Technology Behind Online Meetings is Advancing
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, online meeting solutions were a growing trend to support the modern work space. As business becomes more global and our workforce requires mobility and flexibility, the need to conduct meetings online has been growing, and the solutions have been steadily improving to make these meetings more collaborative.
All online meeting solutions will have features such as video- and audioconferencing, presence, chat, whiteboard, shared files and the ability to integrate with calendaring apps to easily schedule online meetings. However, is that all there is to collaboration?
Today’s business meetings tend to be project-oriented. They bring people together to exchange information, make decisions and complete tasks — in short, to get stuff done. COVID-19 pushed the existing solutions to their limits and beyond. More development and enhancements to online meeting solutions have occurred in the last three months than in any single previous quarter or year.
As we continue to work from home and the remote office truly becomes the norm, our online meeting tools must allow us to do more in collaboration with our co-workers when they are not sitting next to us or just around the corner.
Meeting software has become more dynamic and fluid in how we can use the tools. Online chat sessions can become “phone calls” with audio and video. What can start as a casual conversation between you and a colleague can easily become an online meeting with as many attendees from within your company or from outside as needed.
Another important aspect of collaboration is how we store and organize information. Modern collaboration tools allow you to group information and people by project or work groups. A wide variety of different types of information in different forms can be stored together in one place. Once the information is shared, it can be viewed, searched and edited right in the collaboration space. You no longer have to download information, make changes and then upload the changed documents. Your information can be made public to the entire company, or it can be private to only the team members. Most important, we can access the information at any time, from anywhere and on any device available.
There are many excellent online meeting solutions on the market today. Google and Microsoft are leveraging their productivity suite of applications as a bundle that includes Online Meetings, which is a real game-changer as this approach makes collaboration that much easier and tightly integrated.
Many businesses rushed to enable their employees to work from home due to COVID-19. Today we are all working from home in greater numbers than ever before and are not likely to return to the office anytime soon. What should your company do now to ensure that it is adequately prepared for this new flexible workplace?
Your organization needs to make sure its workforce remains productive and secure regardless of where the office is located. We have to adapt our meetings and provide access to our phones systems remotely. We need to make sure we can validate the identity of our remote workforce. We have to manage devices that are not directly attached to our corporate networks and might not be the standard issued devices. We need to protect our data and information while making them available to our remote workers. We must maintain regulatory compliance. We might need to update some older lines of business applications that control our work flow and processes. We need to make sure our front-line workers have the same level of access to our processes and information as they work under new conditions and constraints. And finally, we need to make sure we are using all of our information as intelligently as possible. If your organization needs assistance, as we move into the new world of remote collaboration together, reach out to your trusted technology partner. Working together, you can create the best, most efficient work space for today’s modern workforce.
Kenneth Hensarling is Director Portfolio Management Cloud Services at CBTS | Hawaiian Telcom. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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