Your team has now been working from home for a couple of months, and it seems likely that telework will be central to your office culture for the foreseeable future. With social distancing restrictions still in place, you may be able to gradually welcome employees back to the office, but likely in staggered shifts to limit contact.
That means it’s going to be essential to set up a remote collaboration system that will help in-office and remote employees easily and securely communicate and share files—not just for the short term, but as an ongoing part of your overall business plan. While free or cheap cloud-based solutions may have helped sustain your company over the past couple of months, it’s now essential to build a solid game plan that will set you up for long-term collaboration success no matter how your business might change in the coming years.
Our company’s been in the MSP space since 2007, and in those years, we’ve had the opportunity to evaluate technology needs for companies of all sizes in many different industries. And as far as collaboration is concerned, we’ve found two platforms that stand out as clear leaders: Microsoft Teams and WebEx.
It’s going to be essential to set up a remote collaboration system that will help in-office and remote employees easily and securely communicate and share files—not just for the short term, but as an ongoing part of your overall business plan.
Microsoft Teams is a chat messaging tool that’s custom-built with all of the features that both large and small teams need for day-to-day communication. In 2016, Microsoft was strongly considering acquiring Slack, but decided instead to use its industry-leading knowledge to build an even stronger collaboration tool that’s now been adopted by more than 13 million users.
So what’s the edge over Slack?
One advantage is that it’s built to scale. While Slack only allows up to 15 people to participate in conference calls in its paid plans, MS Teams enables up to 250 users to join live conferencing.
Microsoft also utilized its Microsoft Graph AI framework to build a bot that integrates directly with your company’s intranet to pull specific information about org charts and internal subject-matter experts. This can prove very helpful if, for example, your employee needs to know which SME would have the answer to a specific question.
If your company already uses the Microsoft 360 software suite, it probably goes without saying that MS Teams integrates with those tools flawlessly. MS Teams also has the edge on security, with more granular administrative controls and a host of security and compliance certifications, including ISO 27018, SSAE16 SOC 1 and SOC 2, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses (EUMC).
It’s the clear choice for larger teams, as well as any team that needs to meet strict compliance standards.
While many users have jumped to Zoom for their online meeting software of choice, we think Cisco’s Webex web conferencing tool is the platform of choice for most companies.
The biggest advantage is its security protocols. While Zoom has had security concerns (including the sale of over 500,000 user passwords on the dark web), Webex includes full protection from the Cisco security team, with defaults of secure meetings and strong passwords. All meeting recordings and transcriptions are encrypted. Cisco security is used by 90% of the Fortune 500, so companies should feel confident in trusting Webex with their secure data.
Webex includes full protection from the Cisco security team, with defaults of secure meetings and strong passwords.
Webex also offers a range of connectivity options, working on mobile devices, desktops, and tablets, and integrates with your existing software tools, including Google Drive, Microsoft Office, and others. We’ve found it to be a reliable, secure, and seamless solution for our clients’ web conferencing needs.
Investing in your infrastructure
While it may be tempting to settle for free options that offer most of the functionality you’re looking for, remember that strong, secure connectivity is key to your success and growth as an organization.
When choosing a communication platform for your company, take the time to look at the different pricing levels to find a solution that will work for you not only today, but as you continue to scale. With the right technology to help your team communicate with each other from anywhere in the world, you’ll be able to collaborate on innovative solutions that will help your company grow.