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As Covid-19 threat leaves the industry scrambling to roll into place work from home systems, productivity gaps can emerge over time. While remote working is fast becoming the new normal, eventually organizations will face serious limitations once they start dealing with bigger and regular business volumes.
Here are some of the issues that can quickly make your remote working infrastructure messy to administer:
- Messaging clutter – As employee communication proliferates through messaging platforms and chat rooms, a single employee might send out more than 1,000 messages per week, leading to an average of 4000 messages received by each employee. This swarm of messages can render it physically impossible for any employee to attend to all channels.
- Duplication & Oversight – Lack of unified overview can duplicate efforts by making multiple employees attend to or generate multiple and conflicting responses to the same issue. Simultaneously it can also lead to some issues being ignored for long periods of time as an employee may assume that someone else is attending to the situation.
- Splintered attention-spans – Rampant unstructured streams of communication and the constant noise of low-quality chatter in chat rooms dilutes focus and increases the scope for errors and misunderstandings, making it impossible to get work done.
- Looking busy – Psychologically remote workers feel more pressured to demonstrate constant activity and being present at their desks, further pushing the indiscriminate posting of irrelevant information/communication and worse, the same level of urgency.
- Poor accountability – as business complexity increases, it becomes more challenging for business leaders to regularly keep track of issues, check-in with the teams to evaluate progress over multiple projects and untangle sticky hold-ups. Without audit trails, workplace communication can quickly spiral into conversations that have very little to do with work.
- Missing context – Tracking communication on the same topic that may have happened months ago, or tracking relevant information, or colleagues who can help with specific tasks becomes more challenging in remote working environments. This not only lengthens resolution time but also leaves disgruntled customers with more complex issues waiting far too long.
A super-connected organization does not necessarily mean better communication. Agile companies focus more on generating productive insights using knowledge extracted from multiple systems rather than generating more communication clutter.
Indiscriminate use of messaging tools and lack of a centralised systems approach can quickly metastasize customer issues and spawn new problems.
So, what can you do about it?
With Giggso, you can aggregate communication and data from multiple channels in one location to identify gaps and prioritize your responses to all notifications. Giggso allows you to share context across applications enabling teams to have a 360-degree customer engagement view and manage customer needs in real-time with value.
Communication among employees strengthens the backbone of a company. To improve communication and attain success, collaboration tools have become a stepping stone in any organization.
Enterprise social networking has proved its worth in the business world by providing internal company network platforms. They have reduced the count of unnecessary e-mails along with improving the efficiency of every employee.
The approach to teamwork and collaboration has changed drastically over the years. As with almost every other venture, digital technologies that facilitate communication between co-workers have sprung up and they have enjoyed widespread acceptance.
In a study conducted and published by the McKinsey Global Institute, 72% of the 4200 companies studied reported employing internal social tools to aid communication between employees.
The Management Information Systems Research Center of the Carlson School of Business also published a report that confirmed using social tools improves employee efficiency. The report stated that using such tools makes it more likely to ‘find coworkers with expertise relevant to meeting job goals’ and ‘accurately identify who could put them in contact with the right experts.’
Slack vs. Yammer – Do they really deserve the First Place?
Slack and Yammer are arguably the most popular business social tools over the years. Despite their widespread use, both tools have gaping loopholes that beg to be filled. How do we know this?
It’s not us making such bold statements but the customer usage percentages that demonstrate and prove this! The trend in the demand for both software has expeditiously declined in recent years.
Demand for Yammer has reduced by about 3 folds within the past 3 years. While slack is still riding on its relative novelty, there are enough pointers to predict that it would eventually follow the same path.
Furthermore, the Google Play store statistics of both Yammer and Slack leave no doubt that there is little room for the growth of both applications. A combined 6 million downloads for the two of them leave much to be desired. These numbers just prove that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
If 72% of companies are using collaboration tools and 57% organizations report an increase in their expenditure on enterprise collaboration apps over the next year, then which is their preferred platform and why aren’t they using Slack or Yammer?
This is because both the apps come with their own set of baggage (restrictions). Let’s discuss some of the collaboration limitations of Slack as well as Yammer –
· Collaboration tool Limitation – Unilateral means of collaboration
Slack and Yammer fail to recognize the undeniable fact that different companies collaborate differently, and a particular method of collaboration isn’t necessarily better than the other.
Yammer allows users to collaborate via ESN (Enterprise Social Network) while Slack believes the best way to facilitate teamwork among employees is through chatting. Both have valid arguments for their claims but the fact remains that the total collaboration package should be a blend of both, along with CRM, intranet, and a host of other tools.
Restricting employees to only one option is probably the beginning of their undoing.
· Collaboration tool Limitation – Restriction to the ‘tech’ circle
Another major reason of failure for Slack is it’s restriction to the IT circle. When Slack started its journey, this appeared to be its major driving force but it’s now a major drawback.
The popularity in the IT world helped it generate a lot of buzz but there is only so much the initial buzz can do for any startup. Slack got stuck in the ‘IT Ghetto’ and it’s finding it quite difficult to leave.
Enterprise Collaboration software needs to make a move into the business sector if they want to make it big but Slack has found that impossible.
The ‘Techy’ interface makes it a tad difficult to use is among the other niches.
· Collaboration tool Limitation – Failure to extend collaboration efforts to machines
Furthermore, collaboration tools like Slack and Yammer have only focused on collaboration between humans. In a world where computers and bots have taken over virtually every task, this is a worrying limitation.
The ideal collaboration software would be robust and provide room for machine-people collaboration. Thus, the mammoth amount of data stored on machines can be easily retrieved when needed and everyone with the appropriate level of clearance would have easy access to the information.
Thus, a smart collaboration tool will help build a smart workplace with a partnership of bot-man.
· Collaboration tool Limitation – Little or no incentive to collaborate
The ideal collaboration tool should not be an ‘all work and no play’ platform. To increase the chances of acceptance, the software needs to provide incentives for socializing information.
In another survey, 33% of employees reported that even after the companies have made it a compulsion to use these software, not everyone uses them. This causes a break in communication and needs to be fixed by providing relevant enticements.
There should be some other reason to use the tool other than work, a reason that would complement work but not distract from it.
Slack and Yammer tried to incorporate this but they didn’t quite get it right.
Giggso – Enterprise Social Networking Tool to Collaborate Better
Collaboration is Multiplication,
Collaboration creates opportunities for innovation,
Collaboration helps in becoming better along with your team!
Giggso is the ideal solution to collaborate and to all the problems mentioned above. It is the perfect blend of creativity and innovation. Giggso gives you defined results in a short duration of time.
Although bringing disengaged employees back together is a major part of collaboration, Giggso believes collaboration goes beyond that. For in this digital age, the efficiency and effectiveness of employees depend greatly on the quality of data at their disposal.
A major problem, though, is that a huge amount of the needed workplace data exists in silos. There is little cross-referencing or integration among the varying data sets in most organizations.
Research shows that the average small business employs about 14.3 applications for successful functionality. On the other hand, enterprises and multinationals use 483 applications. While all these applications may be truly critical to the performance of the employees, such diversity poses a great disadvantage in terms of data collaboration.
Each application gathers and stores data on its own without knowing anything about a similar data set another application has gathered. Giggso solves this problem by facilitating seamless collaboration among the numerous data silos and ensuring all employees have instant access to any data set that is relevant to their operations.
Giggso incorporates artificial intelligence and bots that help uncover buried data which greatly simplifies employee’s tasks. Here is a highlight of what makes Giggso superior to the current alternatives. It offers –
- Advanced analytics
- Artificial intelligence
- Internal branding
- Reward-based system
- Superior employee engagement
Giggso was built to engage employees and reward them by using gamification technique. Moreover, Giggso’s super bots are talented of transforming text to insight using textual disambiguation.
It’s the next level of collaboration tool which promises better productivity and higher engagement. If you wish to learn more about Giggso, please visit https://www.giggso.com/
Data storage and retrieval system
The scientific community, as far back as the 20th century, recognized the need to properly organize data and that led to the development of these significant systems. The data retrieval software is empowered to dig through large amounts of data and bring out results relevant to the query.
However, an important aspect has been forgotten. What if the data in question was never present? Or what if the data present is in abundance but not integrated for proper use? What happens in case of data silos?
Enterprises use a variety of apps that individually collect and store data. This individualism ignores a need to integrate similar data, filter contrasting data and organize a central storage for all the collected data.
Corporates have openly embraced Enterprise Search because it provides employees immediate access to relevant information thus, helping them increase efficiency. Moreover, you can also reduce your maintenance, support and license cost if you provide one centralized platform to manage all information access requests. It also mitigates the problems of Data Silos as the information is kept under one umbrella – on a centrally monitored platform.
Let’s begin with the very basic.
Understanding the Concept of Enterprise Search
Enterprise search is simply the ‘practice of identifying and enabling specific content across the enterprise to be indexed, searched, and displayed to authorized users.’
There really is no point in having the best data or content in your organization if it cannot be accessed easily and on-time. Unfortunately, the presence of powerful search tools has made many organizations underestimate this.
Retaining your customers depends significantly on how well you are able to provide the needed information at the right time. And often, the information that needs to be made available to users may go beyond needed information.
Quite a few times, you may begin with a simple search on “How to engage employees to create a better environment” and end up on “Do I have the right talent on my team?” or “What should be the next step of my career?”
The point being, you begin from A intending to reach point B but your searches might lead you to point F, for that matter.
You are anticipated to provide related information to your customers who may not even be aware they need that piece of data until they come across it. It is when you are able to do this that you can truly boast about satisfying your customers’ queries.
How important is the Search Box?
The invention of the search function is probably one of the most remarkable developments in the evolution of digital technology. It was this simple invention that led to the birth of one of the largest tech companies today; Google.
Truly, Google has successfully taken the search function to a much greater level. Google detected our hunger for information and satisfied this appetite by providing a brilliant navigation tool.
But let’s focus on the fundamentals here.
Imagine how lost your visitors would be if they wanted to search for an old blog post on your website and there’s no search panel to help them. You might argue saying they can search through the archives but both of us know how arduous the task would be.
What happens when organizations fail to properly organize their data or contents?
Management, employees, and customers have a hard time retrieving information that was posted some time ago. Efficiency and workflow of employees are greatly disturbed as they are bound to take more time to search the previous record of documents, information or data. Whereas in case of visitors, customers would be unsatisfied with the results which might result in frustration and ultimately no sales of the service or product.
Functions of an enterprise search application
- Benefit of Enterprise Search – Helping customers in their search for data
Enterprise search applications are made to achieve this.
Customers or visitors to the organization’s website regularly require information beyond what is displayed on the pages. It is the job of enterprise search to fetch the required information from the website’s data bank and bring it within the reach of visitors. This is usually done by using right keywords and metadata tagging.
- Benefit of Enterprise Search – Helping employees retrieve content when needed
For bigger organizations, enterprise search does more than simply bringing information within customer’s reach. Today, big and small companies create more content than ever before and keeping track is proving to be really difficult.
Employees also need information to carry out their duties efficiently and effectively. But accessing stored information could prove trickier, especially for employees. This is due to the proliferation of company data over the past few decades.
A report from SanDisk shows that the volume of business data in the world doubles every 15 months.
Enterprise search should help employees keep track of this vast amount of data and bring it to their fingertips when needed.
- Benefit of Enterprise Search – Search analytics to understand the user and provide other option intelligently
A good search enterprise platform should also help the company with search analytics and insights.
This would include monitoring of search trends and effectiveness of the search methods. This information is needed to make informed decisions about what kind of data should be presented to users. Providing relevant data would peek customer’s interest and predict or prescribe information to aid them with their search or tasks.
Most tools such as Elasticsearch (ELK), SolR, Lucidworks, Coveo or even Lucene help with this feature added with specific bells and whistles added to differentiate their value proposition.
Does enterprise search application also have any limitations?
The tasks mentioned above are a necessity for the smooth functioning of any organization. But organizations are coming to the realization that this is no longer enough.
Here are some of the limitations of current enterprise search applications –
- Limitation of Enterprise Search -Failure to provide results beyond the search term
Current enterprise search applications are only useful in relevance to a need. They hardly serve an expanded role and they should be capable of achieving so much more.
Enterprise search platforms should be able to provide vital intelligence on customer behavior and work direction. The information provided could inform future search results.
For instance, what happens if an employee or customer does not remember the right keywords or Meta tags? The enterprise platform should still be able to provide meaningful results based on the related searches and past behavior of the individual initiating the queries.
Most of the available applications fail to do this.
- Limitation of Enterprise Search – Failure to socialize knowledge
Another major problem is the failure of enterprise search platforms to socialize knowledge. Corporate knowledge is usually an aggregate of contents contributed by various individuals.
In the process of assembling this content, enterprise search applications often fail to acknowledge the contributor of this content in the database. This mitigates an organization’s efforts at socializing knowledge.
Estimates show that knowledge workers in large enterprises spend as between 6.5 hours and 8.8 hours in a week to search for information. A fair amount of this time is wasted simply because the employee doesn’t know who to ask and a comprehensive enterprise search platform needs to address this.
Observations have shown that Enterprise social tools are capable of this but the business space yearns for collaboration between enterprise social tools and enterprise search tools.
- Limitation of Enterprise Search – Data silos
The inability to effectively gather enterprise data across various platforms is another limitation of the current enterprise search tools.
Large enterprises have been shown to employ an average 500 different applications in the running of their business. These applications all gather and store data individually with little or no collaboration across platforms.
This, unfortunately, creates data silos and makes integration of company data difficult. Invariable, enterprise search tools cannot perform optimally because they can only work with integrated data.
The problem of data silos is further compounded by the numerous storage means available to organizations. The proliferation of data storage avenues means companies now employ multiple storage avenues.
Cloud storage is increasingly popular since data can be stored at a much lower cost. Combining cloud storage with the already numerous hardware storage would mean making the process more difficult for enterprise search tools to gather data and provide it when needed.
How can you integrate Enterprise Search with Social Intelligence?
You can follow the below steps to combine Enterprise search and social intelligence –
- Merge the attributes of enterprise search tools and socialize with engagement tools.
- Bringing SaaS tools and integrations is almost a given for any tool these days.
- Synchronizing data from these transactions and understanding search/crowdsourcing patterns is needed to reduce delays and enhance productivity.
- Crowdsourcing can also bring in incentives and rewards making the user engaged in contributing to the corporate knowledge store.
- The business must employ the power of AI and analytics to record and predict search trends.
This will ensure consistent suggestions that are relevant to the search term but different from the direct queries.