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A 2019 study conducted by Forrester confirms what we’ve been hearing from our customers. Organizations interested in digital transformation are implementing Microsoft Teams to achieve 3 main business outcomes:
- Increase employee productivity
- Improve the ability to collaborate
- Enable innovation
Although second on the list of desired outcomes, in order to of improving productivity and innovation, companies must first ensure employees can and do collaborate.
The impact of collaboration on your digital transformation ROI
Collaboration pays dividends at every level of an organization. Using existing Teams functionality, executives and key decision makers make decisions 17.7% faster when they connect with their peers. Information workers save 4 hours per week from improved information sharing and collaboration.
Those are two pretty amazing statistics when you consider the existing search function in Teams limits you to finding peers who’s names you already know.
Now, pause and think for a moment. How much more you could achieve if, instead of searching for people, you could search across your entire organization for knowledge? Imagine a world in which you can instantly find a subject matter expert to answer every question you have. You’d be more efficient, and your productivity would rise.
Apply this ability to every employee and the impact on digital transformational is huge! Consider, for example, the following survey results:
- Missing information is the biggest cause of stress at work for 53% of knowledge workers
- Workers spend 19% of their workweek searching for information
- 57% of middle managers say going to different sources to compile information is a difficulty they face.
But, being able to quickly and easily find the expertise you need is only half of the digital transformation equation. The collaboration tools you use and how well they perform are equally important.
Monitor the end user experience and achieve innovation
Finding sources of information and expertise alone is not enough. Once you’ve located your experts, you must be able to communicate with them. You cannot allow the knowledge you gain from them to remain siloed. You must also be able to share the product of your collaboration with others. Like ripples on a pond, the Information you share will spread throughout your entire organization and stimulate innovation. 86% of employees and executives believe a lack of collaboration and ineffective communication are responsible for workplace failures.
Collaboration tools and the quality of their performance are essential for democratizing data and destroying information silos. To achieve their purpose, they must be easy and reliable to use. If they are not dependable, if the end user experience is poor, employees will resort back to traditional, less productive working methods or stop working entirely! For example, 25% of employees will completely stop working if a technical shutdown last longer than 1 hour. Continuous quality of service [QoS] monitoring is, therefore, essential to achieve innovation.
One particularly topical example where this could be put into practice is monitoring the voice/video QoS for Teams meetings. During the recent Corona crises, many employees were suddenly compelled to work from home. In just one month, the number of people relying on Skype to continue to work jumped by 70% and Skype-to-Skype call minutes jumped 220%!
Clearly, it would be nice to know that everyone depending on Skype is receiving a good quality of service. Sadly, it’s simply not possible to do this using existing Office 365 functionality. But, don’t despair. We’re currently developing this functionality for you.
How do you measure the impact of collaboration and innovation on productivity?
When asked, “What is your primary metric of digital transformation progress and success?”, half of the CEOs surveyed responded “none”.
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for enabling reliable collaboration and innovation, it’s time to measure the impact of your work. The productivity gains and ROI of your entire digital adoption investment are reliant upon user adoption and engagement. Here’s just a few reasons why this is so:
- 71% of executives say that employee engagement is critical to their company’s success.
- Customer retention rates are 18% higher when employees are highly engaged.
- Companies with high employee engagement are 22% more profitable.
- Find your digital adoption champions and success stories to define best practices and serve as role models.
- Identify individual, group and geographical adoption laggards who may need focused training and encouragement to align with company goals.
The benefits are clear. So, how do you go about measuring adoption and engagement?
One method is to track and contrast Teams usage with email over a meaningful period of time. Ideally, you should see the use of email decline as Teams usage goes up. This indicates you’ve been successful in breaking down the traditional silos of communication and knowledge sharing. Knowledge can now reach a broader audience, improving its value to the organization, enhancing innovation and improving productivity.
Learn more about digital modernization innovations
To stay competitive, companies must become digital innovators. Enabling collaboration is fundamental to achieve success. Employees must be able to efficiently find the information they need. They must have tools in place to process and share the knowledge they acquire to foster innovation. Organizations must track the quality of service these tools provide to ensure their use and maximize productivity.
We have listened to our customers’ needs. Their commitment to innovation is reflected in three new capabilities we’ve put into OfficeExpert to help drive business value outcomes and assist customers’ digital transformation using Office 365:
- Achieve improved collaboration by finding subject matter experts (SME’s) quickly across the organization,
- Monitor performance for Teams meetings (coming soon the Voice / Video QoS performance measurements), and
- Measure adoption trends with “working smarter” comparisons of Teams usage with E-Mail.