3 illustrations of why integrated communiction and collaboration software is good for you

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I recently wrote an article about the benefits of integrated communication and collaboration software, which I would love for fellow infoworld.com readers to read.

I wrote the article in the wake of an emerging trend in the exciting business and collaboration software market, that of the convergence of three traditionally separate software areas – communication, collaboration and web conferencing. Earlier, companies used to have Exchange or IBM Lotus Notes for business email, SharePoint for collaboration and document management, and WebEx for web conferencing. But increasingly you find all these three in a single solution like Google Apps, Microsoft BPOS or HyperOffice.

There are many benefits of this appoach including cost savings, ability to innovate, seamless data exchange etc. You can read more about these benefits in my detailed article on the benefits of integrated communication and collaboration software.

Here I would like to give some concrete examples of these benefits, and clearly demonstrate how users benefit. These are as follows:-

Email and document management – Managing documents through emal is a temtpation all of us give in to sooner or later. Even though we may have a powerful document management sytem in the office, we sometimes feel like simply sending documents to other as attachments rather than go through the hassle of logging into the system, checking in and so on. If our document manager is integrated with our email system, things would be a lot easier. Rather than attaching documents, we can simply give a link to the relevant document in shared folders to other users and there wont be the problem of document attachments getting lost in our inbox.

Email and project management – We also use emails a lot to delegate tasks and so do our bosses. Its terribly cumbersome to sift through emails to keep track of which tasks we assigned to others, and what tasks were assigned to us. But with an integrated task management system, we can simply add a button to our emails, which allow an email to be converted into a task. Once an email comes in and qualifies as a task, we can simply click that button, and the email will be converted into a task and be pushed into the task management system. That way, we can easily keep track of tasks, and use task management features like notifications, timelines, delegation etc.

Web conferencing, document management, contact management and calendars – During a web conferencing session, attendees often need to work together on files, and most web conferencing software have rudimentary file sharing features. But with integrated document management, conferencing participants can use the full power of a document management system like co authoring, notifications, comments, versioning and so on. Integrated contact management allow you to select and send invites to participants from your contact management system. Integrated calendars let you display upcoming meetings on the calendar console, where you can add links to the web conferencing session, rather than everyone having to go back to their email.

Pankaj Taneja
Pankaj Taneja is Director, Online Marketing and Product Management at HyperOffice. He is keenly interested in the organizational dynamics of teamwork, and the technological drivers of the future of work.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great article. I agree with the importance of combining this group of functionality. I think Hyperoffice has a great product, but my preference is the Business Collaboration Network (BCN) by DRE Software (www.dresoftware.com). They have great customer service, a great product, and fantastic pricing. They offer all of the above mentioned functionality. Give them a try.

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