June 16, 2022

Which Microsoft tools to boost internal collaboration in companies



5 min reading

Here are the best Microsoft tools to meet the challenge of internal collaboration with your teams.

Collaboration, i.e. working together on a joint project, is essential to the functioning of a company. In fact, don't we usually refer to the various stakeholders in the organization as collaborators?

As essential as it is, collaboration at work is nevertheless a real challenge for management. Management must encourage the development of internal collaboration and maintain it, including in remote or hybrid work situations.

To meet this challenge, managers can rely on various collaborative working tools.

In this respect, the Microsoft 365 suite is of course a reference. And for good reason, its complementary software packages combine to form a true collaborative work platform that facilitates internal communication and synergies between colleagues.

Would you like to know more about Microsoft 's software for boosting business collaboration? Mozzaik, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, shares its expertise on this issue. Read on!

Internal collaboration in the company: a major issue at the heart of Microsoft's concerns

Internal collaboration is a way of organizing work in which employees participate in the realization of a joint project or mission by sharing tasks in a flexible way.

According to an Ipsos and OpenMind Kfé study published in 2018, 69% of employees surveyed said that collaborative working promotes knowledge sharing, 65% stated that it increases team productivity, 62% expressed that it facilitates problem solving, 60% maintained that it is a motivator and 59% estimated that it stimulates creativity.

It is generally agreed that internal collaboration has a positive impact on teamwork, collective intelligence,employee commitment and even productivity. The implementation of this style of organization is therefore a major challenge for employers.

A true provider of solutions for companies, Microsoft seems to be particularly interested in internal collaboration . The software publisher is developing applications for easy and secure teamwork, both in person and remotely.

So what are the collaborative working tools developed by Microsoft? That's what we're going to find out.

Boosting collaboration

Microsoft Office Suite, collaborative version

You are probably familiar with the famous Microsoft Office suite  software. But did you know that it allows you to create different types of content in a collaborative way?

Thanks to the Microsoft Office Suite, it is indeed possible to share your Word documents, Excel tables, PowerPoint presentations, OneNote notebooks and Microsoft Forms with several people (colleagues, contractors, clients, etc.).

Above all, the tools of the Microsoft Office Suite offer employees the opportunity to work and edit at the same time in the same medium. A collaborative creation device called "Co-Authoring".  

Better still, with the Office 365 Suite, contributors can access an updated version of the co-edited file at any time, from anywhere and from any device (PC, phone, tablet, etc.). Moreover, the modifications made by the various users are clearly identified. Everyone can therefore easily follow the evolution of the shared document.

Did you know? The software of the Microsoft Office Suite can be interconnected. Using Forms and Excel together, you can, for example, collect data from your colleagues, suppliers, partners or customers and then analyze them directly in Excel.

Tasks and Planner & Project, Microsoft's project management tools

Project management tools are essential for collaborative working . Whether working on-site or remotely, employees need to coordinate their actions, know the overall status of the project and share documents and visual reports with their peers.

Here again, Microsoft is responding to the needs of organizations with three collaborative working tools integrated into Office 365 anddedicated to project management: Tasks, Plannerand Project.

With the Planner planning application, facilitate teamwork by creating Kanban boards that allow each stakeholder to easily follow the progress of the project.

Synchronized with Planner, the Tasks software centralizes and prioritizes the collective tasks (generated in Planner) and individual tasks (entered via To Do) to be completed. A must to gain in productivity and better coordination.

The Tasks application, which is itself integrated into Teams, brings together all the data from the various Microsoft applications (Planner, To Do, Lists, etc.) in one place. This is a real time saver for employees who can easily use these tools without having to open them one by one.

And for your most complex projects, facilitate collaboration with the Microsoft Project application. This comprehensive project management tool is a must-have to ensure proper management of resources, their allocation, monitoring and analysis of the project.

Kanban board, Gantt chart or dashboards: this software offers all the features necessary for the good management of a resource and time-intensive project (internal transformation for example).

💡To go further, read our article on how to schedule your tasks in Teams with the Tasks app

But let's take a look at Teams, the ' star' collaborative working platform of Microsoft 365.

Teams, the ultimate collaboration tool for Microsoft 365

In terms of facilitating collaborative work , Microsoft is banking heavily on Teams.

A true collaborative work platform, Teams offers many features essential to on-site and remote teamwork.

Microsoft tools to boost internal collaboration

For example, the Teams software can be used :

To exchange via a chat, in pairs or in teams

Teams firstly allows employees to discuss in pairs or teams using chat . Used synchronously or asynchronously, this tool facilitates interaction and problem-solving.

According to a study by Forrester, cited by Microsoft, the use of chat reduces the number of meetings by an average of 18.9%.

A real "plus" at a time when, according to a survey carried out by OpinionWay for Empreinte Humaine, only one meeting in two (52%) is considered productive by employees.

To conduct video conferences

Teams software is now well known for its remote meetings.

And for good reason, many companies that have adopted a hybrid work mode (half on-site presence, half telework), use the video conferencing feature of Teams to facilitate remote collaboration between their employees.

Teams videoconferences allow up to 1000 participants to be brought together in different locations (offices, meeting rooms, homes, etc.) using different devices (screen, computer, tablet, phone).

But that's not all. Teams augmented meetings are a great way to boostcollective intelligence and productivity, especially through the integration of various collaborative work features such as Microsoft Whiteboard .

Take notes in meetings and co-create visuals with the Microsoft Whiteboard

According to a Wisembly and IFOP study published in 2018, 42% of managers consider that the meetings they attend are not sufficiently prepared and 48% say they rarely have access to minutes.

Teams again provides an ad hoc response to the needs expressed by employees:

With Teams, it is indeed possible to take notes during a meeting directly in the application and to retrieve the minutes afterwards via the invitation for the event.

In addition, Teams meetings can be optimized with Microsoft Whiteboard.

Microsoft's virtual whiteboard allows you to create or co-create customized visual aids before, during and after the meeting.

This will allow you to prepare your exchanges properly, stimulate collective intelligence during the meeting, keep a record of your interactions and even continue to work together asynchronously.  

💡 Read our tips for optimizing your Teams meetings with Microsoft Whiteboard in our blog post!

To create dedicated channels for project teams

Teams also allows for the creation of collaborative work channels reserved for members of a specific project team and its "guests".

In this way, employees can discuss with each other and find in one place all the documents (Word, PowerPoint, etc.), schedules (Tasks), budgets (Excel) or knowledge (wiki) needed to carry out their joint mission.

And as a project often involves external people (customers, service providers, partners, etc.), they can also be invited to join the project channel, with varying degrees of access to the various shared files.

Good to know: As a natural extension of Microsoft, Mozzaik365 integrates Teams with the Digital Workplace. Our solution centralizes information, notifications and messages. This makes it much easier to search for documents, and also to communicate and collaborate between project team members.  

For faster access to personal applications

Finally, Teams is designed as a true operating system (OS), designed to centralize and articulate a diversity of computer programmes, applications and digital resources.  

This allows Teams users to select the applications their teams need directly from the Teams Store and integrate these tools into Teams for a seamless and smooth experience.

On an individual level, each employee can even pin their favourite software to their Teams space. Thus, they can access their personal applications more easily, without having to leave the Teams platform.

The result is a real time saving for employees and an optimized working experience.

💡 To take it a step further, find out how to take your team to the next level with Teams.

The organization chart with photos or company directory, a collaborative tool with unsuspected power

The organization chart with photoss, orcompany directory is an indispensable collaborative tool for any organization. It allows stakeholders to quickly identify the names, positions, missions and skills of their colleagues and to contact them with just a few clicks.

This collaboration tool hosted on your intranet is particularly useful for new employees and greatly simplifies their onboarding. They can familiarize themselves with the different members of the company (face, role, functions, expertise, etc.) and obtain their contact details easily.

Better still, the company directory allows you to search for skills within the organization. Ideal for efficiently finding the right internal expert, even in large groups.

💡 As we explained in a previous article, thanks to the Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace you can easily create an organization chart, directly in your SharePoint intranet.
Internal collaboration : Microsoft tools

Microsoft collaborative tools, levers of inclusiveness

Internal collaboration is about people working together. Certain accommodations may be necessary when one or more team members have special needs such as visual, hearing or mobility impairments.

Here again, Microsoft is listening to employees. The software publisher offers a whole range of accessibility solutions enabling all employees to take part fully in company projects.

Thanks to the automatic meeting captions and meeting notes, people with a hearing impairment can participate in video conferences without difficulty. The colour contrast of documents and SharePoint sites and the immersive reading of documents are designed for the visually impaired. Finally, voice-activated writing enables employees with motor disabilities to write texts.

Microsoft software that boosts internal company collaboration: conclusion  

As you can see, Microsoft offers a wide range of software to stimulate internal collaboration in companies .

Among these collaborative tools, some, like the Office 365 Suite , are dedicated to the co-creation of content. Others, such as Planner and Tasks, allow for project management. Others, such as the remote collaborative work tool Teams, facilitate communication between stakeholders, and still others are vectors of inclusiveness.

For an even smoother and more seamless experience, all of the above collaborative software can be integrated into your Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace. This is the perfect way to get your work collaboration off the ground.

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