Communication And Collaboration Software
Everything About Communication And Collaboration Software
We mean, imagine telling an office worker just 30 years ago that you could attend meetings from the comfort of your warm bed while wearing your cozy pajamas. Communication and Collaboration Software has certainly made life so much more fun!
However, these modern software were born out of the much simpler communication software, that had very limited functionality. In this article, we will see what Communication and Collaboration Software (CCS) is, how it works, its evolution from communication software, its types and its near future.
It is Friday evening; you are sitting in your company's New York branch trying to write that impossible code that your boss insists needs to work flawlessly by 9 pm. You glance at the clock that is smugly showing the time to be 7:45 pm! You are not going to meet the deadline and right before your brain is about to push the panic button, you get an idea. You hastily open Zoom, ping your teammates about your hurdle and before you know it, Paul- your favorite senior sitting in Sydney, responds and asks you to share your screen; he identifies almost all the errors in less than 2 minutes and you fix it in the next 5 minutes. You immediately mail the code to Emma, the project tester, both of you collaborate on the file in real-time and by 8:30, your code is running like the roadrunner. Beep Beep!
However, how exactly do modern-day Communication and Collaboration Software help solve our modern problems? Well, we will be your guide for this tour! So, follow us into the exciting world of Communication and Collaboration Software.
What Is Communication And Collaboration Software?
To understand what is a Communication And Collaboration Software, let's first make two concepts crystal clear:
The act of exchanging information by talking, writing, or any other medium is called communication. Collaboration is also an exchange of information that puts on a prettier hat of driving team communication and collaborative product forward. However, there can be no collaboration without communication.
Keeping that in mind, Communication And Collaboration Software are tools that allow people to communicate (exchange information) and collaborate on projects in real-time. Communication And Collaboration Software is not necessarily one product but can be a set of tools that integrate communication services such as instant messaging, texting, chat, voice, web & video conferencing, etc., with collaboration platform services such as file sharing and document management across multiple devices, platforms and media types.
Two tools merged into one? Surely it has an interesting history! Yeah, it does, let’s learn about it.
Where Did It All Begin?
Imagine if our forefathers had communication and collaboration tools such as Zoom, Slack and Teams while drafting the Declaration of Independence? Aah! To be a fly in the room for that conversation! However, those were days of paper communication and everything from passing information to storing concepts was done on paper.
Telephones were invented around 150 years ago which introduced the possibility of communicating with people without being physically present and changed the way businesses could operate. The invention of email in the 1960s once again stirred the business communication process and the extent of work that companies could accomplish. Towards the end of the 20th century, video conferencing successfully infiltrated the meeting room and by the start of the 21st century, we already had tools for sharing documents online! Talk about a fast-growing market! The next 20 years witnessed a transition to digital communication with the Internet's help, dramatically evolving how businesses communicated and collaborated on projects.
Taking a page out of Microsoft's history, their contribution to communication and collaboration technology started with the launch of NetMeeting in 1996. It offered consumers tools for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Video Conferencing. Around the same time, WebEx launched the first-ever B2B focused web conferencing tool and etched its mark in the history of Communication tools. Over the years, Microsoft evolved its offering to give more management controls and higher security to safeguard their clients' digital assets. Their solutions include tools such as Live Communications Server released in 2003; Office Communicator, which came to market in 2007; Lync®, which was introduced three years later in 2010; Skype® for Business acquired in 2015 and Microsoft Teams, which came in 2017. Not from Microsoft but significant addition to Collaboration Tools came out in 2008 with the launch of Dropbox, which allowed several files to be uploaded to and accessed by multiple parties. Businesses quickly saw the value of this remote work solution and began to adopt it themselves.
What Communication And Collaboration Software Looks Like Today
We now have all-integrated tools for communication and project collaboration, such as Google Suite and Microsoft SharePoint, which allow multiple users to collaborate on multiple files and communicate in real-time. Software such as Skype and Slack are all over the world now (even the kids are Slacking these days). Project management software like Asana or Workfront has become ubiquitous team collaboration solution in the workplace. Now, a variety of information could be communicated to various people effectively and quickly. In offices, tasks may be assigned to individual team members, no matter the size along with all the resources and data they would need along with deadlines of the project manager.
There are many types of Communication And Collaboration Software. Let’s look at some examples.
Types Of Communication And Collaboration Software
Communication And Collaboration Software are of two types-synchronous software in which multiple users can work together in real-time and asynchronous software, which allows users to collaborate on the same project but not in real-time.
Looking at the various features of Communication And Collaboration Software, it can be classified into three categories. Let's look at them in detail.
No surprises here, a communication software offers employee features such as screen sharing, live chat communication, audio or video conferencing for real-time communication. It enables faster-unified communication, even speedier problem solving with the collaborative tool and enables remote team collaboration, which would otherwise be a headache. Most known Communication tool include names such as Slack, Skype and Zoom.
Key features include:
Chat and messaging
Audio and video conferencing
Task Management Software:
Can it even be called a Communication and Collaboration Software without Task Management? Offering transparency, task management software provides businesses with features to set deadlines, assign tasks and monitor task progress. Prominent task management software includes tools such as Asana, Microsoft To-Do and Wrike.
Key features include:
Planning and scheduling
Document And Content Management Software:
As the name suggests, Document And Content Management Software are used to store, share and work on different files and track changes on the files. Some team collaboration software also provides features for chatting and video conferencing, enabling team member to communicate and collaborate on a file in real-time. Google Docs and Microsoft Team are some well-known Documents And Content Management Software as a team collaboration tool.
Key features include:
Document and content management
The Big Benefits Of CCS
Using Communication and Collaboration Software improves scheduling, ensuring that your team is making optimum use of their time. As a team, you can share a calendar, so your fellow employees will know the next time you will be doing Goat Yoga (read: not to be disturbed during Goat Yoga!). Let's not forget how much time you will save by workplace collaboration being flawlessly organized with integrated storage of files and documents. No more searching endlessly through emails to find that one document your boss requested urgently.
Communication and Collaboration Software can also boost morale and encourage team building in real time as it can help employees be more engaged by letting them work when and where they want with such online collaboration tools. The more engaged employees are, the happier they are.
Do we have to spell it out? Happy employees do a better job!
What Can We Look Forward To?
Working remotely will continue to become the collaboration solution norm owing to global collaborative projects. Communication and Collaboration Software will continue to grow and spread throughout society as fidget spinners did for almost 6 months-we still can't get rid of the damn things!
Mixed And Virtual Reality is an exciting aspect of the future of Communication and Collaboration Software. Companies like Microsoft are developing powerful Mixed Reality tools that will help workers for app-based remote collaboration in real-time, in dozens of industries, to increase efficiency, reduce mistakes and improve the effective collaboration work experience.
Other companies are using Virtual Reality software to create blueprints in the architectural industry or create meeting rooms with avatars that might one day replace Zoom (just like Kingsman agents do!). Guess we'll have to wear pants again.
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