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Benefits of Online Collaboration. Pick the right one for you.

If you think about, online collaboration takes you back to the original purpose of the Internet, CONNECTING PEOPLE THROUGH COMPUTERS. In 1968, engineers had prepared a complete plan for a network of computers all sharing information among themselves. It was the predecessor of the internet, called ARPANET. It came online in October of 1969, with the first message sent through its computer network.

Basically, Arpanet allowed people from one facility to access data stored in another facility’s computer system. The first Arpanet consisted of 4 Universities – University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara, Stanford Research Institute, and the University of Utah  Computer Science Dept. Researchers in those institutions working on different systems, using Arpanet, could collaborate remotely on projects without leaving their own computer labs. Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of the modern workplace. And nowadays, widespread Internet availability means that members of the team could be just about anywhere in the world. So for teamwork to be effective, it’s important for companies to adopt modern work practices and technologies that help co-workers, wherever they are, share their work in a simple and efficient way. This is where a good online collaboration tool comes in. If you’re considering adopting Online Collaboration tools, the list of its benefits below may help you and your organization make a decision on this useful technology.

Team members can be anywhere. The most obvious benefit of Online Collaboration is that it lets people who aren’t in the same location work together on the same task. Nowadays many companies have offices in multiple cities and countries, and it’s important to find ways to keep all the people working on the same project informed and engaged. Saving space is another benefit to online collaboration. Every day, it makes more and more sense to call for an online meeting rather than one in a physical location. Meetings with a high number of participants can be difficult in physical space, it might be hard to find a room large enough for everyone, and eventually it can become difficult to control participation. Online Collaboration, meetings in virtual space, can make those problems suddenly disappear.

Keeping track of projects. “Il est plus facile” as the French are fond of saying. It is easier. Online Collaboration tools have a variety of tracking capabilities that make it easy for team members to follow the evolution of an assigned task from day one. Questions like “who made the latest changes to a document” or “what did it look like before the latest changes” will be easy to answer. Tagging a colleague to review the document has never been easier. For example, one of our clients needed to in touch very frequently with one of their own clients. With an audio web-conferencing solution they could be touch base anytime they wanted without any need to travel, and thanks to a cloud workspace where it is possible to share any kind of document, everyone involved in the project could access those documents and add their own input.

Less Email. Online collaboration tools remove the need to use e-mail as the primary means of communicating with team members. The need to painstakingly search through an inbox for a lost document, for example, is completely removed.

Ease of reporting. Each department can submit information to a shared work space in the cloud. Marketing can share research on recent market trends in the industry and what customers want. Sales could submit information about customer purchases, helping other departments to decide new products price strategy, marketing and development priorities. Labs and research could report on potential features and functions, making easier for marketing and sales to target new potential customers and retain the old ones. You could even assemble the report in this shared space and let other departments review it to ensure accuracy.

Actions are done quickly. There is no longer a need for arranging the nth meeting or the nth phone call in order to review documents. Now they can be uploaded into the cloud-based workspace, and reviewers can be automatically notified. Reviewers can then do their job and annotate the eventual changes. Contributors can make any necessary change and notify all team members that the document has been reviewed and is updated. With Online Collaboration, it is much easier to keep the work flow on a task reliable, coordinated and organized.

Documents are all stored in a single place. Regardless of their location, team members have access to all necessary documents. Until recently, companies have had concerns about sensitive documents getting out of the company when an employee needed to work them outside the office. Now employees don’t have to use portable storage media if they plan on working on them remotely, and any updates to a document are seen immediately. There is no longer any need for different versions of a document to be e-mailed back and forth, with a lot of email storage space saved in the process (Most company retention policies suggest a minimum retention period for emails of 3-5 years for general business emails. Critical ones have to be retained for 10 years or longer).

Call us or contact us, we might help to understand which benefit can bring you more value than others.