Cloud collaboration may come across as a bit of a buzzword at times, but there is real meaning behind the concept. Cloud based collaboration effectively improves business processes by streamlining how you work with your team, keeping interested parties in the loop and allowing everyone in your business or organisation to co-work in one digital space as if it were a “virtual office” whether they are working at the same physical location or are remotely connected. In a nutshell, it is a way of sharing and co-authoring documents and other files through cloud computing technologies where documents are uploaded to the cloud – one, central location accessible to all collaborators, stakeholders and any other authorised interested parties. This kind digital transformation has been continuously increasing over the past few years, with more and more businesses switching to cloud collaboration platforms.
Continue reading to learn more about cloud collaboration and cloud based collaboration tools. If you happen to have been apprehensive about digitally transforming your business, know that it is not as hard as it may seem.
How Does Cloud Based Collaboration Work?
Cloud based collaboration allows people to work on documents stored in the cloud at the same time. There are several key benefits to co-working in this way:
- Team members can work on the same documents simultaneously in real time – taking a simple Microsoft Word document or an Excel spreadsheet as an example, multiple users can, at the same time, edit and contribute to a document, or watch as it is written or developed.
- Documents and files can be accessed from anywhere where an internet connection is available – central cloud storage enables you to login to your cloud account and access files from anywhere as long as you have internet access. This means that you no longer have to worry about “bringing the files with you” to a client meeting for example.
- Cloud based collaboration keeps all interested parties and stakeholders in the loop – cloud collaboration tools can be used to notify interested parties of changes to a document and allow everyone to see the most recent version or draft as long as they are authorised to do so.
- Eliminates the need for e-mail attachments – one of the big problems with e-mail attachments is the maximum allowed file size, with large files being impossible to send via electronic mail. Cloud storage has the functionality to provide shareable links allowing the receiver to access files directly in the cloud with appropriate view and edit permissions configurable for the recipient, as necessary.
- Reduces confusion over the most recent or current version of a document or file being worked on – because documents stored on the cloud are kept in one central space where all the collaborators access them in a single location, this eliminates the confusion over what the most recent changes to a file were – a problem you may be acutely aware of if you have ever tried to work on one document with multiple people by passing it around as an attachment in an e-mail chain.
What are Some Examples of Cloud Based Collaboration Tools?
At soma technology group we are a Microsoft Gold Partner and a Telstra Cloud Gold Partner, providing some of the best-in-class cloud based collaboration tools currently on the market. A few examples of such tools are:
- Microsoft Office 365 – the ubiquitous productivity package from Microsoft has a lot more to offer in the way of collaboration tools than Word, Excel, or Outlook that most of us will already know. It is worth pointing out that since all these tools come from a single provider, they integrate very well together and talk to each other better than a suite of multiple solutions from several other third party providers. Some of the, often less known, but extremely useful tools in the Microsoft 365 range, include:
- Microsoft Teams – a comprehensive communication platform that includes workspace chat, video conferencing and file sharing functionality, Microsoft Teams is a competitor to tools like Slack or Zoom that integrates their functionality into one platform as a part of the Microsoft 365 family.
- OneDrive – although not specifically an Office 365 product, it is a Microsoft file hosting and synchronisation service and an alternative to Google Drive or Dropbox like cloud storage solutions.
- Sharepoint – a web-based collaborative platforms that integrates with Microsoft Office as a document management and file storage system.
- OneNote – a note-taking platform with comprehensive and rich features that allow the use of multimedia and advanced formatting in notes along with multi-user collaboration where authorised team members can share and read others notes, facilitating asynchronous brain storming through exchange of spur-of-the moment ideas and even complex ideas that need to be developed further.
- Telstra Calling for Office 365 – a platform delivering full voice functionality such as call holding, transfers, forwarding or voicemail and simplified calling features where one business number can be used for making and receiving local, long distance, mobile, audio and video calls integrated in one place via Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams.
How Do I Get Started with Cloud Collaboration?
It’s easy. Call us on 1300 131 559 or get in touch online now to speak to our experts about how digital transformation for business can help to take your business or organisation to the next level and set it on a path to becoming an industry leader by leveraging some of the best cloud based collaboration tools and technologies available on the market today. Get started now.