With social software driving the revolution in the way that we work, there now exists an enormous range of choice in software and infrastructure to assist flexible working practices. The right tools can make it easier than ever for colleagues to share information with one another, whether from the opposite desk or a thousand miles away.
Work Out Loud can help you identify which social software solution best meets the needs of your organisation. Alternatively, if you already have a system in place that you feel could be improved, we can help you to review how it is working and help you to address any issues.
At Work Out Loud, our starting point is always to understand the specific needs of each of our customers, and help you to define what technology your organisation really needs. As we are not tied to any vendor, you can be confident of receiving the best independent advice.
Additionally, our many years of experience of how you work with end users to successfully introduce new technologies mean that we can provide you with a unique range of implementation services that can help turn your ideas into action.
- Building a business case
You may be convinced about the benefits social software can bring to your organisation, but how do you convince others?
Work Out Loud can help you create a compelling business case for using social software and put together the arguments you need to get it approved
- Selecting the right product
There are now hundreds of products on the market which support collaborative working in one way or the other. Different social software tools on the market for business allow the chance to do everything from sharing documents, to implementing fully blown social software platforms that largely do away with the need to use documents at all.
These range from fully featured enterprise solutions from the likes of IBM, Microsoft, and Jive, to simpler but effective products from smaller suppliers that are targeted at the SME and not-for-profit sectors.
There are also specialist applications designed to support particular needs such as customer support or project working
How can anyone choose between all these different solutions?
Work Out Loud is vendor independent. We can help you define what features your business needs and guide you through the product selection process so you can be sure you get the right tool for your organisation.
- Thinking of going Google
Many businesses are moving over to Google apps for their email, word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. They are doing this because Google apps:
• Reduces costs
• Is designed to support remote working and collaboration.
• Integrates with Google’s growing range of other products – like Hangouts the web and video conferencing tool.
Work Out Loud can help you understand whether Google Apps is the right tool for your business, and, if it is, work with you to successfully implement it across the organisation.
- Implementing your solution
No matter what solution you adopt you still need to think through:
The business changes that need to go hand in hand with the rollout of the new tool. [So, if one of your objectives is to reduce email overload, you’ll need to give your staff some clear guidelines about when they should use their new social software tool instead of email.]
Your rollout strategy – are you going to pilot your new solution or go for a ‘big bang’ approach?
Communications – well before the rollout you need to make sure all your staff know about the new system, why it is being introduced, and how it is going to effect the way they work.
Training – the good news about business social software is that it is easy to use, and doesn’t require days of training. Even so everyone is going to need some basic initial training to get them going, and some staff may require some extra support and help.
Work Out Loud can help you
• think through what business changes you need to make your new solution a success
• design your rollout and communications strategies
• develop and deliver training
Even the best through and most successfully executed social software implementation needs to be tended and nurtured if it is to flourish.
You often find that there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm about new social software when it is first introduced, but then it gradually drifts into disuse.
Perhaps the original champions of the solution have moved onto other things, or business needs have changed and no one has had time to think through how your collaborative working tool can be adapted to support this.
Or your solution may have been so successful that it is bursting with information, and you need a strategy for weeding out old material that no one uses any more.
Work Out Loud can carry out a periodic health check of your social software solution, plan improvements, and work with you to develop gardening strategies to keep your platform fresh and vibrant.
- Reviewing your current solution
We know many organisations have invested in internal social software solutions and then find they don’t work for them. Sometimes this can be down to the way the organisation has implemented, sometimes it is because of limitations with the technology, and often it is a combination of the two.
Work Out Loud can carry out a review of your current solution to help you understand where the problems lie
Social software makes it easy to share information with colleagues and customers. But that ease of use presents its own risks. No one wants sensitive information shared with the wrong people, or to compromise the security of important corporate data.
Work Out Loud can help you think through the organisational and technical safeguards you need to ensure your staff can collaborate effectively without compromising sensitive company data.
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