The Simply Smarter Blog

It’s 2021 Already, Let’s Communicate!
Bob Madaio /

It’s 2021 Already, Let’s Communicate!

Back in September, I introduced the Simply Smarter blog by talking about what we hoped to cover here on the blog, and how it relates to our strategy to help our customers. I figured the start of a new year provided a reason to go a bit deeper.

In that initial post, I mentioned how we “intend to show how the right work technology can accelerate communications and collaboration, improve efficiencies and reduce costs, improve workflows through digitization and increase information security. Properly leveraged, this journey should also help us provide a safer work experience for all our employees.”

Fine words, but – admittedly – not a lot of detail.

This time, I will focus more on how the right technology can accelerate communications and collaboration.

 

The Importance of Sharing Information

If your organization is like many, you know the concern… it’s not that you don’t have the right information to make decisions, it’s that you don’t have it circulated to the people that can make decisions on it. Or you don’t properly debate the decision by getting diverse perspectives in a meeting and get the much-needed context around the data. Maybe that’s because it is inconvenient to share a screen, print a document or quickly find what you need. 

At the end of the day, the important learning in all of this is that it’s in the sharing (aka, communicating) of that information that a business can find a common understanding from which to make decisions.

This is what most of us “office workers” do all day. We work to communicate and collaborate with information - with our peers, with our partners and with our customers. Organizations that do this effectively make better, faster decisions and have a shared understanding of the business environment. 

And, they tend to “win” in the market.

 

The Challenge to Communicate and Collaborate

That doesn’t mean that effectively communicating and collaborating is always easy.

In a modern workplace, that information sharing is a mix of digital and “hard copy” (printed) information. We share information in emails, in conference rooms, in the hallway, over lunch, in Microsoft Teams meetings, etc.

But in many offices today, our technology lets us down in our quest to do this effectively.

  • Ageing print environments are often too cumbersome, unreliable or expensive for users to print vibrant, engaging information in real-time.
  • Paper-based information isn’t brought into the digital world as often as needed because users don’t feel comfortable scanning and managing new digital document workflows.
  • In meetings, we often wrestle with our technology for too long and discuss important strategies too little.
  • Impromptu meetings – one of the main reasons we all yearn to be back in offices – aren’t fully successful because it’s too hard to “run back and get that file I want to show you” or huddle around a phone.
  • Hybrid meetings (which seem to be the future we are all destined for) that include both office and remote workers often suffer from poor audio and video. They rarely feel collaborative.
  • Many users’ personal computing technology devices struggle under the burden of sharing and editing files, while in a remote call, with a camera on, and with solid audio going strong.

It does not need to be this way.

 

Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Communications and Collaboration

Technology is available to help solve these challenges.

  • Modern Print Environments: Managed print environments and modern multifunction printers (MFPs) can provide the reliability needed to print that important report for discussion – while lowering costs by eliminating waste and over-provisioning. This ensures everyone can print vibrant, compelling material for use with management, with customers and with partners.
     
  • Simplified Document Workflows: Modern MFPs bring integrated software (either built-in from the start or provided by industry partners) that simplify the paper-to-digital conversion, reducing human input errors and streamlining the sharing of documents across users and organizations.
     
  • Collaboration-ready Conference Rooms: It’s 2021!  By now, conference rooms can and should be simple to use. Wireless casting to a shared display, or single-wire connectivity that passes all audio and video signals while simultaneously powering the presenter’s computer are becoming commonplace with new offerings such as the Windows collaboration display standard from Microsoft. This walk in, plug in and collaborate experience is the new expectation.
     
  • Software-driven Smarts: Smart office software allows users to quickly authenticate on office devices so that your next hallway conversation can provide your next breakthrough. Impromptu meeting content can immediately be shared on a display or output from a shared print device – and recent cloud documents can be ready to share in seconds.
     
  • More Effective Meetings. Tools exist to have one-click meeting kick-offs (and endings) that start your conferencing software, project to the proper display, and engage Bluetooth speakerphones are making the “Are you out there?” and “Who has the dial-in?” challenges a thing of the past. (Fixing the “You’re muted.” challenge, however, is a whole different ballgame…)
     
  • Powerful, Flexible Personal Computing. Notebook PCs have become the heart and soul of our communications. What for many office workers started out as a glorified word processor, is now your lifeline to your peers, your information, your calendar and has become your communications hub. They just need to be light enough to go where you need them, and powerful enough to do all those things at once.

 

It’s Time to Get with the Times

Yes, times have changed. Or better said, times MAY have changed if you’ve made having updated office technology a priority.

Even in the best of organizations, one or more of those areas discussed above can often lag behind. This weakest-link is dragging down productive communication and collaboration.

At Sharp, we offer all of these technologies and more and are here to help. Whether it’s interactive displays to engage people in a conference room, award-winning MFPs, Dynabook laptops to empower hybrid workers, or Synappx smart-office to simplify meetings and information sharing – we have solutions that can be fit for your need.

No matter if you work directly with Sharp, our dealer partners or someone else – consider giving your organization the technology it needs to communicate and collaborate, or risk falling behind those who already have.

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