2008. Companies like Intel and Uber rely on Asana as their core communication platform to stay organized, enable better conversations between staff, and manage diverse projects and their individual task progress.

7.  Google G-Suite

Undoubtedly one of the world’s most well-known tech brands, Google doesn’t want to be left behind in the race for online collaboration tools. Its G-Suite platform offers a host of capabilities with a collection of apps for various enterprise collaboration activities. You have everything from emails to video conferencing to productivity apps all rolled into different subscription plans that you may feel free to choose depending on your organization’s size. With top-notch security, support, and scalability, G-Suite is a trusted platform for thousands of businesses worldwide to help run their operations smoothly.

Read more: 5 Workplace Innovations You Can Welcome with Video Conferencing

8. Ryver

Ryver offers a simple and easy to use interface for employees to connect and converse within an enterprise. From the ease of setting up teams to offering privileged features to different groups and the ability to manage private virtual spaces for individual project discussions, Ryver has grown into a strategic internal tool for several modern-day businesses. A major highlight of Ryver is the Facebook inspired intranet feed where employees can converse together/with each other on updates shared by the organization.

9. Facebook for Work

How amazing it would be if virtual office collaboration tools work similarly to Facebook with the same theme and inspired layouts? Well, this is exactly what Facebook themselves tried to offer when they launched the Facebook for Work platform. From productivity apps to seamless communication channels, the social media giant has brought several inspiring features into the product aimed at making internal enterprise communication interesting.

10. Podio

Podio makes for a great mobile-friendly workforce communication and collaboration platform. It offers flexible configuration options and easy integration with several functional and productivity apps like Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, and much more.

11.  Basecamp

A darling of technology service companies, Basecamp brings together a very useful set of capabilities for communication and collaboration under one roof. With a highly affordable fee for unlimited teams, it finds tremendous use in companies with more staff.

Read more: 4 ways to bolster your IT team’s efficiency to support remote operations during COVID-19

With COVID-19 showing minimal signs of weakening, your business will be in dire need of an online collaboration platform to help employees stay connected. Get in touch with us to explore why InfinCE will be your best choice among the 11 we have covered in this blog.

6 Benefits of Using a Cloud CRM

CRM systems have come a long way from their origins as contact management systems for storing and retrieving contact information. Enterprises across-the-board now regard it as a valuable and indispensable tool to not just manage and improve relationships with contacts but to manage the entire gamut of customer relationship management.

The nature of CRM has also witnessed a tectonic shift. Cloud-based CRM now dominates with 87% of the total market share, a big jump from just 12% in 2007. The overwhelming preference for cloud-based CRM is for good reasons.

 

1. The Cloud Facilitates Big Savings in Cost and Effort

On-premises CRM entails huge upfront investment in hardware and servers. The cloud CRM vendor absorbs such investment and offers a pay-as-you-go payment model for clients. Businesses pay only a monthly charge, converting their capital-expense (CAPEX) costs into an easy attributable operational expense (OPEX.) Still better, the CRM becomes easily scalable, with the ability to add capacity easily as and when required, and scale-down during downtime.

The spillover monetary benefits of hosting CRM in the cloud includes hassle-free maintenance, no troubleshooting, and freedom from having to upgrade the CRM periodically. These tasks are done by the vendor, and the enterprise can, in fact, do without single IT personnel in-house.

Cloud-based systems are quick and painless to deploy as well. The set-up is as simple as paying the subscription fees and logging in. Cloud-based CRM systems tend to prioritize ease of use and accessibility, meaning easier learning curve for end users and lesser training costs for enterprises.

 

2. Cloud Enables Anytime, Anywhere Access

The biggest advantage of cloud-based CRM is anytime, anywhere access. The data and the software reside in the cloud, and accessible through convenient mobile apps or other front end software, without constraints of geography or time. The ability to access the CRM through intuitive mobile apps is arguably the single biggest benefit of cloud-based CRM considering 65% of employees achieve their sales quota when using mobile CRM, and only 22% of employees achieve their sales quota when mobile CRM isn’t used.

The anytime anywhere access make cloud hosted CRM ideal for today’s fast-paced and highly competitive world, where opportunities exist only for a short while and have to be seized at the instant. Opportunities come knocking rarely. With a cloud-based CRM ready, the executive is ready to seize the opportunity by having all information and resources in his smartphone, regardless of whether he is at the airport, a spa, a business meeting or out for lunch.

 

3. Cloud Brings Integrated Data Management

A cloud-based CRM not just centralizes data in one place, but is also handy to integrate information from external, disparate sources, such as media activity, project management information, accounting information, and more. Dedicated cloud integration tools facilitate the seamless sharing of data from disparate sources.

The integrated and consolidated processing of information prevents gaps in information or understanding when dealing with a customer across multiple touch points. Marketers and other users have access to real-time or latest data, synced from the cloud server whenever online.

 

4. Cloud-Based CRM is Always Updated

Upgrading on-premises CRM is a hassle, requiring modification of the code, and provisioning everything again. With a cloud-based CRM, the vendor takes up the task. The vendor is more likely to upgrade the CRM and co-opt new features very fast, to pre-empt losing customers to competitor products. Cloud-based CRM vendors are also more likely to innovate, to offer better features and functionality, to differentiate themselves from competitors.

 

5. Cloud CRM Facilitates Seamless Collaboration

A cloud-based CRM doubles up as an effective collaboration tool, offering remote and off-site employees a reliable and robust medium to connect and collaborate with their team and customers alike. The Cloud CRM offers a common interface enabling team members to share data and updates that contribute to the end objective of increasing sales and customer satisfaction. International teams especially can collaborate effectively across time-zones.

 

6. Cloud Offers Robust Security More Often Than Not

Security is the literally the million dollar question staring at enterprises in the wake of heightened security breaches. A 2018 study by Juniper Research estimates cybercriminals to steal an estimated 33 billion records in 2023, up from an already whopping 12 billion records in 2018.

Contrary to perception, the cloud is more secure than on-premises systems. Any decent cloud-based CRM offers robust security, free from the usual suspects of out-of-date software. The CRM is the bread and butter rather than an appendix, the vendor is more likely to and is able to take the proper precautions, with dedicated staff looking to discovering and closing weak security points.

CRM also lessens the risk of system failure, with dedicated servers and redundant databases minimizing the risk of loss of data or downtime. Businesses have the flexibility to negotiate an SLA service-level agreement with an agreed upon level of service, including the acceptable “downtime,” beyond which compensation sets in.

While the cloud-based CRM offers several advantages, it is by no means a magic wand to success. Success depends on the skillful implementation, overcoming challenges such as retaining control of data, effective collaboration with the vendor’s support system and provisioning adequate bandwidth to access the cloud seamlessly. With INFINCE make it all possible. Call us today to learn how INFINCE can help you battle business challenges with infinite cloud.