Vorsite started a meetup this year geared towards addressing the practical applications of cloud technology and its future in business. With beer.
The beer part is important, because free beer is always a good reason to come to a tech event.
Now, we don’t normally write posts about our events, but we are extremely thrilled to announce that Walt Perry will be joining our meetup at Hales Ales Brewery and Pub on August 10th, 2011. As a 14-year veteran of Microsoft and he is our go-to guy when it comes to technology. Having held many positions from writing test code to working directly with OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), Walt has a unique perspective on cloud technology.
Don’t miss out on the chance to meet with Walt Perry directly and get a first hand experience of Office 365 on a slate.
August 10, 2011 @5:30pm
Hales Ales Brewery and Pub in Fremont, Seattle WA
New collaboration strategies are needed in order to match the rise in need for a mobile workforce. According to Insight Research, 67% of all workers used mobile and wireless computing. Forrester verifies the claim with a slightly smaller number, coming in at 62% of the information workforce working in multiple locations during a typical workweek.
A mobile workforce has many benefits for business. It’s not only a way to maintain production levels during inclement weather and increased performance during the family flu season, but it also means employees who are on the road or on an important project can access and provide feedback on pertinent and timely information and data.
Many new collaboration technologies are just surfacing; so many of us do not have plans in place to accommodate the growing mobile workforce needs. We can often be overwhelmed in considering the right solution to address the needs of our employees.
The first step in building a mobile collaboration strategy is to identify areas of need for your employees.
We recognize every business has different needs, so we encourage everyone to perform their own assessment of their workforce against their business needs. However, Forrester Research determined there were five important groups to focus on when building your collaboration strategy.
Forrester Research Mobile Workforce Personas
The second step is identifying the primary needs. What typically occurs with remote workers is a mental disconnection from what is going on at headquarters and adjusting to changes as they happen. This can be circumvented with current technologies that enhance teamwork. Sharing is an integral part of teamwork and the more connected the experience, the more opportunities you give your employees to move as a cohesive unit and build shared meanings, making the work environment more efficient and effective. You may come up with more primary needs, but we find this is typically the first thing most businesses want to address.
After determining the type of employees and the business needs that are enhanced by better collaboration strategies, the final step is deciding on the technology. We know that smartphones are on the rise and the mainstreaming of tablets in business is just around the corner. By the by, according to Nielsen, 77% of tablets users report using their tablet for actions they would have used a laptop or desktop. It appears inevitable that delivering a plan with a solid mobile collaboration strategy will not only help the business move forward and assist employees who may need more access to their teams, but also distribute needed information in a more dynamic and on-demand manner.
Collaborating with a team on a document can be challenging. You are either sending e-mail, tracking them down in person, instant messaging, placing multiple phone calls or all of the above. The bigger the team, the more data you need to manage and the more overwhelming it can be.
The cloud gives you an opportunity to unlock yourself from the office and still create workflows that help manage the project process.
Let’s take something simple, like a new client proposal and you need to work with experts and sales to make sure the proposal is complete. You can’t let the competition know you’re bidding on a project, so you need to keep the data safe. But you might need to remain flexible, since the team is already busy on other projects.
If you’re new to the proposal process, take a minute to consider the following:
What is the goal?
What does a typical proposal look like?
Who are the contributors?
What are the deadlines?
What are the areas of contribution?
How will you track project status?
How can you get everyone to contribute?
Microsoft Project is great for robust tracking – but is typically only used by project management. You could simply drop the files in a shared folder in the cloud, but you might not be able to easily scale the process if you win the bid.
A simple way to approach any new project is to use SharePoint. The features in SharePoint are built for team collaboration and tracking progress.
Create a sub-site
Click and create a sub-site so your team knows where to go for information.
Multiple users can edit a word document at the same time.
Tracked versions are available as a view in SharePoint. This means you gain instant visibility into when edits were made and who made them. You can even revert to an earlier version if there happened to be a mistake.
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Create and manage business processes using workflows.