Work Your Way with Mobile Collaboration
Mobile collaboration is a force multiplier of productivity for your business. That’s because mobile collaboration fits how people work today—anywhere, anytime. Advances in collaboration software, paired with the move to the cloud, are accelerating the adoption of mobile collaboration in businesses of all sizes. The need for new ways to collaborate is urgent, especially as the ranks of mobile and distributed workers are growing. According to Forrester, the number of “anytime, anywhere workers,” information workers around the world will grow to 29 percent in 2012, up from 23 percent in 2011.
With so many people working in different offices as well as from home, on the road, and in cafes, it can be difficult sometimes to work with each other and even more difficult to have those spontaneous discussions that are often necessary to solve a knotty problem or spark a new idea. Mobile collaboration tools re-introduce the human element—and face-to-face interaction—back into a workflow that has been dominated by email communications.
With mobile collaboration tools, the right people can be included in key decisions, when they need to be made, because it’s easier to find and communicate with the decision-makers. Workers can brainstorm with each other more easily, no matter where they are located. Your customers can connect with the right resource in your organization faster. Ultimately, mobile collaboration leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction, improved workflows, and faster time to market. In addition, workers can travel less, which saves the company money and makes employees happier that they can closer to their families.
People want to use the most appropriate mobile device—laptops, tablet or smartphone—depending on the context. But the tablet in general—and Apple iPad in particular—is at the core of the mobile collaboration revolution. People want to use their iPads to communicate and collaborate. That’s why ShoreTel introduced Mobility 6, so workers can use their iPads to make and receive calls (using their business persona and corporate phone directory, even on personally owned iPads), exchange instant messages, and participate in video and web conferences. ShoreTel Conferencing for iOS makes mobile application collaboration a reality. Workers can share presentations, spreadsheets and documents in real-time with people in different locations or view the shared desktops of their colleagues’ PCs and Macs.
The addition of social technologies into an organization’s communications and collaboration mix could unlock additional business value. McKinsey estimates that knowledge workers spend 28 hours a week writing emails, searching for information, and collaborating internally. McKinsey estimates that by using social technologies to free up information locked in workers in-boxes could make knowledge workers 20 to 25 percent more productive. The value will come not only from tapping into consumer insights and crowdsourcing new products and services, but also from improving communication and collaboration, breaking down the barriers in functional silos across the company, and redrawing the traditional boundaries of the enterprise.
The impact of mobile collaboration can be seen already across many industries. For example, field service personnel can conduct remote inspections and maintenance using video. In schools, iPads and mobile collaboration are essential for tutoring, homeschooling, and other forms of remote education. And mobile collaboration has the potential to improve healthcare, as it extends the reach of healthcare professionals into remote communities, long-term care facilities, and even patients’ homes.