The mobilization of the workforce, another key business trend, has made workers far more effective and productive than their deskbound counterparts. Only in one area – teamwork – do today’s mobile workers regress. That’s not the fault of mobile workers, but the collaboration tools available to them.
(Also check out my colleague Matthew Talbot on how today’s online meeting providers are being disrupted.)
Created in a prior technology era, today’s collaboration tools are designed with the desktop in mind. They impose severe productivity and usability limits upon participants outside of the office who need to join meetings via smartphones or tablets.
For example, imagine a worker who’s trying to join an audio conference while rushing from one location to another. Unlocking the phone, opening the calendar invite, fumbling with the dial-in, passcode and PIN, joining a separate web conference to see what’s being presented – none of these are easy from your mobile device at the best of times, and can be downright impossible or dangerous depending on the circumstances. The result? Late or missing attendees, creating unproductive or canceled meetings.
While a minute wasted here or there seems trivial, the collective bottom-line impact can be significant. Take a small company that conducts five one hour meetings a day, each involving five employees. It will lose 6.25 hours of productivity a week if every meeting is delayed by an average of just three minutes. Those lost hours of productivity escalate quickly with the size of your organization.
Scheduling meetings from your mobile device can also be a pain, as can the lack of key features, such as document sharing or annotation, in the mobile versions of many collaboration services.
Finally, many collaboration solutions and services come with hefty per-user subscription fees that prevent CIOs from distributing them widely across the workforce.
Optimize Mobile Collaboration
To maximize productivity, enterprises need to adopt effective and affordable real-time collaboration solutions and services that provide the same capabilities and experience from the road as from the desktop. Any viable option should include:
It only makes sense to integrate voice and video conferencing and document sharing with familiar and easy-to-use messaging tools. Instead of launching a new app to convene or join a meeting, employees should be able to escalate informal messages and conversations into full-blown collaboration with colleagues.
Joining an online meeting, especially outside of the office, should be as easy as answering your phone. The ideal mobile collaboration solution should recognize when a participant is on a mobile device and issue a call to initiate the collaboration session. That avoids the whole jumping-between-screens-to-find-and-enter-dialin-passcode-and-PIN process, a tricky demand when outside of the office.
Mobile workers shouldn’t be treated as second-class citizens by their meeting services. They shouldn’t have to surrender features in-office participants enjoy. Enterprises should adopt a collaboration solution where all participants are equal, and be able to enjoy all the features that desktop users get, such as presentation sharing (left):
The most costly solutions don’t necessarily offer the best value. A solution that delivers a superior mobile experience but is cost-efficient enough to justify companywide distribution should be your target. Added-value options for enterprise purchasers include bundled-in support and cloud-based deployment models that free IT from purchasing and maintaining additional infrastructure.
Employees routinely communicate and access company resources through a number of devices, both mobile and desktop. A modernized, mobile-first collaboration service should empower employees or partners to participate in online meetings and other collaboration sessions at any time, from any place and using any device.
BBM Meetings to the Rescue
To address the mobile shortcomings of today’s collaboration solutions, BlackBerry recently introduced a secure and full-featured mobile voice and video collaboration experience based on the company’s popular and multi-platform messaging (and voice) service. Watch the video above to get a quick overview, or read on.
BBM Meetings makes it easy to turn any BBM chat, multi-person chat, group chat or voice call into a live BBM meeting – with a simple touch of a button. Here’s an example of what your meeting can look like from our popular new BlackBerry Passport:
Or, schedule meetings in advance in your calendar, just like other conferencing tools.
BBM Meetings lets you take back time lost to slow-starting meetings because attendees are struggling with conference IDs, passcodes and PINs. BBM Meetings eliminates these delays by simplifying the steps it takes to jump onto a meeting from a mobile device.
In fact, attendees can join a collaboration session as if answering a telephone call. Below is an example, from an Android phone:
And with BBM Meetings all participants are created equal, so you can present from any device, show your screen, deliver a presentation, share a document, and annotate– all from your mobile device or desktop.
That picture of a mobile screenshare I showed earlier in this blog? That’s from the Android client of BBM Meetings.
Finally, BBM Meetings is priced very affordably, starting at just $12.50/month per user. That’s 75% off the price of one existing meeting provider.
BBM Meetings is the obvious choice for no-compromise mobile collaboration. Learn more by visiting www.Blackberry.com/BBMmeetings