Remote Communication and Collaboration Platforms
Written on March 27, 2020
Many technology tools are available today at no initial cost or a low cost to help facilitate doing business in a world of social distancing. These tools help you Communicate, Collaborate and Share as if you and your colleagues were in a physical meeting.
Video Conferencing – Tools such as Zoom are available which help you hold meetings via voice or video with others on a Computer or Smart Phone. These tools have free and pay tiers that add additional features and capabilities such as larger and longer meetings. These tools let you see the person you are speaking with and exchange files or information easily from anywhere. This can include one on one discussions with a potential vendor or hosting an online Board or Committee Meeting.
Collaboration Tools – Tools such as Microsoft Teams allow you to work together and collaborate on documents, proposals and chat with the groups you work with. The MS Teams tool allows for Web or Phone-based chat, documentation sharing, and capture of important knowledge and discussion in an organized fashion. These tools also help users stay connected whether they are in different places or working on something at a different time of the day. Finally, they have additions to help manage your task list or poll your team for their opinion on a topic.
PC or Mobile Devices– Many Laptops today have built-in cameras that can be leveraged for video conferencing. Additionally, PCs can be upgraded to support webcams that often also have built-in microphones to support video meetings. Finally, most cell phones/tablets and meeting software support the use of a cell phone to facilitate online meetings.
Other Tools: Many online and smartphone-based tools are available to support business outside of the office. For Example, applications like Microsoft Office Lens turn your cell phone into a desktop scanner to let you share quality scans of business documents. When faced with a challenge in how you do business always check for other alternatives like the ones above to help keep things moving ahead.
While social distancing does impact business as usual, you can continue to get things done online by adapting and leveraging the many technology tools available and still maintain a level of personal touch.
Online Collaboration and Business Tips:
- Having a strong and reliable internet connection is key to having good online interactions.
- Remember that many online tools can work on a computer, cell phone or tablet.
- When using free tools, be familiar with the Quality of Service guarantees. In some cases, paying for the tool may be worth the cost to avoid disruption and quality issues.
- There are many tools available to facilitate online business; sticking to major and known vendors can help you have a better overall experience.
- Always be cognizant of Cyber Security risks related to viruses and scammers that may pose as business colleagues to perform fraud.
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