How elements of a business can be interconnected using collaboration tools like eXo Platform

Team communication is essential for the smooth running of a business, especially now that teams are working remotely more often. But what’s the best way to communicate and collaborate as a team? As an employer, how do you manage your team and make sure everyone has their say?

Corporate intranets were very popular a few years ago, but with the arrival of web apps that allowed for internal communication and collaboration, the intranet fell out of favour. Now, intranets are back in style, and not only that, but they’re shinier, more intelligent, and more social than ever.

Internal social networks allow remote workers and busy networkers to communicate from a distance, and with mobile apps, you don’t even need your laptop to communicate with your colleagues. According to research done by McKinsey and Company, using social collaboration tools can improve a company’s productivity by 30 to 35 percent when searching for and gathering information, while communication and internal collaboration productivity has risen by 25 to 35 percent.

The amount of time employees spend ploughing through their inbox can also be reduced by switching to an internal social network. Information from IBM tells us that the amount of time spent checking inboxes and dealing with emails has dramatically dropped as email intake has gone from 100 or more down to 10-15 per day. How can an internal social network help the productivity of your team?

Collaboration

Internal social networks give you the ability to work alone in a workspace, or invite colleagues and customers to collaborate. You also have the option to use voice call, video call, or text chat. Using the integrated functions of document sharing, management, and calendars, you can make sure that each team member is completely in the loop on every project. Knowledge is power, so keeping everyone in your team up-to-date is important for team satisfaction.

Events

A lot of apps let you post events in a shared calendar to make sure that every member of your team knows about the important events in your work calendar. Whether it’s a conference, a seminar, a launch, or a birthday lunch, you can almost guarantee that everyone knows (or at least has no excuse not to know) what’s going on.

Brainstorming

Because there’s nothing worse than not having your voice heard at work, using internal social networks takes away the need to be pushy or over-confident to get your point across. An internal social network puts everyone on an even keel and gives the entire team the chance to contribute and share their ideas without feeling intimidated by more vocal team members. It also gives employees from different seniority levels the chance to make suggestions to people higher up in the work chain.

Transparency

Keeping everyone in the loop makes great business sense, and sharing all the ‘need to know’ information with your entire team is crucial for productivity. Internal social networks can eradicate the “I didn’t know about…” or “no one told me…” problem; everyone will know exactly what they need to know, when they need to know it.

You can also create smaller groups to share information with only the management team or certain departments, for example. Here, everyone can have open discussions and share information that may not be imperative to the rest of the team.

Socialising

Lots of companies use their social intranets to build relationships between management and staff, departments, and branches. Organizing social events creates a bond between employers and employees, making for a healthy working environment and a huge increase in productivity. If you plan to use a social intranet, don’t forget to have a section purely for social purposes where people can go to disconnect from work discussions.

Does it really make a difference?

We asked companies who use eXo Web Collaboration Software to provide us with insights into how the social intranet features have helped with the running of their business and the collaboration between team members. Here are some real world examples of the impact that implementing the software has made:

The company: OCIT

The challenge: OCIT (part of telecom company Orange) wanted to enrich its sales workstation by allowing users to access client information through a single point of entry. The goal was to improve an agent’s productivity and client satisfaction.

The solution: What OCIT got by implementing the eXo solution was improved efficiency and client response time. OCIT’s entire sales department– more than 1 000 employees in four locations– now uses eXo daily. Account managers now have direct and easy access to customer information from a single point, and are able to exchange information and collaborate on enterprise sales deals. Fast access to information has greatly improved efficiency and client response time.

The company: Caixa

The challenge: Brazilian bank Caixa required an intranet to serve its 20 000 employees working in multiple agencies across the country.

The solution: The eXo portals have proven their worth in improving Caixa employee collaboration and communication. IT has seen consistent use, and it’s become an indispensable client management tool. Its also provided critical security protection. After the intranet success, Caixa built nine additional intranet and extranet projects using eXo.

The company: Mutavie

The challenge: Mutavie, which manages contracts for retail insurance agencies, wanted to offer a document collaboration space for its partners. Each partner wanted to be able to access documents like contracts, product data sheets, training documents, and marketing materials using permission-based access.

The solution: The first project was put into production for partner Macif’s 6 000 users. It was a success, particularly because it improved Macif’s sales performance. Mutavie then rolled out the project to partner Matmut, and continues to open the space to new partners.

Keeping your team happy can only increase productivity. If you don’t already have a social intranet set up in your company, now would be an ideal time to start thinking about it.