Evolving Workstyles Require a New Collaboration Strategy

According to Gallup, 43 percent of Americans did all or some work from home in 2016, up from 39 percent in 2015. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) finds that 60 percent of businesses offered a telecommuting benefit in 2016, up from 20 percent in 1996.

Employees can work from almost anywhere, thanks to near-ubiquitous Internet connectivity and mobile devices. Flexible workstyles offer a number of business benefits, including increased productivity, enhanced employee satisfaction, and the ability to tap into a larger talent pool. But in order for this strategy to be successful, geographically dispersed teams need the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.

Not surprisingly, nearly 70 percent of IT professionals surveyed by Spiceworks said that collaboration initiatives are a high priority or even essential to their organization’s strategy. However, 56 percent of survey respondents don’t know how much they’re spending on subscriptions and licenses for collaboration solutions. Respondents also said that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of collaboration far exceeds subscription and license fees.

Problem is, many organizations have a highly fragmented communication and collaboration environment. According to the Spiceworks survey, 92 percent of organizations have deployed or are considering using multiple collaboration solutions, and 66 percent are using multiple providers. The four most commonly used tools are messaging (74 percent), web/screen sharing (72 percent), voice/audio (72 percent) and video (70 percent).

In fact, organizations are using an average of 4.4 different solutions across three different providers in an attempt to meet the high demand for collaboration. The use of multiple systems not only increases TCO but creates headaches for IT, including service quality issues, security and compliance problems, and management challenges.

The Spiceworks survey results probably don’t reflect “rogue” collaboration solutions. End-users commonly adopt cloud-based collaboration tools as needed, without the authorization of IT. While some are free, many are not, and the ongoing subscription costs can quickly add up. In addition, consumer-grade tools often introduce security risks.

In order to get a handle on collaboration expenses, inventory the solutions in use, and determine how many licenses have been purchased as well as ongoing subscription costs. Immediate savings can be realized by canceling seldom-used subscriptions and reallocating licenses that are no longer needed.

Next, determine what communication and collaboration tools are needed, and select a system that delivers these capabilities from a common platform. For example, Fuze is a cloud-based unified communications (UC) solution that includes all the modern messaging features your team needs. Fuze has reimagined the user experience, delivering voice, video, messaging, content sharing and presence in a single application that’s simple and intuitive.

With Fuze, virtual teams can access enterprise-class tools from anywhere, on any device. Organizations can eliminate those rogue apps and create a streamlined collaboration environment that cuts costs and enhances team engagement. IT will appreciate the scalability and “five 9s” availability of Fuze, as well as the world-class security and operational controls that ensure SSAE 16 and HIPAA compliance.

If you’re supporting remote and mobile workers, contact Sequel to learn more about Fuze. Let us help you develop and implement and end-to-end collaboration strategy that reduces TCO while improving the user experience.