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5 Ways Collaboration Tools Earn Their Keep (And Then Some)

What’s on the top of your CIO’s wish list?

Great collaboration tools are essential in any forward-thinking business.

According to a whitepaper from Cisco.com, corporate leaders should already be prioritizing collaboration tools. "Because of the strong potential ROI, deploying a collaboration solution should be at or near the top of every CIO’s priorities list." That's a compelling statement considering all the tech options available.

Cisco not only explains the benefits of a hosted collaboration solution but goes on to outline exactly why you should consider deploying such a service in your company. We highlight the top five reasons below. 

1. Flexibility of deployment

Your company may have team members spread out across different offices, geographic areas and time zones. With traditional methods, you'd likely be setting up a different system at each location, but collaboration tools can change that. 

"The solution can reach any worker, in any location, on any device, over all networks….the company can choose to deploy whichever applications will benefit the business most to whatever group of users they choose to, when they desire. "

2. Ability to centralize management functions and administrative tasks 

Your service provider will provision, manage and maintain the service. If you're used to a PBX for example, you can say goodbye to the days of in-house maintenance and management.

The solution also allows you to manage the functionality of the system with much more ease. Having access to an online portal will allow you to quickly setup new users, change existing user info and access and potentially update features. Because the admin and management functions are centralized, you could perform patches or software upgrades once, and that will take effect across the whole system. 

"Centralization of management and administrative tasks can save companies hundreds of hours over the traditional distributed model."

3. Rapid deployment of services and faster speed to market 

Since you have more control of the system, any feature updates or applications can be implemented on your schedule. You won't have to wait for your service provider to schedule things. Once they make a new feature available you can roll it out according to your desired timelines.

"The legacy distributed deployment model meant organizations could spend months rolling out new applications or feature upgrades to its user population."

4. Extend deployment quickly to home office, remote workers, branches and business partners

Considering "…over 75 percent of workers today reside outside of corporate headquarters," this benefit is hugely important. Consistency is key in this case, and with a standardized system you can provide the same experience to all users no matter where they're located.

Using new hosted collaboration tools, this process is simplified. "With legacy communications, this required remote access tools, VPNs, specialty software and an administrator."

5. Meet the challenges of device evolution and consumerization 

How many different laptops, phones or tablets have you been through in the past few years? What about your average employee? Chances are pretty good they've switched things up quite a bit, between work devices and personal devices. With the advent of more advanced BYOD programs, personal devices are creating a new set of challenges for corporate IT departments.

The challenge starts with figuring out how to get the right applications and software on all these different devices. It's a time-consuming and resource-draining task and one that may be futile considering the speed of device evolution.

"The only way to meet this challenge is to push the application(s) into the cloud via a hosted service. A hosted service can deliver any application to any device, and let the user switch devices at their leisure."

Curious what the next five points are? Check out the full piece for the details.

As a Cisco partner, MTS is proud to offer the Hosted Collaboration Solution, which is making waves in the business world. Just recently, at this year's Cisco Collaboration Summit 2015 in San Francisco, the team from MTS Allstream was awarded Canada Collaboration Partner of the Year

The MTS Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) offers a simple, quick and cost-effective approach to equipping your offices with the most advanced collaboration tools and applications available on the market. Delivering crystal-clear voice quality, MTS HCS will help reinvent the way you collaborate as a company.

Are you collaborating with your team in new ways? Tell us some of the technology you're using in the comments below.

Mark Glucki

Mark has been developing digital blog communities for 10+ years that connect business and tech pros with their inspirational stories. He developed a North American best practice for creating positive experiences on social media networks and spends as much time learning about entrepreneur success stories as he does producing content for others to enjoy. Mark is also a commercial photographer focusing on product and location images. His work can be seen at Wonderlab Photo.

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