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man sitting at his home office on a video conferencing meeting
Empowering effective enterprise-grade collaboration

State-of-art speech enhancement and noise reduction technology

At the heart of video conferencing is one goal – hearing and understanding. Without clear voice, conferencing is almost useless and team collaboration kaput. Never has this been more evident than during COVID-19 when people work from anywhere and everywhere.

That’s why Cisco Webex has invested in state-of-the-art speech enhancement and noise reduction technology. With the latest AI-based software built into Webex app, Webex Meetings, and Webex Desk devices like Webex Desk Pro users have at their fingertips the world’s best available sound experience with every remote collaboration.

Our speech system is built for enterprise-grade team collaboration and conferencing to provide consistent, effective speech experience for all users everywhere. It is designed to address complex system challenges and maintain speech integrity that produces audio excellence.

Video Conferencing meeting with noise cancellation

Benefits of Webex speech enhancement technology 

With Webex speech enhancement technology, enterprises can count on:

Technology that Overcomes System Complexities

  • Runs efficiently across breadth of user’s edge devices: Webex clients are available across Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android as apps and in browsers. That includes the thousands of different laptop and phone configurations released in the past decade, reflecting an enormous range of CPU variants, OS releases and user system setups.
  • Addresses a range of connections. There are video+audio connections made through the client app, but others may include dial-in voice connections through a legacy bridge, non-native video+audio packaged as SIP (VoIP) connections, and connections from specialized conferencing devices. Each connection’s type may support a different subset of features. Our technology provides adaptations and transcoding requirements for seamless connections for all.
  • Adapts to varied bandwidth and latency: The conferencing system must adapt itself to the conditions, potentially changing audio and video resolutions and encoding rates, error correction and redundancy strategies on the fly on a user-by-user basis. And every bandwidth and latency adaptation tactic must be tested against the range of possible network conditions and machine configurations.
  • Maintains robust security: Security is essential to enterprise team collaboration. This means error- and attack-proof protection of participant audio and video streams, shared content, user information, recordings and transcripts on the devices, in the network and in the infrastructure. It doesn’t happen by itself – security capabilities must be architected, maintained and tested continuously.

Audio Excellence that Maintains Speech Integrity

  • Captures audio: Reverberation, background noise and imperfect microphone setups are inevitable. The shift to remote work makes this problem even more serious, as the audio capture setting at home is generally less controllable than in offices. Moreover, as conference hours per day grow, users are resistant to living in headphones and earbuds – they prefer the physical comfort of laptop and other remote microphones and speakers. Multiple microphone capture and advanced acoustic echo cancelation are essential innovations to grab the greatest possible audio information and separate local talkers from far-end talkers coming from the loudspeakers.
  • Enhances audio: Once the audio scene is fully captured, audio enhancement plays a central role. Cisco Webex has a new standard for noise removal, dereverberation and multi-microphone beam-forming technologies for conferencing, virtually eliminating the annoyance and impaired comprehension of difficult source environments.
  • Encodes and decodes audio: Capturing and cleaning speech at the source is not enough. We also need to deliver it to conference participants globally. This means encoding it to a modest bit-stream and delivering it to the conference connection infrastructure and to recipient devices where it is decoded and presented. Work-from-home settings have made typical networks much worse, with overloaded home WiFi, limited uplink bandwidth on DSL and cable home access and unpredictable delays through global Internet service providers.
  • Renders audio: Finally, the decoded audio must be presented to listeners at the receiving end. In the simplest case, this is just playback of the decoded audio. But there’s more to it. We must render not just one stream but mix and optimize all the different sources into a comfortable conference audio stream. Second, the cumulative impairments from data transmissions, including codec imperfections and data loss, create additional opportunities for advanced signal processing to help the listener. Many of the receiving systems also support multiple speakers, so intelligent audio rendering of the received speech can further enhance comprehension.

Major parts involved in creating enterprise speech technology

Looking at the diagram can provide appreciation for the challenge in designing, building and testing speech technology for the enterprise.

Testing Speech Technology for the Enterprise
In order to prevent echoes and feedback loops, the transmit and receive functions are largely separate.

The transmit and receive functions are largely separate, because the transmit side concerns itself exclusively with the local talker’s speech, and the receiver with remote talker’s speech. The only significant interaction is in acoustic echo cancellation for speakerphone configurations where the remote talkers’ voices coming from the loudspeakers must be subtracted out of the stream captured from the local microphones to prevent echoes and feedback loops.

Modern systems accommodate virtually unlimited numbers of connections in order to support large conference calls, lectures and events. The sheer scale of the system is daunting – Cisco is the biggest video conferencing supplier, with particular strength in medium and large organizations [Source Synergy Research Inc.]. As global team collaboration and work from home become ever more deeply engrained in our permanent work patterns, the role of conferencing will only grow. As it does, Webex will continue to meet the rising demand for scalable, AI-based speech enhancement solutions and expand on its uses.

In Closing

In conjunction with high-quality video conferencing, we are developing the ability to understand not just the words but the intonation, emotion and body language. We are developing high quality transcriptions and natural language assistants to support meeting productivity and provide seamless language translation on the fly, while pushing down media latency to make meeting interactions more natural. We will continue to find innovative ways to use AI speech enhancement technology to deepen understanding and enhance collaboration for people working anywhere.

Learn how to take advantage of audio excellence while using Webex products.

Sign up for a Webex free trial and enable a better team collaboration and video conferencing technology experience today.

About the author

Chris Rowen

Cisco VP, Engineering, Voice Technology

Chris is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technologist known for his groundbreaking work developing RISC microprocessors, domain-specific architectures and deep learning-based speech software.

Before joining Cisco, he was the cofounder and CEO of speech science technology company BabbleLabs, which was acquired by Cisco in 2020. Prior to that, he founded the processor licensing company, Tensilica, and led it as CEO before it was sold to Cadence in 2013.

Chris holds greater than 40 US and international patents, an MSEE and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and a BA in physics from Harvard. He is an IEEE Fellow.

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Introducing the All New Webex

What’s new in Webex: February 2021

The rise of AI speech enhancement & better team collaboration

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The rise of AI speech enhancement & better team collaboration

Team collaboration in the age of AI

With COVID-19 driving work from home scenarios now and hybrid work environments into the foreseeable future, organizations are more dependent than ever on video conferencing with excellent audio quality to foster team collaboration.

However, even 145 years after the invention of the telephone, we face hurdles with speech quality and understanding amid disruptive background noise. Using conference calling and video conferencing technology only makes the problem worse, as we now contend with noise from multiple participants in multiple environments. If you have 12 people with barking dogs, yelling kids and loud traffic, you can bet it will inhibit effective team collaboration.

Fortunately, recent developments in deep learning neural network algorithms have dramatically improved the ability to enhance speech by separating noise in communications. But when it comes to integrating speech enhancement solutions into video conferencing technology, all algorithms aren’t created equal.

The deep learning revolution

Audio engineers have made slow but steady progress over the decades to develop noise reduction algorithms focused on fixing the easiest part of the noise problem. They reduced certain background noises like the low, steady hum from fans and air conditioners – and ate away at the speech signal in the process.

It wasn’t until the rise of deep learning methods over the past few years that speech scientists gained a potent new tool to handle noise in live speech. Today, speech clarity and noise reduction are not just incrementally better than prior methods, they are dramatically better.

A graph of 40 years of noise reduction methods

Neural networks offer a powerful new methodology for scrubbing, deconstructing, manipulating, resynthesizing and analyzing real-time speech streams. A small number of organizations are harnessing this power to offer credible noise reduction and speech enhancement in video conferencing technology applications. But most only focus on obvious impairments like background noise.

There are other speech challenges that reduce comprehension and promote cognitive load, or audio overstimulation. These include reverberation, network latency that leads to discontinuities in speech streams, and bandwidth compression issues that remove higher sibilant sounds like “ess,” and “zee.” Fixing these corrupted sections of speech is crucial in achieving effective team collaboration over video conferencing technology.

Noise Reduction – and a Whole Lot More – are now Part of Webex Meetings starting with the October update. With the acquisition of BabbleLabs, Cisco collaboration solutions have integrated best-in-class deep learning and speech science software that addresses the full range of video conferencing technology audio challenges. Our algorithms go beyond just eliminating noise that will prevent a participant’s dog from having a say in the conference call. They produce a clear speech experience with less feedback that improves people’s ability to listen, understand and perceive nuances.

Webex speech enhancement, also available with the October update of Webex Meetings, provides users an unapparelled comprehension rate with speech quality that is up to 10,000 times better (up to 40dB noise reduction). And it does so using minimal compute power. Our low latency solution has a tiny footprint designed to run on phones, laptops and room devices, as well as in the cloud environment.

While we believe we have the best speech enhancement technology on the market, we won’t stop there. We will continue to use deep learning advancements to enhance our speech technology with the goal of helping organizations achieve better team collaboration through their video conferencing technology.

AI-enabled noise removal and speech enhancement are currently available in Webex Meetings and on Webex Rooms devices including the Webex Desk Pro, Webex Board Series and Webex Room Series.

Sign up for a Webex free trial and enable a better team collaboration and video conferencing technology experience today.

About the author

Chris Rowen

Cisco VP, Engineering, Voice Technology

Chris is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technologist known for his groundbreaking work developing RISC microprocessors, domain-specific architectures and deep learning-based speech software.

Before joining Cisco, he was the cofounder and CEO of speech science technology company BabbleLabs, which was acquired by Cisco in 2020. Prior to that, he founded the processor licensing company, Tensilica, and led it as CEO before it was sold to Cadence in 2013.

Chris holds greater than 40 US and international patents, an MSEE and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and a BA in physics from Harvard. He is an IEEE Fellow.

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Introducing the All New Webex

What’s new in Webex: December 2020

Webex One blog series

Webex Meetings integrations let you work and play from wherever you are

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Webex Teams Whiteboarding
5 tips for collaborating on a document in Webex messaging

In my last blog, I looked at how you can use modern team messaging platforms to stay in touch with colleagues and external parties in the new remote workplace. This month I wanted to take things one step further and look into how else Webex is taking the pain out of how we work together on documents.

Business never stops, especially for those of us in a geographically dispersed, cross-functional workplace. When working on a shared document we need to be sure we always have the latest version, that we have instant access regardless of the time, that multiple people can work on a document at the same time and all with the peace of mind that our information is secure. And we want to be able to access that document right from where we are interacting with project team members in virtual workspaces – with messaging and chat, meetings and 1:1 calls.

Webex has you covered! So, let’s look at how Webex makes collaborating on a document effortless:

1) Making file sharing easy and organized

Ever tried to share a large file via email, only to receive the ‘failure to send’ notification? Well with Webex, you can share documents, videos, images and really anything you need to work on with your team in 1:1 chats and group spaces. All shared items in a space are conveniently stored in the ‘Content’ section under ‘Files’. And, to make things even easier, you can use search to find any file shared in the app, as well as people, messages and spaces.

File upload screen graphic

2) Collaborate on live documents straight from Webex

Enterprise content management (ECM) is undoubtably one of the most useful collaboration features within Webex. The Webex open platform enables you to integrate your SharePoint or OneDrive account to your app. This allows you to share and documents stored within SharePoint or OneDrive directly to a 1:1 chat or group space.  Better still, you and your team can work on these files simultaneously without ever leaving the app and watch edits be updated live. All edits are automatically saved – preventing the risk of data loss. Webex supports a number of the leading ECM providers including Box, Google and Dropbox.

3) Selected screen share

We can all be guilty of having far too many screens open at once, and all know the fear of having to share your screen during a call and praying that you share the right one. Webex Teams removes this fear. With selected screen share, you can specify which screen you want to share from the offset – keeping your other work confidential and avoiding any accidental security risks (perfect for hiding your online shopping basket). Even if you opened another app while sharing your selected screen, have no fear, as the participants viewing would see nothing except the app you chose to share. You can easily change which screen you are showing by clicking on the share button again.

With multiple screen view, you can share your screen and still see the meeting participants. This keeps your team focused and increases engagement.

4) Visually express your ideas with a Whiteboard

Probably my personal favourite feature within Webex is whiteboarding. We all know that great ideas happen when we work together and whiteboards on Webex Teams provide the perfect platform to bring visual aspect to brainstorming activities.

Start a whiteboard in a 1:1 chat or group space while on a call or offline. As you are working, the whiteboard automatically saves in your space and can be accessed later to pick up where you left off. Each person in the group can contribute to the whiteboard simultaneously, creating a true interactive experience – as though you were all in the same room.

whiteboarding screend

5) Webex Pollbot

Lastly, let’s talk about Webex Pollbot. Webex Teams is a great platform for groups to share ideas and opinions when collaborating on a document. But what happens when you can’t come to an agreement. This can lead to major delays and impacts to workflows. Luckily Webex introduced Pollbot.

Pollbot can add a poll to any of your existing group spaces, or you can interact with Pollbot in a 1:1 to generate an independent poll. Simply add questions, set a time to expire, and see results in real time even before the poll ends. Easily get a group decision on that blog title, website graphic or even what to order for lunch. To learn more about Integrations and bot click here.

Webex Pollbot

If you haven’t used Webex Teams yet, you may already be entitled to it if you have a current Webex subscription or a Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan. Alternatively, you can download Webex Teams for free.

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5 tips for connecting with remote colleagues 

Cisco Webex and Microsoft Azure Active Directory – better together

Your launch to collaborate! The new Webex App Header is here

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Are all meeting rooms equal?

Meeting rooms to help teams collaborate effectively

Work has shifted from cubicles to nearly anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi signal, signaling the need to reimagine what the new way to work will look like: a mix of an in-office and remote workforce. Distributed workers and in-office employees need a seamless collaboration experience. Technology will help drive this.

Last year, I traveled to a customer site to demo an early prototype of the Webex Room Phone. I met with the IT team in the conference room they typically used for team meetings. It had a BT/USB speaker and sharing hub, with two devices from different vendors. Unfortunately, their solutions did not have a viable way for me to present content and deliver my pitch to both in-person attendees and remote team members. This team was deploying and managing the larger videoconference spaces and board rooms, but they did not have a simple, high-quality solution to help their teams collaborate effectively.

Webex Room Phone— a seamless experience with Webex devices

This a common theme in many workplaces today. Larger conferences and boardrooms are fitted with elegant solutions, but there simply isn’t budget in smaller spaces. As a result, users cannot transition between spaces and collaborate effectively, and IT administrators cannot plan, deploy, and monitor the technology being used. We address these issues and give users the seamless experience they need with our Webex devices.

The Webex Room Phone is one such device. It helps support a modern workforce by providing:

  • Safe and distraction-free meetings with HD audio. The Room Phone utilizes speaker and mic technology that provides 360-degree coverage for 20’x20’ rooms (and 20’x32’ rooms with wired mics). This coverage, paired with echo cancellation and noise reduction capabilities, enables productive meetings with all team members, remote or not.
  • Easy ways to join a meeting. Do not worry about touching the device. Instead, join meetings through proximity with the Webex mobile or desktop app.
  • Simple management and robust analytics. IT admins can use Cisco Webex Control Hub—a single pane of glass for Webex management—to provision new devices, monitor usage, and troubleshoot issues.
  • So much more than just a conference phone. The Webex Room Phone connects to any HD display, so you can easily share content, view in-meeting participant information, and use digital signage capabilities when the device is not being used.

More than a conference phone

At Webex, we believe that less is more, which is why we’ve focused on packaging the Webex Room Phone in a simple, easily deployable way that provides a consistent experience with all other Webex devices (and allows you to scale this to every room you use). Designed for collaboration, touchless meetings, and an intelligent experience, the Webex Room Phone is so much more than just another conference phone—it’s a key element in the future of collaboration.

Sign up here to join the team behind Cisco’s latest Webex device: Webex Room Phone on Sept 14th to learn more on how it can help you scale your Webex device experience

flyer of webex room phone: helping you scale your WEbex device experience flyer with profile pictures of David Scott, Jessica Ruffin, Subbu Subramanian, and Anthony Nolasco

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Returning to work with Intelligent Room Capacity

Make your voice heard with the User Community Feedback Portal

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Webex Teams and team space
5 tips for connecting with remote colleagues

Webex Teams for remote team collaboration

With a massive shift towards remote working, we are relying more than ever on team collaboration apps to maintain real-time, business normality. Virtual workspaces have become the new water cooler and video meetings have become the new board room.

Face-to-face meetings over video help to overcome distance barriers by enabling check-ins with teammates and colleagues to push a project forward, or even just to check-in and see.

But how else is the Webex platform helping teams stay more connected with the people and projects that matter most?  Webex Team messaging is a perfect accompaniment to virtual meetings and in this blog, I’m going to share 5 tips for how you can use this modern team messaging platform to stay in touch.

Top 5 features for in Webex Teams

So, whether you are new to team collaboration apps or a veteran, here are our top 5 features you need to know about:

  1. Signal your presence

My first tip is, make sure people know you are available.  Start by choosing an avatar.  Do you want a professional-looking headshot?  Or something more informal – only you know what works in your organization.  Once you’ve set up your avatar, your presence status lets people know if you’re available or not.  We have now improved presence status by adding a custom status feature. Perfect for letting people know when you’re heads down in an urgent deliverable or just off for lunch. For times when you need zero distractions, you can activate the do not disturb feature.

Presence status in Webex Meetings and set a new status

2. Organize your Team and spaces

Whether you are working in a project team, or you are a supervisor/line manager – consider creating a Team for your group.  You can add people and spaces to that team.  For example, I have a Team set up with my staff which contains a number of spaces including spaces for discussing Webex app marketing, UC devices marketing, and a general space for watercooler chat.  I can easily add new members and give them access to common spaces I can quickly navigate to the topics we discuss as a group.

Organization tab in Webex Teams and organize the classified department

Team spaces in Webex teams includes 'project bento box ECM,' 'Customer Test Group,' 'Marketing Analysis,' 'Social Corner,' 'Internal Testing,' 'Organization News,' UI Visual Design,' 'Web and Mobile Team,' Tablet UX,' 'Leadership News,' 'Product Marketing' 'Engineering,' 'Ideas & Inspo' 'Barbera's Team' Product builds,' 'Localisation,' and 'San Jose Office'

3. Cut through the noise

We are all bombarded with information and communications.  Too many emails, too many messaging threads, etc.  Quickly getting to the conversations that matter most is a skill we all need.  To help with this, Webex Teams has introduced new and improved filters that are designed to help you focus on what is important to you. You can now separate lists of 1:1 and team spaces.  You can view messages by spaces with @mentions, unread messages, draft messages, flagged messages and favourites.  You can ensure your favourite people and spaces are always at the top of the list and hide spaces that you don’t need to see all the time.

Webex Teams and conversations

4. Connecting for the first time? Make a lasting impression with People Insights

Need a conversation starter to break the ice and show you have taken some time to prepare for a first-time encounter?  People Insights means you can keep up to date with the latest, publicly accessible, information on your colleagues and external stakeholders at the click of a button. Never miss a new promotion, a business award or organisation update. And, if your IT team has enabled it, you can also see information from your corporate directory – their department, line management, location and more.

 

5. Spread the love and have some fun

Team collaboration shouldn’t be all work and no play. Virtual spaces are great places to share successes and key wins. Webex Teams now allows you make your interactions more personal with the introduction of gifs, emojis and animated reactions. Applaud your teammates. Send a gif to match the mood or show your appreciation with a thumbs up!

Adding a 'Awesome' GIPHY in Webex Teams, images of rockt, smiling ice cream and cursive 'awesome' words

Animated reactions in webex teams to include celebrate, heart, thumbs up, smiley face, wow face, and sad faceThere’s far more to Webex Team collaboration than I have had time for here. So, in my next blog in this series,  I’ll share my Top 5 tips for collaborating on a document.

In the meantime – if you haven’t used Webex Teams yet, you may already be entitled to it if you have a current Webex subscription or a Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan. Alternatively, you can download Webex Teams for free.

See how you can make teamwork your best work

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What would you like to do?

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Sign up for Webex.

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woman standing at her computer and screen sharing
Screen sharing how-to guide: Tips for better real-time collaboration

Tips for better real-time collaboration with screen sharing

Effective collaboration is the holy grail for business: something constantly sought after, but often never reached. It’s not usually the fault of the team members and departments themselves, but more the communication and productivity tools they have.

True collaboration entails much more than a back-and-forth discussion in an email chain that reaches the double digits of replies. It means employees, and more broadly, business units, tightly coordinating with each other on strategy, planning, execution, and follow-up. In reality, companies can’t rely on email or traditional conference calls to support that level of collaboration — especially in real-time.

Screen sharing, however, can be used to power collaboration on all fronts: whether it’s uniting geographically diverse teams on a single video conference so they can meet face-to-face and walk through project outcomes or a quarterly report, or hopping on a quick 5-minute call to review and edit a presentation, screen sharing can greatly benefit teams.

Here’s a guide to using screen sharing for better real-time collaboration and some tips for leveraging its key advantages.

Use video whenever possible

No channel is more effective or efficient for communication than video. While it’s possible to have a conversation over the phone, video fosters deeper engagement and interaction, essential to collaboration. Seeing face to face or making eye contact while sharing your screen ensures your message resonates with everyone in the room.

Consider putting in place a policy that would have remote workers use video by default, or as often as possible. It can be hard to inspire true, real-time collaboration with professionals spread across disparate states and time zones, but video and screen sharing can provide the right conditions. For example, while teams can still utilize chat as much as they like, require that video be used for any kickoff meeting, scheduled biweekly update, or similar milestone meetings.

Ensure teams know how to screen share

The value that screen sharing features can provide won’t come in handy if your employees haven’t been trained in using the solution. As you roll out a new tool, take care to hold training and feedback sessions. The second type of outreach is crucial; that way, you can troubleshoot any issues before they become more significant problems with realizing value or return on investment from screen sharing software.

For example, knowing how to pass presenter controls is essential to collaboration on a video call. That way, each person who has something to say or share can do so, knowing that the rest of the attendees are focused on them and able to see the materials.

Enable meeting participants to go mobile

There’s no telling when a collaborative spark might ignite, and that includes when team members are on the road, in transit, or otherwise not in the office setting. A screen sharing solution with a mobile app facilitates collaboration by letting call attendees use their mobile devices to join the meeting and utilize screen-sharing features.

Encourage users to get creative

The beauty of screen sharing is that it can facilitate collaboration in different and creative ways. Encourage your teams to test out screen sharing for all types of meetings to find creative ways to use it. For instance, sales and marketing teams may work together on an interactive presentation in real-time, fine-tuning animations, or dynamic elements before the client meeting.

Have a recording policy

Recording a video meeting is helpful for future reference. Attendees can quickly call up what was said or share the contents with another member who wasn’t there. Recorded video calls help eliminate communication gaps and oversights that negatively impact collaboration. Also, this allows you to track the thought process if you were editing a document in real-time. It’s worth thinking at a high level about a policy for recording videos for preservation purposes.

Last but not least, don’t forget about security

While you want your teams and business units to work closely with one another, they are crucial for providing a secure platform for doing so. Different security topics you may need to consider include encryption, password management, access controls, cloud infrastructure, hardware security, and data storage. Security is as important as quality when researching software that allows screen sharing.

Ready to try screen sharing? Check out Cisco Webex to learn about our screen-sharing products or get started with a free plan today.

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How to Determine How Effective Your Collaboration Tech Is
How to determine how effective your collaboration tech is

Effective collaborative workplace culture

For a long time, workplace communication was limited to office intercoms and yelling over cubicle walls. As primitive as these approaches sound, they were the standards.

 

Workplaces now enjoy a litany of team collaboration tools developed to engage remote and in-person employees who no longer limit their productivity to a specific workplace or certain office hours. But no matter where employees are, they want high-quality communication and collaboration tools that are convenient to use.

 

How can small business leaders ensure their team collaboration tools continue to meet that demand? By embracing the spirit of those same tools and creating collaborative workplace cultures.

Benefits of collaboration tools

One of the primary benefits of collaboration tools is that ideas can flow freely and go into action at a moment’s notice. When those collaboration tools are added to a collaborative workplace culture, it fosters the kind of environment in which everyone — and every tool — can truly thrive.

 

To get the kind of insights necessary to ensure your collaboration tech is top shelf, you’ll need to start by getting some answers from your team. That way, employees will fit the tool — not the other way around.

Questions to ask your team

Here are some helpful questions to ask your team:

 

• What tools do you currently use to communicate? Is it a messenger app, or is most of your correspondence via email and other means? You can even open up this question to the communication tools team members use most in their personal lives. Determine how the majority of your office communicates, and it should lead you toward team collaboration tools that engage every employee rather than a select few. You might be surprised by what ideas your team offers.

 

• What’s your preferred mode of remote work? Whether team members are full-time remote employees or just working remotely now and then, they’ll have preferences for how they’re reached. Maybe it’s via phone, conference line, messaging, or video conferencing platform. Use this time surveying employees to find the best remote collaboration tools to foster your collaborative team culture.

 

• What kind of document sharing do you use? More and more platforms offer live editing and commenting features for document sharing. Ask employees how effective those solutions are and how often they leverage them.

 

• How do you track thoughts and take notes? Do your team members put pen to pad and jot down notes the old-fashioned way? Or do they prefer to take notes on their laptops or tablets? What about transcriptions? Do they use their preferred word processors to keep living documents of ideas and insights? Learn their preferences to provide optimal business collaboration tools.

Next steps

You’ll want to ask these questions annually or at least every other year. You can then apply those answers to what’s currently on the market to determine whether you’re getting the best value out of the slate of tools at your disposal. Maybe one — or more — of the team collaboration tools best suited for your team is offered in a stack that you can invest in for the whole staff. That’s far easier and more efficient than using a dozen different solutions from a dozen different providers.

 

Collaborative tools are most effective when they’re easy to use. Learn about the tools that best help your employees communicate, and your business’s ability to produce and collaborate will never falter.

 

Have your own answers to the above questions confirmed your need for new team collaboration tools?

 

Click here to learn more about the offerings from Webex and to sign up for a free account.

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Still Need Help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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