4 cool ways online collaboration tools have re-vamped companies

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Data collected from a survey conducted by PGi, the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services. 

70% of industry professionals find it easier, faster and more desirable to use a collaborative tool than to reschedule a missed meeting. An additional 88% use online collaboration tools regularly.

The benefits of collaboration tools are numerous; and the more creative your mind, the more creative the application. Here are four companies that have used online collaborations to re-invent an area of their business, improving their performance with it.

1. Eighty6, the marketing start-up using video conferencing technology to brand themselves

Eighty6 is a marketing agency looking to provide big marketing help to small companies struggling to embrace the new digital era.

As a start-up, founder Jay Eagleson was unable to afford a physical office, or the travelling costs of meeting with a client personally. To overcome this Eagleson integrated video conferencing technology into the core of their operations to brand the business.

Using web conferencing tools as a building block for his brand, Eagleson put together a team of people working remotely from their homes after-hours. The virtual visual introductions allowed Eighty6 to gain the customers without spending the cost in travel time. This created shorter, richer, and easier meetings that boosted efficiency and an inherently productive environment.

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2. Mercedes-Benz USA, staying ahead with audio-integrated virtual training

Car buying has rapidly become a digital process, with customers visiting numerous sites even before visiting the dealership. Mercedes-Benz needed a way to keep information flow at a fast pace to keep up with the industry.

To keep employees up to date on details such as company products, services, and campaigns, Mercedes-Benz USA decided to invest in technology that would allow them to hold virtual training and web events to serve a range of audiences and functions, from training participants on monthly engineering services calls, to hosting shop foremen and service managers across the country, in one single webinar.

“The main goal is information sharing. We like to get it out there in a timely manner, and this [Online Collaboration Tools ] helps us do that.” — Surya Boonphadung, Learning Architect

To deliver this service, Mercedes-Benz USA use an online collaboration tool that is fully integrated for virtual training, seamless automatic dial-in for guests, and active talking features, which eliminate the need to mute noisy lines.  They are also equipped with a “Connect Me” option that lets guests join from any device in one click, calling attendees and connecting them right into the conference for ease of use.

Through this, Mercedes-Benz has increased their productivity, improved trainee attendance, enhanced audience and employee engagement, and improved the reliability of their online training.  The virtual platform has reduced costs and improved scalability and mobility from the increased audience reach.

ZDXHLQ6DZW3. The Vantedge Group, re-engaging focus groups with virtual meetings

The Vantedge group – a full-service insight, analytics, and optimisation strategy firm – wanted to gain robust insight from their market in less time and for less money. To do so, they decided to challenge the way focus groups are traditionally led and conduct virtual meetings by using video conferencing software.

Read Ziegler, managing partner and founder, explained how getting people to attend a traditional focus group is increasingly difficult, and the perceived technical problems associated with this kind of technology was a concern for them.

“People have come to expect technical problems on these things, but we had no issues” – Read Ziegler stated.

However, with the right provider, Vantedge could provide a reliable virtual meeting platform that ranked ten out of ten for simplicity and ease of use across all focus groups. Now, with fewer barriers to joining the event, Vantedge can attract a larger group to participate online.

With an approximate 57 per cent of information workers collaborating both inside and outside their companies every day, the scheme reduced meeting costs by 50%, increased productivity from attendees and increased efficiency through the elimination of travel times.


4. Chicago Northwestern University, growing online learning with audio integrated web meetings

As online learning demand was growing, Northwestern University needed a reliable tool that allowed maximised flexibility and increased productivity qualities. After trying Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) only, the University noticed they were unable to provide a reliable online classroom connection and audio, creating a barrier for discussion and relationship building in classrooms.

To overcome this, they took on an integrated audio solution tool that now allows them to use a combination of independent learning and interactive audio and web conferencing sessions. This service allows for calls from any phone or mobile device, increasing accessibility. Furthermore, with a service supporting synchronous online learning, they can manage disruptions, guarantee seamless sessions, and eliminate connection and background noise issues experienced with VoIP. Students have access to online courses anywhere and everywhere, even when travelling, because their online collaboration tool allows for expansive global coverage and mobility.

With this, Northwestern University has been able to reach more potential students, increase engagement, improve student experience and maintain high retention and graduate rates. Furthermore, Northwestern University has seen an increase in value from existing investments, versatility for wider users and improved adoption and accelerated rates as a result of their investment in audio integrated web meetings for online learning.

Full case studies available.