5 Benefits Of Having A Centralized Employee Dashboard In Your Business

Can centralized dashboards improve workplace productivity?

Dashboards are often an intrinsic part of today’s business world. From helping executives and leaders make decisions to enable seamless forecasting of business opportunities, they play a key role in the corporate world. But this curated information repository is not just meant for reporting and senior leadership alone. In today’s highly decentralized workforce environment that is increasingly being pushed to a remote future with a pandemic like COVID-19, employee dashboards are becoming a vital part of the workforce as well.

There is a huge demand for easy access to information within an organization at all levels. Several teams require access to different kinds of information like for example, project management dashboards where different project activities and tasks are managed, CRM dashboards that give a holistic view of marketing and sales activities, attendance and leave management dashboards for depicting employee activities and much more. 

Read more: 5 Key Features Every Project Management Dashboard Should Offer

With remote working becoming a norm, here are 5 ways in which having a centralized dashboard can improve your businesses efficiency and work productivity:

1. Overview in a snapshot

A workforce dashboard for any department offers a comprehensive yet highly precise snapshot of the team’s or company’s performance. From getting inputs about a project task to viewing the progress of service requests, the employee dashboard enables the workforce to transparently seek information on demand. 

By customizing the nature of information available across departments, job levels, and roles, it is possible for organizations to roll out tailored initiatives for each individual and enable them to track their progress at each stage. It also gives a single source of truth for all employees to be able to stay updated with what’s happening across their operational units, departments, or job roles within the company.

Read more: Creating Organizational, Department, Team and Personal Dashboards using InfinCE

2. Setting up organization goals

With a customizable company dashboard, it is easy for the senior leadership to create a new objective, break it down into achievable components and keep track of each of these components which have been assigned to different teams. This whole activity can be easily represented as a goal on the company dashboard with defined metrics. It can be seen by all employees who can also track its growth, view achievement milestones, calculate their own effort needed to help in progressing each component, and much more. 

In short, a dashboard helps companies take up smaller initiatives that add value to long term company goals and keep track of how every individual effort within the company contributes to this value.

Read more: Focus on these 5 KPIs to improve small business growth

3. Learning and Development

A centralized employee dashboard can be the sole information source employees can access to advance their career aspirations within the company. Learning paths can be defined with help from senior leaders, progress in learning initiatives can be tracked and achievements can be recognized and rewarded across job levels with the help of a transparent dashboard. 

It is also possible to set up company-wide learning initiatives with specific instructions, standardized learning curriculum, and certifications and this information can be used for future performance and other metric calculations as well.

4. Improve Visibility

When the management evaluates performance, productivity, and other vital business parameters, it is often presumed that employees are left in the dark about the progress made. With centralized dashboards, it is now possible for senior leaders to easily communicate the information down to the lowest levels of job roles within the organization. 

Employees can see visual reports of the company’s growth, performance assessment steps, and percentages of teams, intuitive breakdown of career goals and how they are aligned to performance benchmarks, and so on. This helps to create transparency within the workplace. Employees feel that they are treated and rewarded fairly when it comes to matters such as performance ratings, payment revisions, etc. It also sets a clear path for employees to identify their weaknesses and improve on areas that need focus.

Read more: 5 Tips To Foster Team Collaboration In A Small Business Environment

5. Staying Connected

An employee dashboard is not just about reports and charts that give a view of the daily operations of the company. It is more like an intranet portal where employees get together virtually for sharing information, staying connected with their friends at the workplace, exchange conversations, and much more. Organizations on the other hand have a medium to channel content directly to employees transparently. 

Important announcements, events, virtual meet-ups, etc. can all be facilitated smoothly through an interactive and intuitive employee dashboard. When most of your employees work from their homes in times such as the COVID-19 pandemic era, this will greatly enhance their work morale and also create a relaxed working environment that does not allow physical meetups for a long tenure.

A centralized dashboard creates a better working experience for all employees and is vital in creating a highly engaged and motivated workforce. When most employees work remotely, this is a key factor that is hard to ignore for enterprises. Now the question arises as to how to set up this dashboard. This is where InfinCE can be your solution. 

The comprehensive enterprise digital platform of InfinCE allows you to create powerful employee management and an operational dashboard that serves all purposes outlined above. Get in touch with us to explore how InfinCE can be the game changer in your workforce operations.

4 Tips To Attain Success In The New Normal Remote Work Environment

How can businesses succeed with employees working completely remotely?

One of the major implications of the COVID-19 lockdowns is the shift from an office-based work environment to the remote work mode. Even sectors that had previously taken a cold approach to let their employees work from home have suddenly become flag bearers of the work from anywhere culture. Dynata’s Global Consumer Trends: COVID-19 survey series reveal that the lines between work and home life are getting significantly blurred. The report also says that most people prefer the work from home culture to stay around, at least for some more time. 

In the US alone, nearly half of the working population has transitioned into a completely remote work mode since the outbreak began in early 2020. However, as the pandemic is showing mild signs of receding and vaccine developments are moving into promising trials, the question of whether the remote work culture will prevail for the long term has risen in the corporate boardrooms.

Changing Work Lives in the New Normal

When employees started to work continuously from home, some of the key challenges that concerned senior leadership were productivity, security, and client timeline commitments. However, the trends witnessed across the globe were largely positive in these 3 areas with several organizations reporting that their staff productivity levels were in fact much higher when they worked from home rather than in the office. In Dynata’s survey, 75% of respondents report that their productivity levels are high while at home than they were in office, with considerable travel time saved. 

Read more: How To Build A Highly Productive Remote Workforce

So the question that should really concern the senior leadership is how to succeed in this new normal of working remotely if it is the future of work?

To remain successful while adapting to a long term remote working culture, companies need to make strategic changes in their policies, technology infrastructure, and their cultural approach to ensure that all employees stay united in their objectives while working apart. 

Here are 4 tips that we suggest to accelerate successful operations with a remote workforce:

1. Set up a transparent communication policy

One of the major elements of unifying diverse team members working remotely is through regular communication. Employees need to have a source to continuously engage with their peers, seniors, managers, or even the leadership in the company to address the challenges they face daily as well as gain insights into their work objectives. 

Companies need to break down their legacy hierarchy of communication and create an open environment where even the top leadership executives are available at the touch of a button on an employee’s phone. Leaders need to take their employees into confidence by regularly communicating updates about the company’s growth, business and service performance metrics, initiatives to keep employees motivated, and much more.

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

2. Create a specialized procurement team

The challenges in enabling a remote working environment can be solved to a great extent when setting up an effective procurement team to assess, identify and procure relevant technical, managerial, and operational assets required for specific work contexts. When this team gets things done faster, employees gain quicker access to their work assets irrespective of their location. 

For empowering your procurement team, you need to provide them with the right tools for strategic sourcing, managing contracts with vendors for various assets, intelligent reporting, and purchase management.

3. Create a collaboration platform

Enabling a transparent communication policy is only one side of the coin. Investing in a powerful digital platform to enable this communication is the other side. Employees who work remotely need to collaborate with their peers on different work tasks daily. They also need a place to get insights, reviews, and feedback on their work, company objectives, business, and other relevant aspects related to their career. 

This is where a powerful and collaborative intranet portal like InfinCE makes sense for your business. Remote work collaboration platforms like InfinCE enable better collaboration, reduce friction on dependent tasks, and support unified goal fulfilment for distributed team members. The platform will also serve as a place where employees can feel reminiscent of their office virtually.

Read more: 5 Points To Consider While Choosing Your Enterprise Collaboration Software

4. Seamless Project Management

When remote teams are involved in client projects, there should be a smooth mechanism for managers to oversee projects, give instructions and guidelines, set expectations, and track progress. Only then will the organization as a whole be able to meet commitments made to clients and improve trust in the process. 

For distributed teams, there should be a seamless project management capability via a digital platform that can be used to assign, monitor and track progress of tasks at different levels ranging from individual to teams working on modular components of a project to the entire organization or service delivery unit as a whole. When project management is streamlined, it will facilitate transparent client reporting and improved credibility for your brand.

COVID-19 was a catalyst for a change that is well poised to remain a stronghold of tomorrow’s workforce. The future of work may be changed forever as we know it and to remain successful, companies must rethink their strategies of work from a cultural and practical perspective. 

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

It has been proven beyond doubt that with the right culture, adequate digital infrastructure, and transparent communication, you can run your business remotely with unified management. The main asset you need is a digital backbone that will connect various units within your business to enable seamless workforce operations and support sustainable growth. This is where InfinCE can make a difference. Get in touch with us to learn how InfinCE can help you accomplish success in the new normal of “work from anywhere!”

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. 

Top 10 Alternatives to Microsoft Teams that Aid Remote Work in 2020

10 Substitutes for Microsoft Teams that Facilitate Remote Work Collaboration

The paradigm shift of work culture from an office environment to work from anywhere mode has triggered a huge discussion around. While working remotely, companies rely on digital collaboration tools to keep their employees connected virtually to the company. Microsoft is undoubtedly one of the leaders in enabling online collaboration with its Teams software which is used by thousands of businesses worldwide to create a seamless virtual collaboration platform for their employees. But not all companies find Microsoft Teams to be the best fit solution for employee communication. Reasons vary from the cost to compatibility with internal policies.   

Read more: Quickly Transit Your Employees to Remote Work with InfinCE

So here are the top 10 alternatives to MS Teams that companies can explore to find their best match:

1. InfinCE

When it comes to enterprise collaboration and digital workforce management in SMBs there’s no better solution than InfinCE to deal with rising demands of today’s agile workforce. From customization to reporting, seamless video and audio conferencing, and efficient project management, InfinCE offer a whole array of features that SMBs find especially useful when their workforce has shifted to a remote work culture in times like COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, InfinCE serves as a comprehensive digital backbone for your business with features like a full-blown CRM, HR, Payroll, and a host of unique capabilities all rolled into a secure cloud-based platform you can subscribe to on-demand.

2. Zoom

One name that became so popular among online collaboration tools during the COVID-19 pandemic was Zoom. From colleges to multinational corporations, Zoom became an important tool for organizations to help manage meetings and deliver knowledge sessions to millions of people worldwide.

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

3. Google Meet

Tightly integrated with the G-suite productivity application suite, Google Meet offers an enterprise-friendly version of Google’s popular Hangouts video conferencing solution. From screen sharing to encrypted calls, the platform offers a slew of features that make it a worthy rival to MS Teams.

4. Zoho Connect

The workplace collaboration platform from Zoho brings all the necessary productivity and communication solutions needed for an enterprise into a single place. It helps businesses to create a secure workplace channel for employees to exchange information and collaborate seamlessly.

5. Slack

Slack is a popular choice for enterprise collaboration and has found wide acceptance especially in the information technology sector. Companies use it to manage large workforces and complex projects with its large collection of collaboration, project management, and communication features.

6. TeamViewer

A powerhouse in remote PC management, TeamViewer also offers a suite of powerful enterprise collaboration applications. These help businesses work efficiently in challenging times without worrying about data security, availability, and seamless collaboration efficiency.

Read more: 11 Best Online Collaboration Tools in 2020

7. BlueJeans

From video conferencing to virtual live streams, BlueJeans offers unparalleled communication and collaboration features for businesses to run a completely remote workforce. Acquired by Verizon during the COVID-19 Pandemic, BlueJeans now boasts of backing by one of the world’s premier telecommunications providers paving the way for a highly promising future of innovative enterprise communication in the platform.

8. Workplace by Facebook

When one of the world’s most recognizable social media network launched their exclusive workplace management platform back in 2016 after over a year in beta version, thousands of organizations have welcomed it into their internal workforce management ecosystem. It offers all modern features at convenient pricing for a variety of businesses to help their employees communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

9. Asana

Asana has grown from modest beginnings to being one of the world’s most renowned team management software platforms available today. From managing shifting priorities during such pandemic situations to effortlessly managing complex projects and team communication, Asana is a powerful alternative to MS Teams and is trusted by some of the world’s most well-known organizations like NASA.

10. Wire

A modern-day collaboration suite, Wire boasts of being the most secure online collaboration platform for businesses of all sizes. With transparent pricing, dedicated mobile apps, and a keen focus on usability, Wire is steadily growing its customer portfolio and is a good competitor for MS Teams.

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

Experts believe that the future of work will always be flexible to accommodate disruptive global events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft Teams is undoubtedly a premier online collaboration platform, but there is always a better choice that suits your unique business model and workforce operations. Working with the right platform can make your workforce’s remote experience a rewarding one. Talk to our experts to learn more about how InfinCE can be the best option for your workforce to stay connected while working remotely.

5 Tips To Effectively Manage Remote Teams During Challenging Times

5 tips to run your workforce remotely during COVID-19

The global economy is undergoing a tremendous shift as the COVID-19 pandemic rips through boundaries of trade, social interactions, and travel. With more businesses forced to let go of their stringent office-based work culture and transition into a remote working model, there are a rising number of challenges that employers must learn to cope with. With the pandemic showing vague signs of receding any time soon, it is important for businesses to learn to efficiently manage remote teams and ensure disruption-free customer service from their business. So how can they achieve this excellence of managing remote employees?

Here are 5 tips to effectively manage remote teams during challenging times:

1. Set Protocols and Agreements

Before you start to assign work orders or schedule delivery timelines for remote teams, it is important to arrive at a consensus on the operational model for remote employee management. Though lockdown and other government regulations indicate fewer chances of people moving out of their homes (except emergencies), it is important to set the terms on operating hours clearly so that the work-life balance of employees isn’t affected. 

Read more: 8 easy tips to effectively work from home

Organizations need to follow up with employees not only on work-related proceedings but also on the personal health and safety of the employees and their family members. As such, companies need to publish and make managers aware of availability guidelines for work. Employees need to be offered flexible working hours when they are continuously working remotely as they may need to attend to personal priorities as well.

2. Strategically Plan Meetings and Reviews

It is important for managers and their reports to be in sync with assigned workloads and ensure timely submission of customer deliverables. While provisions for any time communication will always be there, it is better to create a schedule to review work progress. 

There could be weekly or bi-weekly team review calls that can happen over video conferencing for the entire team to come together and interact as if they were in an office meeting. Task dependencies, support, and other mutually concerning matters can be taken up for discussions and managerial interventions could be made wherever necessary. 

One-on-One meetings between managers and employees who report to them should also be a trend that should ideally occur on a monthly basis. While the type of meetings can be sorted and agreed upon by employees, it is important to follow a time-sensitive schedule for such meetings. Ideally, any non-core meeting shouldn’t be scheduled for more than 30 minutes.

3. Leverage Collaboration Platforms

When employees work remotely, there is often a need for them to work together on achieving the desired results or customer deliverable value. Since meeting up at the office isn’t feasible under situations like COVID-19, companies must look at alternative ways to facilitate collaborative work arrangements. 

The best option is to have a powerful remote collaboration platform like InfinCE that can create a virtual workspace for employees to work together as a team on projects. From file sharing to virtual conferencing involving the entire team, digital platforms like InfinCE allow better project management and easy collaboration on customer deliverables. 

Read more: How InfinCE helps you quickly transit to remote working

Since customer data or other valuable credentials are likely to be managed by employees using these collaboration platforms, they need to offer high levels of security. It is important to maintain logs and traceable information on these platforms to ensure there is no compromise on security.

4. Organize Information

While it is a good thing to have multiple communication channels open for employees when they work remotely, it is equally important to have a well balanced and organized communication strategy to avoid distractions and eliminate loss of productivity due to these distractions. 

Effective use of project management tools, virtual repositories, file organizers, and knowledge management platforms can help streamline work communication efficiently. Employees can access information needed for work support, view their pending tasks, prioritize work, view progress of dependent tasks, and do much more when there is a structured and well laid out information and communication management practice. This allows remote work teams to be transparent about work commitments and avoid overwhelming responsibilities.

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

5. Encourage Engagement

While the merry of an office environment will always be missed in remote work culture, there is nothing that will stop you from setting up an engaging work experience when all staff works remotely. Try hosting weekly fun activities, brainteasers, music, and fun activities all via video conferencing so that employees get to connect with the fun side of their work more frequently. It is also a great gesture to allow families of employees to participate as it will create more social bonding. Use social media to promote employee engagement. 

Read more: 5 Ways To Improve Business Growth Through Employee Engagement

Managing your remote workforce efficiently in times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic can be less stressful if you have the proper digital infrastructure in place to support your workforce. This is where platforms like InfinCE has proven to be a game-changer for some of the world’s most successful businesses. Get in touch with our experts to learn 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.

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

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

It’s only the second week of June 2020 and the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has come close to 7.15 million. Governments, businesses, and people have started to realize that we may need to learn to live with the coronavirus for an unexpected period of time, at least until vaccines are found that can neutralize or eliminate its threat for good. Businesses and universities have transitioned their core operations to adopt a remote work culture. Except for some critical work operations that require a physical presence in the workplace, almost all companies now operate with employees working out of their homes.

Read More: Effective Work From Home Tips – Infographic

What does this mean for the IT department across businesses who have moved into a remote work operation mode? 

IT teams need to quickly support the transition of the entire IT work infrastructure into a near 100% remote mode. From productivity tools to instant peer communication platforms, everything needs to be available for employees irrespective of where they are located. 

Here are some best practices you can utilize to get your IT team prepared for keeping your employees connected to their workplace virtually during such uncertain times.

1. Set Communication Policies

While remote working employees need access to multiple communication channels to effectively work on their tasks, it is important for companies to define the clear scope of each channel. One example would be an optimal usage of paid communication channels like VOIP facilities with limited licenses or shared licenses between departments. 

There should be a minimum availability of each such resource and policies must be laid out to ensure optimal utilization. 

Read More: How can businesses manage their remote workforce through efficient communication?

For example, if teleconferencing between team members of a project requires more time and more users to be connected to a single conference call, it can be moved to an online meeting platform that offers unlimited conferencing options rather than using limited license telephone-based VOIP conferences. This offers your IT team the flexibility to allot VOIP facilities to more demanding teams like customer-facing employees who may find it difficult to ask customers to get into online meetings rather than just a conversation over the telephone.

2. Secure Information Access

When employees work from their office, confidential information regarding customer projects may be distributed in local networks which could only be accessed from office computers. 

When there is a shift to remote working, this information should go into a more distributed storage facility that can be accessed over the internet. Hence a proper security policy and protocol must be defined for flexible information access over the internet. This allows IT teams to implement monitoring systems, maintain access logs, set privileged access options, and much more. 

Moreover, all employees need to be strictly made aware of these policies through regular communication from leaders, managers, and HR. Security should not be the sole responsibility of your IT team but an extended oversight of the entire workforce.

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

3. Provisioning of Digital Platforms and Tools

There is a huge demand for collaboration and communication platforms when employees work together on projects. The demand escalates to unprecedented levels when your stakeholders shift to a remote mode. 

From meetings to file sharing to project management, there is a multitude of managerial overhead for facilitating seamless operations while employees are working from home. 

This calls for the implementation of a powerful digital enterprise platform like InfinCE which can offer different departments within your organization the necessary digital tools and platforms for communication and collaboration. Such platforms make it easy for your IT team to manage overall digital infrastructure availability for remote workers and make support readily available for their needs at any time.

Read More: Best Practices to Remotely Manage Your Business During COVID-19

4. Measure, Analyze and Improve

For many businesses, this is probably the first instance where such a massive remote working policy came into force and that too in a very short notice. Glitches and delays are expected, but the key focus here should be to learn from each event and ensure a better experience the next time. 

It is important to regularly measure productivity levels of staff and align it with IT objectives such as availability, file management, security and data policies, software and license management, etc. 

Set out clear KPIs for measuring employee productivity during the timeline of remote work. The measured values should be analyzed to arrive at trends that occur in work patterns frequently. Feedback from employees should be collected with regards to infrastructural availability, network, or communication channel flexibility, etc. Learnings from all these should be factored in while your IT department optimizes your digital infrastructure to meet rising demands from your workforce.

Read More: How InfinCE helps you quickly transit to remote working

The remote work culture is expected to remain a norm for months to come as the COVID-19 pandemic is not showing a dramatic rate of containment of spread. Your IT teams need the most resilient enterprise IT platforms to help manage complex requirements of the entire workforce who are working remotely. This is where enterprise platforms like InfinCE can be their best friend. Get in touch with us to know how some of the world’s best businesses manage their digital workforce infrastructure seamlessly with InfinCE. 

Best Practices to Remotely Manage Your Business During COVID-19

How SMBs can attain positive business outcomes from remote working

It’s barely 6 months into 2020 and COVID-19 has pushed more than half of the world into some form of lockdown. Businesses are losing revenue either due to shutdown or lack of customers. Travel restrictions and social distancing norms are forcing small and medium businesses to limit their operating hours and ask their staff to work remotely most of the time.

However, the remote work culture isn’t that bad as many companies have found it to be a savior in this pandemic. In fact, a good majority of small and medium businesses are now of the opinion that they can continue this mode of remote work even post the pandemic as it will reduce operational costs significantly. 

Related Reading: How InfinCE Helps You Quickly Transit to Remote Working

So, the question on everyone’s mind now is “How can we manage the business efficiently during and after the COVID-19 pandemic with a remote workforce?” Here are 4 tips to help you out:

1. Improve Communication

The most important aspect of maintaining relationships with your employees when they work remotely is communication. As employers, you need to facilitate a seamless communication experience for employees to interact with each other, share information, and foster a culture of continuous engagement. 

Remote work collaboration platforms like InfinCE facilitate this by offering a seamless communication platform that allows employees to interact over a variety of channels such as instant messaging, video calls, video meeting conferences, and much more. By ensuring that employees have the means to communicate efficiently, you can assure consistent productivity levels while they are working remotely.

Related Reading: Why Is InfinCE A Better Choice For Safe Video Calling Than Zoom

2. Empower Collaboration

Most of the daily work done by your employees influence end customer service quality. It also requires the contributions from multiple teams working on different facets of a project or customer engagement. There needs to be a seamless collaboration mechanism that has to be in place to help employees easily connect with their peers, exchange information and files securely, set up meetings and discussions, manage projects virtually with diligence, and so on. To facilitate these activities, SMBs require a powerful virtual collaboration and enterprise management platform. 

Related Reading: 5 Tips To Foster Team Collaboration In A Small Business Environment

Security is a prime essential when you choose a collaboration platform for your remote workforce since your employees need to handle sensitive customer information like financial data or social security credentials.

3. Promote Work-Life Balance

It is true that remote working was one of the most preferred ways to guarantee a healthy work-life balance for employees. But such a scenario wasn’t meant to be for such a long period of time and that too with almost everyone in the family also at home due to the pandemic induced lockdowns. 

As employers, you need to understand that an employee may not be always capable of putting in their 100% concentration on their computers while at home. They may have to attend to their kids or spouse or parents periodically and engage in some quality family time. As such, you need to instruct managers to be strict on time commitments just for the sake of making it an 8- or 9-hour working day. Let employees take breaks in between and work in their comfort zones keeping in mind only the quality of the work they are engaged in. You will be amazed to find that employee engagement and productivity levels would improve under such a relaxed schedule.

4. Team Bonding

While it might take a while before everyone gets back to their old office regime and talk to friends and colleagues over a sip of coffee in the pantry, there are a lot of activities that companies can initiate over digital platforms to help improve team bonding when everyone works remotely. There could be weekly fun activities where teams can participate over video calls and they can even involve their families who might be around at home. There are several competitions that the HR team can run online, and employees can participate to remind themselves of the fun they had while at the office. In times like these, such positive motivational activities would be much appreciated by employees.

Related Reading: Effective Work From Home Tips – Infographic

Managing your business successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic with a remote workforce requires more than just interpersonal skills. A digital backbone is essential to ensure seamless communication and collaboration between your employees to ensure disruption-free customer service. This is where Infince can be your one-stop solution to managing your entire business operations remotely. Our cloud-based enterprise platform offers a host of features ranging from communication to collaboration to help enterprises build a sustainable workforce culture during the pandemic situation. Talk to our experts to learn more. 

5 Reasons Why Every SMB Should Invest In An ERP Solution

Why is ERP an Irreplaceable Asset for Small Businesses?

Cost factor appears to be the primary reason why many small businesses show resistance to adopting an ERP solution to run their business operations. With the advent of SaaS-based solutions, the scenario has changed today. Software-as-a-Service or SaaS allows SMBs to onboard the latest technology solutions like ERP into their business and pay according to their usage. 

Market Research Engine reports that among growing businesses, 96% of those who are successful rely on an ERP solution to run their daily operations seamlessly. Enterprise Resource Planning has grown into a critical business application for small and medium businesses as it connects data across their functional departments and allows unified decision making and service automation.

If your business is yet to consider implementing an ERP system, here are 5 compelling reasons why you need to invest in an ERP solution in 2020:

1. Unified Business View

ERP solves the biggest challenge faced by any business- data consolidation!

An Enterprise Resource Planning software consolidates data from across departments to help management make informed decisions. 

  • From analytical reporting to inter-departmental approvals and workflows, an ERP system allows smooth operations in an enterprise by bringing every workflow into an organized digital framework. 
  • From inventory to accounting and employee schedules, an ERP system can help trace the root cause of performance issues in your business easily. 

It gives an overview of where you need to focus on and how you can make critical decisions such as cost optimizations, resource management, and much more. 

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

2. Encourages Transparency

With an ERP system, you can cultivate a transparent work culture in your organization.

Across functions or departments, an ERP system allows you to map dependencies, track progress, raise alerts on areas demanding attention, and keep employees and management updated with real-time performance metrics of the business. 

  • ERP forms a centralized database from which all departments can access and share information thereby ensuring a transparent information flow within the enterprise. 
  • It also eliminates errors and manipulations from spreading into entire business processes by deploying quality checks across departmental management modules. 

Transparency at the workplace ensures that all units within your organization gain access to accurate information for their daily working needs.

3. Empowers Automation

An ERP offers centralized and automated management of work files as well as reporting for decision-makers.

Without an ERP system, most business units will have to work with a barrage of spreadsheets and documents to arrive at decisions. The amount of manual work to be done for processing documents, preparing reports for management and other work-related files would be severely high. 

ERP application helps automate a lot of manual tasks that employees have to spend time daily like for example, adding a new employee record in multiple business units such as payroll, project management, leave management, finance, compliance, and HR units, etc. If there was no ERP all these entries would have to be done manually and chances of errors and mistakes are relatively higher for manual work.

Related Reading: Automation In Small Business: 4 Areas To Get Started

4. Support Digital Business Transformation

An ERP serves as the backbone for an SMB to propel itself into new-age digital revenue channels. 

It promotes a culture of data-driven operations across the business and makes it easier for transitioning traditional business models into newer and more exciting customer touchpoints. For example, if you are into retailing, an ERP system can serve as the best resource for you to transition into an e-commerce business. With visibility into inventory, processes, accounting, revenue management, and supply chain efficiency, it becomes easy to deploy an e-commerce solution to derive data from your ERP and offer a superlative experience to online shoppers. 

Additionally, implementing new digital experiences in your physical business locations too becomes easier, as you already have data points to explore with APIs and have new tools act on your available data to create new experiences. A good example would be marketing automation wherein digital marketing platforms can be deployed to act on data in your ERP to roll out campaigns to attract new buyers.

5. Turn Competitive

One of the major reasons why several SMBs today are turning to ERP solutions is the ability of such systems to place them in a competitive position in the market. 

An ERP solution gives data-backed insights that help SMBs offer experiences to customers that any bigger and more established businesses can offer. Cloud-based ERP systems ensure that you can roll out these experiences without burning a hole in the pocket for expenditure. The easy scalability it gives to your business systems ensures that you can always forecast demand and adjust your entire business operations to meet this demand on time.

From managing your entire value chain to enabling memorable experiences for your customers, ERP unlocks tons of possibilities for small business enterprises. At InfinCE, we believe that ERP is the digital core of your business. InfinCE is designed to overcome your remote working woes. It combines numerous productivity and enterprise solutions including ERP, CRM, CMS, and HRM solutions, hosted on secure cloud environments, dedicated to your need. 

Related Reading: Why should a small business opt for InfinCE

Leverage the best value from your technology investments with InfinCE. Talk to our experts today to find out more. 

Ensuring Faster Enterprise Mobility Adoption

How SMBs Can Overcome Challenges to Build a Mobile-First Workplace

The rise of flexible, remote work culture and the need to address a large population of mobile-savvy millennial workforce is creating an unprecedented demand for enterprise mobility. 

Over 86 % of email users worldwide use their smartphones to access emails, reports Adobe. By enterprise mobility, we do not just focus on accessing emails on smartphones. It is a cultural and business transition that involves technology, people, and processes spanning departments. Hence every step a small business takes in the direction of implementing enterprise-wide mobility involves challenges that they need to mitigate. 

Here are five challenges that SMBs should overcome to ensure sustainable mobility adoption in enterprises. 

1. Cultural Resistance

When your organization comprises resources from different generations, there is friction that is bound to happen in several areas and your technology infrastructure is no exception. Most of your staff will be accustomed to their desktops or laptops and prefer working from the office. For them, the idea of transitioning to a highly decentralized and mobile workforce where remote working is a norm and smartphones become the mainstay device could be overwhelming. 

Related Reading: InfinCE Can Help You Quickly Transit to Remote Working

As a business owner, you need to step in to resolve this cultural challenge by creating awareness among your staff on the benefits of mobility. Having a well-planned migration into mobile-friendly collaboration channels is highly appreciable. It can help soften the transition and give space and time for employees to gradually accept the new norm rather than forcing them to accommodate a new way of working one fine day.

2. Business Process Alignment

Even if you are a small business enterprise, there are certain standard and well-defined business processes and workflows your employees follow to help serve customers efficiently. While incorporating mobility, a considerable effort must be put into re-aligning your key business processes. This will boost the adaptability of mobility best practices.

Polices like BYOD which are critical in enabling enterprise mobility make it necessary for business processes to be re-defined. These may include information-sharing protocols, work management policies, timeline management, security policies, and much more.

3. Seamless Collaboration and Communication

When employees begin to opt for a culture of remote and mobile-first work experience, there is a huge demand for interactive and real-time collaboration capability. Through digital channels like InfinCE, SMBs can facilitate employees to stay connected with their peers, share information, work on tasks together, manage responsibilities and dependent activities, conduct virtual meetings or video conferences, and so on. 

Related Reading: 5 Workplace Innovations You Can Welcome with Video Conferencing

For customer-facing roles, it is important to deliver insights and information on the go on handheld devices. Knowledge archival and sharing via cloud platforms need to be highly encouraged. This is vital for field employees to deliver value during client interactions. 

4. Flexible Application Support

As more enterprise functions and capabilities get mapped to mobility mode, small businesses need to ensure that your workforce gets dedicated applications to leverage these functions completely from their smartphones or remote devices. Hence your technology ecosystem needs to support the development of custom enterprise mobility apps for various business functions. It could be CRM, HRM, ERP, CMS, document management, collaboration, and project management, and much more.

For instance, The InfinCE mobile app gives you access to most of the features of your virtual desktop, formatted for the smaller screen of your smartphone. You can view all your Dashboards, contact everyone in your organization, Chat or Video call with colleagues, access your Business Applications, and attend the Online Meetings.

5. Security and Device Management

With the advent of digital channels, there is a large volume of customer data that passes through different enterprise systems daily. When your business incorporates mobility deeper into its operations, then a lot of devices come into the network like personal laptops, smartphones, and even smart IoT devices. Confidential data and information get exchanged through these devices regularly. Hence security and data privacy becomes a huge challenge. 

SMBs must ensure that standard encryption protocols, data protection policies and access control are implemented to prevent any untoward incident. There should be intelligent monitoring of data logs and employees must be transparently held accountable for their responsibilities to ensure that no modification or manipulation of data happens without approvals from concerned departments. Compliance laws like GDPR make it necessary for enterprises to enable secure experiences for customer data across all channels through which it is shared.

Related Reading: Why Is InfinCE A Better Choice For Safe Video Calling Than Zoom

Enterprise Mobility is rapidly being adopted by small businesses across the globe. From ensuring business continuity at times of crisis to empowering employees to sustain a perfect work-life balance, the advantages are numerous. With an enterprise platform like InfinCE powering your digital backend, the transition can happen seamlessly. InfinCE allows small businesses to unify their digital infrastructure and empower employees with the flexibility to rapidly increase mobility. Secure cloud-based infrastructure, an extensive app ecosystem and a 24 X 7 support team guarantees that your mobility transformation happens seamlessly and without disruption. Get in touch with our experts to know more about InfinCE.