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Unpuzzling the world of communication solutions

Communication is vital to good leadership and effective operations. The importance of effective communication within business has only been exacerbated by the growing flexibility of working styles, with 85% of employees using more than one device for communication at work and 32% using 3 or more devices in 2015. A strong communication solution can help build a sense of community within an organisation by bringing together a variety of perspectives, fostering innovation and promoting collaboration, but in the current working environment it is essential that this solution is accessible and usable on mobile devices. 

 

Why do I need a communication solution? 

Communication solutions are often implemented in response to common inefficiencies and pain points such as disconnected and disengaged teams, lack of cohesion in document style, format and location and unauthorised use of shadow IT. However, a strong communication solution will not only combat these pain points but also provides a host of additional capabilities such as real-time co-authoring, search capabilities and multilingual add-ons.  

Communication solutions are designed to improve efficiency and productivity within an organisation, with Microsoft Teams seeing more than 75 million daily active users earlier this year. Ultimately those who aren’t investing in a modern communication solution are being left at a major disadvantage. 

 

Which solution should I use? 

Now it’s all well and good to promote the use of a communication solution but the ambiguity of such an act can be unhelpful. Communication solutions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the most appropriate of which will vary from case to case. Additionally, some communication tools may work independently whilst also offering the potential of integration with an additional communication tool, further expanding your solution options. So, how do you know which solution to pick?  

Well first, it is important to understand your organisation’s needs and its inefficiencies as this will play a large role in guiding what you look for with regards to the capabilities of your chosen communication solution. Some choose to undergo this process on their own, deciding on the tool they wish to implement and then seeking out a local partner and provider of that software. Alternatively, some choose to define their requirements and then reach out to a local digital partner to query their suggestions and gain their expertise surrounding a potential solution or software. Either of these strategies is perfectly acceptable, it is simply a matter of personal preference. 

Whether you’d rather opt in or out of the research phase, we’re here to help. We’ve detailed some popular communication solutions, their capabilities and who they might be appropriate for. 

 

SharePoint

When it comes to communication SharePoint is a big hitter with over 85% of Fortune 500 companies using SharePoint. Standard SharePoint Online is an attractive choice for start-ups and small company set ups as it is easy to use and its price is based on number of users. SharePoint provides centralised access to business information and applications and its simple editing environment makes changing site layouts easy. The key capability within SharePoint is document-focused collaboration with flexible document libraries, customisable metadata, version control and more. SharePoint operates using team sites to support project management, these sites integrate seamlessly with additional Office 365 tools. Organisations can pay for their license and develop their own SharePoint environment however many organisations seek external expertise from digital partners to appropriately configure their intranet with most medium to large customers seeking a Microsoft Certified Partner for continued support. 

To find out more about SharePoint check out our webpage here. 

 

Valo

Many out-the-box intranet solutions are built on the back of a SharePoint intranet foundation and Valo is no exception. Supporting both Modern and Classic SharePoint, Valo boasts over 2 million users worldwide. Valo closely follows Microsoft innovations and facilitates integration with Microsoft Teams. Similarly, to SharePoint, Valo is predominantly implemented by a digital partner, however, unlike SharePoint, Valo’s pricing model consists of a one-off license payment and an optional ongoing maintenance subscription with charity discounts available. Valo is appropriate for the organisation that has perhaps outgrown their SharePoint solution with Clearbox claiming a typical client size of 40 – 120,000 employeesValo offers a featurerich news experience with pre-defined news templates available as well as the options to add metadata, highlight news and mark news as global or local. Mobile users can even read articles offline in the Valo app. Valo expands the capabilities of an intranet with strong mobile app support, impressive multilingual features, the ability to pull in different types of data by linking web parts to external APIs and with their available add-on features: teamwork, extranet and ideas management.  

To find out more about Valo check out our webpage here. 

 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams launched in 2017 as a tool designed to unite disparate aspects of teamwork within organisations. Teams combines workplace messaging and video meetings, the document management and sharing of SharePoint, the end-to-end security, administrative control and compliance of Office 365 and a host of its own unique capabilities. Ultimately, Teams offers a single hub for multiple Office 365 tools as well as integrated third-party apps. Microsoft Teams and SharePoint work symbiotically with all files shared within Microsoft Teams being stored in SharePoint Online and the creation of teams within Microsoft Teams spawning the creation of sites within SharePoint. This makes it easy to access files for specific projects or teams easily through one platform. Additionally, SharePoint powers automatic previews within Teams channels, speeding up the process of finding your necessary content.  

To find out more about Microsoft Teams check out our web page here or check out our blog ‘The 10 Microsoft Teams capabilities you might be missing out on’. 

 

Box

Founded in 2005, Box is a leading cloud content management tool, offering a single location from which to manage, secure, share and govern content and processesBox has grown to serve 97,000 customers and 69% of the Fortune 500. Box allows you to create cloud-based workspaces in which you can share, edit and review files securely from any device with both internal and external teams. Outside the base capabilities of Box, users can integrate with over 1,400 connected apps and can utilise developer tools and APIs to further power their experience. Box also protects content with advanced security controls, encryption key management, and complete information governance. Box is available on a variety of plans from Starter to Enterprise so you can pick the solution that works for you. 

To find out more about Box check out our webpage here. 

Whilst it’s safe to say we haven’t covered every communication tool on the market, these are 4 we feel you should really know about. If you’re still not sure what solution is appropriate for you or if you’d like to find out more about any of the software detailed, please get in touch by calling 0191 4770365 or email enquiries@teamsynergi.co.uk.

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