Collaboration tools can be so useful and yet so confusing!
Collaboration, A Fancy Word For Working Together!
Collaboration is working together, especially in an intellectual endeavour. For example:
- Business planning in a group environment
- Interactive online training
- Creating marketing materials
- Planning activities or events
Anything requiring input from multiple people to achieve a common goal could be considered a collaborative effort.
There are different tools available to make collaboration easier:
- Video Conference
- GVO Conference
- Appear In
- Google Hangouts
- Adobe Connect
- In Person Meetings
Teleconference is great when you don’t need to share visuals or maybe combined with visual aids that can be shared by other means. This works well when you are working with people who may have limited access to broadband internet. For example, businesses with remote offices in northern Ontario may have difficulty using any kind of online video tools. This could ultimately lead to people “pretending” to be logged in but actually walked away and got coffee because it takes too long for their system to catch up.
You could use a teleconference to connect for audio and email presentations that the participants could then open locally on their computers and “click” along with the presenter during discussion. Thank God for Power Point! Well, thanks to Bill Gates and Microsoft.
GVO Conference is by far the most robust and best tool for the money. Fully functioning online conference software with available HTML5 functionality including the ability to share your desktop, video clips and presentations. You can even have group face to face where your broadband can support it.
Google Hangouts is readily available through your Chrome browser. In my experience, OK for 1-3 people face to face but can be unreliable with slightly larger groups.
Appear In is free for up to four people. Works well for video conference and desktop sharing but doesn’t have built in video or slide show ability.
Adobe Connect is very robust but also very resource hungry. You will need a good computer with a plugin in to run a room. This can be expensive and has a rather big learning curve.
There are many other tools like Webex and so on but I think you get the idea. In case you didn’t notice, yes, I’m trying to lead you to click on the link showing the GVO Suite of tools that includes the conference room! (Amiya, the name in the link is my granddaughter.)
In Person Meetings
We have all heard you can’t beat “belly to belly” for sales and much the same for learning and working together. I agree!
In the global economy of today, it often isn’t possible to bring people together in one place for collaboration purposes. By using tools like video conference, we can come from literally anywhere in the world to work together for a common purpose. Canada and USA are two of the largest countries in the world and going from one side to the other takes days, not hours, unless you are spending hundreds of dollars for air travel. Frankly, ground can be as much or more than air travel by the time you consider fuel, food and lodging!
I would suggest in person meetings may be advisable and preferable when kick starting a project or bringing it in for a landing. Consider something like GVO Conference for all of the in between work!
Collaboration isn’t always easy but the old cliche is “more heads are better than one”. Reach out to your business partners, whether you work in business, education or any other field, they are all business partners, and find the best way to work together. When you develop plans collaboratively, you get more buy in. People who have a vested interest don’t want to see “their” idea fail. Use whatever tools you need to bring the right voices to the table.
Make it a great day!
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great minds, the internet and GVO! What are you thankful for today?