Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is Social Business Collaboration?

“Social business collaboration” is the new buzzword that is going around in the C-suite circles. The plethora of social networking sites and the proliferation of advanced mobile and cloud computing technologies have encouraged many progressive entrepreneurs to consider social business collaboration as a method to facilitate improved and more effective communication between employees, clients, business partners, suppliers, and vendors scattered all over the world.

Social business collaboration means virtually dispersing and sharing work-related information between the various stakeholders of a company using social media tools. In a dynamic and inter-connected operational environment, this process lets users communicate and/or respond as promptly and effectively as they can when they use the social media for their personal needs. It is evident that social business collaboration facilitates quicker decision-making, eases access to critical information and that too, in real time by doing away with the need to wait for mails or announcements, and thus increases productivity of the employees.

Given the numerous significant benefits of social business collaboration, it is imperative that companies learn about the ways in which they can either improve their process of enterprise collaboration or adopt it as part of their internal communication strategy. If you are a decision-maker in your company, then consider the following ways in which you can optimize social business collaboration process:

·     Adopt the latest enterprise collaboration tools. It goes without saying that the success of this virtual mode of collaboration depends largely on the tools being used. So, you must keep abreast of the latest enterprise collaboration platforms, tools, and technologies to achieve optimal results. For instance, there are social collaboration software that let users search for and share relevant organizational or task-related information using videos and screenshots. Some of these platforms are also compatible with smartphones making it possible for your employees to access and share knowledge and obtain real-time business updates on the move.

·   Adopt social business collaboration tools customized for your business needs. There are sundry enterprise collaboration tools out there and while browsing through their specs, you may be forgiven for feeling lost. Choose one based on your immediate business goals, like optimizing collaboration between immediate team members for a mission-critical project or expanding the talent pool of your business for specific tasks and assignments. This tip makes sense especially if your business is a newbie on the social business collaboration bandwagon. Tread softly on the pedal so that your employees and infrastructure can adapt to the changes without getting overwhelmed, and then up the tempo.

·     Improve employee acceptance and/or adoption of the enterprise collaboration concept. Often the challenge of adopting new digital tools is not in shelling out the costs involved or upgrading the existing communication infrastructure but in getting employees to accept and adopt the new technology. Many entrepreneurs report that employees either do not use these new productivity tools or shun them after using for a few days or a month. So, you have to ensure that you adopt enterprise collaboration tools that are easy to learn and implement and also facilitate learning with regular training sessions. Encourage your employees to embrace the new tools by educating them on the benefits of using these.

     The above-mentioned ways to reap the productivity benefits of using social business collaboration are easy to implement but you should make sure that you do not lose sight of your business goals or ignore efforts to pump up employee motivation. And remember, social business collaboration is an ongoing process; so you will need to keep yourself updated always.


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