Collaboration has become an essential element for any business desiring success. It facilitates a sense of unity and teamwork, which leads to increased productivity, improved decision-making, and better outcomes.
To facilitate this rising demand for collaboration, businesses across the planet are increasingly turning to technology solutions, and Microsoft is at the forefront of providing such tools. Microsoft collaboration tools and the ever-growing list of SharePoint collaboration features offer a wide range of functionalities that enable businesses to communicate, share files, and work together seamlessly. These tools and features go a long way to enhance team collaboration, boost productivity, and streamline workflows, all while keeping data secure and accessible.
As you might have guessed, in this article, we will explore the various collaboration tools and collaboration features offered by Microsoft. Whether you are a small startup or a large enterprise, understanding the importance of collaboration and technology’s role in transforming your business is crucial for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced and interconnected world. So let’s explore how companies can use their capabilities and benefits to drive collaboration and success.
Why is collaboration Tools essential?
MarketsAndMarkets predicts that the global enterprise collaboration market will grow from $31 billion in 2019 to $48.1 billion by 2024 (at a CAGR of 9.2%) in their Enterprise Collaboration Market – Global Forecast for 2024. The popularity of social networking portals and the unstoppable proliferation of mobile devices drive modern-day enterprise collaboration development.
Enterprises consider collaboration tools one of the most important technologies of today’s digital workplace experiences. Despite the oversaturated collaboration software market, only around 20% of organisations confirm their collaboration tools work well. Almost 40% of businesses admit their collaboration infrastructure requires an upgrade.
Microsoft collaboration tools are popular for a reason, primarily because the freedom of choice offered by the software market does not always guarantee quality collaboration.
Enterprises often implement multiple collaboration tools simultaneously to satisfy the needs of various teams, resulting in the following issues:
Scattered collaboration: When each team uses a different application, it is challenging to centralise and manage collaboration effectively at the enterprise level and ensure cross-team interaction when necessary.
A hard-to-manage collaboration environment: The more apps are in use, the more organisations spend to support them, ensuring their sleek operation, integrity, and security.
Poor knowledge management: With scattered collaboration, it is challenging to organise proper knowledge management and build related workflows, be it for sharing experience, collecting knowledge across corporate resources, or setting up quality knowledge transfer between teams and departments.
To avoid the issues mentioned above, the most obvious way for a company is to choose a comprehensive solution that covers the collaboration needs of different employees and teams. Microsoft collaboration tools, such as SharePoint, Office 365, and the more recent Microsoft 365, are all created to respond to this business demand.
However, more than installing one of these solutions is required to succeed in enterprise collaboration. To build an ideal collaboration environment, companies must approach the implementation of these platforms wisely.
SharePoint collaboration features that you should be aware of.
Collaboration is crucial in every business environment, and modern workplaces require robust tools to enable effective teamwork. SharePoint is one such tool that has gained popularity among enterprises seeking to streamline collaboration and content management workflows.
So what are the various features of SharePoint that ensure collaboration?
SharePoint collaboration features comprise a compilation of tools for automating employees’ collaboration and content-related workflows. SharePoint is now available as an on-premises, cloud, and hybrid application. When comparing SharePoint On-Premises vs SharePoint Online, the latter boasts broader functional capabilities, while the former is more customisation friendly.
SharePoint consultants can use built-in and custom workflows to automate various business processes. All the content and automated workflows hosted on SharePoint sites are ultimately the building blocks of all SharePoint-based enterprise solutions and intranets.
Some of the most popular types of SharePoint sites are:
SharePoint team sites: For various collaborative activities such as storing and collaborating on different types of content, managing team workflows, organising team-building activities, accessing team and corporate resources, and accumulating team knowledge.
SharePoint project sites: This site offers all the features of a team site with additional project management capabilities to stay informed at every project stage from anywhere. SharePoint community sites support professional and social groups, uniting people from the same business domain or those with similar hobbies and passions.
SharePoint blogs and wikis: These sites are aggregators of documented corporate wisdom, making them optimal for knowledge-oriented collaboration. Organisations can use content from blogs and wikis to orient newcomers, train staff, and facilitate personal development.
SharePoint communication sites: Used to support any collaboration scenario that involves interacting with a large audience, such as spreading news and reports, organising corporate events, or collecting feedback in a community.
SharePoint hub sites: Helps aggregate content and activities from associated teams and communication sites. Employees can discover updates from multiple SharePoint sites on a single page. Hub sites provide a way to organise and navigate related sites and enable users to apply a familiar navigation, branding, and search experience across multiple sites. Site administrators use policies, permissions, and branding consistently across related sites.
Microsoft collaboration tools that deserve your attention.
Although SharePoint can function as a standalone application, Microsoft offers a wide range of collaboration tools from which businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit.
Microsoft’s collaboration tools include Office 365, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and OneDrive. Each device has features and capabilities suitable for different collaboration scenarios.
Let’s find out more about them in detail.
a) Microsoft Teams
Released in March 2017 as a response to the popular collaboration tool Slack, Microsoft Teams has become one of the critical hosts of team collaboration in Office 365. Interestingly, it has outperformed third-party collaboration applications and other Microsoft tools. Teams have absorbed Skype for Business Online, StuffHub, and Kaizala and now offer public and private teams channels for chat-based collaboration, online meetings, and voice calls. This makes it an essential everyday tool for teams across the globe.
Next up on our list of Microsoft collaboration tools is Yammer, a social networking tool designed for enterprise collaboration and often coupled with SharePoint Online. It allows team members to create groups, share ideas, and communicate with each other in a social environment. Yammer also provides a knowledge base that teams can use to capture and share information.
It comes as a default web part on SharePoint’s modern pages. Yammer has undergone numerous modifications to increase its adoption rate and is slowly set to become a central knowledge management hub within the Office 365 suite.
c) Onedrive for Business
OneDrive is an online storage and file-sharing service that allows teams to store and share files securely in the cloud. It provides an easy-to-use interface for sharing files with others and supports real-time collaboration on documents. Employees can keep and collaborate on online and offline content using OneDrive, a file hub. The storage capacity depends on the subscription plan, ranging from 1TB per user to unlimited storage.
Outlook is an email client and a powerful collaboration tool that allows users to manage tasks, schedule appointments, and organise contacts. Features such as shared calendars and task lists enable teams to work together more efficiently and stay on top of deadlines. Outlook’s real-time syncing across devices ensures everyone has the most up-to-date information, regardless of location. Additionally, its integration with other Office 365 tools, such as Teams and OneNote, makes it an essential component of the collaboration ecosystem, facilitating communication and collaboration within and across the organisation.
Collaborations you can ensure with SharePoint and Microsoft tools.
Now that we know the benefits of Microsoft collaboration tools and various SharePoint collaboration features, you may wonder what the main difference between these solutions is when compared to hundreds of other collaboration tools available in the market.
If you ask us, the most significant benefit of the above-mentioned Microsoft solutions is the ability for organisations to adapt them to different types of collaboration or even use all scenarios simultaneously.
When used as intranet platforms, SharePoint and Office 365 become the epicentre of enterprise communication, allowing employees to learn about the latest corporate updates, meet newcomers, see important announcements, and learn about corporate benefits. This is also the fastest way to inform numerous communities or get their feedback.
SharePoint and Office 365 provide dedicated collaboration spaces for teams to store and share content, exchange ideas, manage activities, track project progress, and accumulate knowledge. Team and project sites form the basis of team collaboration in SharePoint. In Office 365, teams can combine SharePoint sites with Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups, and project management tools such as Planner or Project Online.
SharePoint communities and communication sites can host professional and social gatherings for companies running social activities, organise themed events, and spread the news among community members with relevant SharePoint designs and customisations. Microsoft Teams and Yammer can be supporting channels for this social collaboration.
External collaboration is also possible, allowing users outside an organisation to come to SharePoint and Office 365 for collaboration purposes. The suite’s administrator controls which apps and features are available for external users and which actions they can perform. Organisations can roll out external collaboration features on SharePoint sites, in closed teams and channels in Yammer and Microsoft Teams, or Outlook email boxes based on their business goals.
Microsoft collaboration tools, particularly SharePoint and Office 365, offer a comprehensive suite of features for businesses of all sizes to improve collaboration, automate workflows, and streamline knowledge management practices. By leveraging the various SharePoint tools and collaboration features, companies can transform their work, improving team productivity and communication.
SharePoint is one of the core apps within the cloud suites, which is why Office 365 and SharePoint collaboration are often used as synonyms. Although SharePoint’s customisation principles have changed over the years, it remains a universal collaboration app that internal teams or external SharePoint consultants can tailor to specific organisational needs.
At Neologix, we are a leading IT development company SharePoint and Office 365 solutions. Our team of experts can help your organisation implement and customise these powerful Microsoft collaboration tools to fit your specific needs, providing personalised features and functionalities that can enhance your collaboration capabilities.
Reach out to us by dropping a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling +971-521043226. Our team of expert developers will help you maximise the benefits of these platforms and take your business to newer heights.