What are the components of social collaboration solutions?

By Phil Maurer. Published August 8, 2016.

Not all social collaboration solutions are created equally. While features like social network and email integration are typical, you need to think about your business’ needs and look beyond the basics into components that distinguish specific collaboration software and make it right for your organization.

Here are some social collaboration tool components to consider.

1. Mobile integration

Does the social collaboration tool you’re evaluating provide apps for major mobile platforms like Android, IOS, and Windows? Are most of the collaboration tools mobile-friendly to begin with? Remember, the workplace is rapidly becoming a BYOD environment, so it’s important that collaboration software is designed with mobile in mind. All base and advanced features available on desktop should also be available for mobile users.

2. Integrated functions in a single app

Many companies have adopted a set of social collaboration tools – one to share files, another to chat, another for email, another for task management, etc. So when employees are looking for information, or looking to post information, which tool should they start their search with? Having information scattered around these disparate tools does not make it easy to locate information, or even understand what information is available. This brings the benefits of true social collaboration to a screeching halt.

A social collaboration solution, which provides a single platform where everything is in one place, enables organizations to realize all social collaboration benefits to their maximum value. A single
solution is also easier to learn, manage, and support – providing further cost savings.

3. A social media-like community

On the surface, many social collaboration solutions are not that much different from prominent social networks sites. That is, users are part of a greater community for sharing ideas and disseminating information. This includes all the basic tools typically found in social media, such as discussion groups, live chat, microblogs, social bookmarks, and video conferences. All information and data, however, remains secure, strictly private, and within the community.

4. Gamification

As with any new technology, users have to adapt to and ease into the platform. This is made all the easier with some sort of gamification system. Digital badges, awards, and trophies, for example, can be awarded to staff members who take desirable actions, such as completing the collaboration system’s tutorial, answering a fellow member’s question, or sending a certain number of posts using the platform’s integrated social network.

Once you identify the components and subcomponents that fit hand-in-glove with your business model, you’ll advance and enhance social collaboration within your business.

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