Collaboration and E-Learning

Collaboration and E-Learning

Collaboration software makes tackling collective projects much more efficient, but it doesn’t work unless your employees know how to use it. That’s where e-learning comes in.

Making the Decision to Migrate 

Have you already implemented a collaboration software but you don’t feel everyone has adopted this new technology? Are you trying to find the right way to introduce new software? No matter what stage of the process your employees are at, e-learning can help.

Adoption is Not Easy

Migrating from older technology to something new and shiny is hard. You want everyone to dive in and start using this wonderful new tool you’ve provided, but not everyone is convinced it’s worth their time. Or, more commonly, employees have adopted a part of the new software, but are still clinging to parts of the old process. 

According to Forbes, there’s one reason collaboration tools fail in the workplace: lack of planning for social adoption.

E-Learning Can Help

Underutilizing technology is like buying a luxury yacht for the sound system: you’re wasting time and money by not taking advantage of everything you paid for. Technology is a big driver of efficiency in the workplace, but it’s only as good as its user. 

An engaged, informed workforce will not only increase the positive outcomes, but it will also decrease the negatives. 

Close Skill Gaps

Your employees all have different levels of understanding and ability when it comes to learning new technology, which means a large-scale rollout may have to be scrapped in favor of a more targeted approach. One of the most common migration challenges is skill gaps. Good training is the best way to close those gaps. 

Prevent Data Loss and Corruption

Data loss and corruption are more common when employees are running duplicate solutions at the same time: if they are using the old system and learning the new, it’s easier to make costly mistakes, and harder to catch them. 

Accelerate Adoption

E-learning courses focus on specific areas to help you and your team learn how to use your new collaboration platform. Interactive elements like videos and quizzes give employees a more well-rounded experience, allowing for some hands-on learning. 

E-learning courses also create a multi-level education system, meaning each employee can take specific courses created for their job level. 

All of this is in addition to the tried and tested instructions that are organized into helpful steps so your employees don’t feel overwhelmed.

Collaboration and E-Learning

With e-learning, employees have the tools to tailor their training to their own learning style and skill level. For those who need a top-to-bottom course on the communication software, a longer and more in-depth E-Learning Course is most helpful. For more tech-savvy team members, short, on-demand training videos (like those found in our Microlearning Library) are perfect as a refresher course or for filling small knowledge gaps.

Meet Me in the Cloud has a wealth of e-learning offerings to help accelerate the adoption process of your new collaboration platform by offering an interactive approach to learning Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams. Our offerings simplify each platform for you and your organization, so everyone can start using the new platform quickly and easily – at their own pace.

Allowing employees to take control of their collaboration education will not only lower costs and speed up adoption, but it will also give them a more positive work-life view. Take a look through all of our e-learning solutions

 

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6 Common Migration Challenges and How to Solve Them

6 Common Migration Challenges and How to Solve Them

Many companies that pursue a technology migration on their own in an effort to save money deal with a host of challenges. They don’t take the time or complete the planning and training they need for a successful migration. Save your leadership team (and employees) the headache with these tips.

Skill Gaps

Whenever you roll out new tech in your organization, there are bound to be skill gaps in your workforce. IT staff and end-users and accustomed to the legacy solution, which likely works and looks very different from the new solution you’re in the process of migrating to. This is normal, but that doesn’t mean you can roll out new solutions and just wait for your employees to figure it out. That costs time, which costs your company money.

To fill these skill gaps, you need training. Training and education efforts not only save you time implementing the new solution, but it also provides your employees with the confidence to use the solution and in their work overall. Not only does training help ensure that you receive a high ROI, but it also benefits your workforce on an individual level.

No Roadmap

A roadmap is a high-level visual plan that lays out your migration strategy. Without it, your team won’t be able to make sound strategic decisions concerning the migration. Or, worse, they will migrate your solution without a strategy in mind. This can lead to an ineffective migration.

Another problem companies face when migrating a solution without a roadmap is that there are no timelines. If there are timelines, they are inaccurate and the migration falls behind, which can potentially cause more problems later on.

To resolve this issue, it’s important to develop a roadmap at the beginning of the migration process, before any data has been moved. Then make sure the team fulfilling the migration is following the roadmap.

Deadlines and details can change, but a high-level, strategy-focused roadmap is key to a successful migration.

Reduced Productivity 

During the migration, your workforce will likely be using two solutions, the old and the new. This means that with every update to one document, file, channel, etc., it needs to be updated on both solutions to keep everyone in the loop. This duplication process is time-consuming and the redundancy can be confusing for users, but it may be necessary.

It’s also important to note that if your team fulfills the migration in-house, those employees will have double the responsibility and the same amount of time and energy, which means their other tasks will be sidelined during the migration. 

To limit the impact on your workforce’s productivity during the migration, shorten the migration time. One way to do this is to hire a migration expert, like from Meet Me In The Cloud, to manage the process. 

Another way to reduce the impact on your workforce’s productivity is to complete the migration while your workforce isn’t working. For example, over a weekend or holiday break. Smaller migrations can often be completed during these timeframes, though it does require the employees performing the migration to work on the weekend or holiday. 

Data Loss and Corruption

When duplicate solutions are running simultaneously during the migration process, there is a greater risk for data loss and corruption. The longer the migration process takes, the greater the risk. If data is corrupted or lost during the migration, it makes it harder to restore that data. 

To avoid data loss and corruption during migration, you will need to backup all data. You will also need to determine the best way to store the data before the migration and have a plan for migrating the data in phases. Following a solid plan can reduce data loss and corruption. 

Noncompliance

Each solution has its own properties and benefits, but not all solutions prioritize compliance. Without reviewing what each vendor provides in terms of compliance, you can potentially violate compliance requirements.

If compliance is important to your business, then you need to review each solution to ensure the one you choose meets regulatory compliance requirements. This means asking vendors how data is stored and accessed, how end-users are supported, if the vendor logs all end-user activities, and more. 

Misaligned Goals

Often, business leaders want to replicate legacy systems in the new solution, but this defeats the purpose of the migration. No two systems work the same, so this sets up the entire migration for failure. Misaligned goals combined with unmet expectations turn the entire migration into a washout, leaving everyone frustrated.

To avoid this challenge, it’s important to have a discovery process before migrating. During this process, your leadership team needs to evaluate the old system for what is and isn’t working, and what other capabilities your business needs now or in the future. From there, your migration team or partner can design a plan to align the strategy with your leadership’s goals.

Learn more about our Migration Services at this link.

Is It Time to Migrate Your Collaboration Solution?

Is It Time to Migrate Your Collaboration Solution?

When it comes to your workforce’s collaboration efforts, you likely rely on in-person collaboration and legacy solutions that require bulky hardware or frequent software installations. But with work-from-home (WFH) initiatives and team members on the go, it may be time to migrate to a better collaboration solution that meets your business’s needs.

What is Migration?

Before we discuss the reasons for migrating, it’s important to understand what migration is. Migration is the act of upgrading to new hardware, new software, or both. This process involves moving data and capabilities from the legacy solution to the new solution. While this process seems simple, it’s not. Migrations are often complicated and intricate endeavors that are time-consuming for your team if you choose to implement them in-house. 

The migration process ensures that the new operating environment is functional, secure, and usable by your team. This involves a review of your legacy application and its settings as well as setting up the new solution. 

Types of Migrations

There are many different types of technology migrations, including:

  • Database and data migration
  • Application migration
  • Cloud migration
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software migration
  • Operating System (OS) migration
  • Content Management System (CMS) migration
  • IT infrastructure migration

At Meet Me In The Cloud, we specialize in collaboration solutions migration, which is typically an application or cloud migration, depending on what solution you choose.

Reasons for Migration

If migrations are typically challenging, then why do companies do it? Why don’t they continue to use their legacy collaboration solutions indefinitely? Here’s why companies migrate to better solutions:

The Legacy Solution is Deprecated or Obsolete

If your workforce is using an outdated collaboration solution, it may be deprecated or obsolete. If it’s “deprecated,” that means it’s still a good solution for now, but it won’t be for long. That solution will likely be obsolete when a new solution is launched. If a solution is “obsolete,” then your workforce can no longer use it. 

For solutions that are either deprecated or obsolete, there is little or no support from the vendor, which means if something goes wrong, it may never get fixed. This can lead to data loss and cybersecurity vulnerability. 

The Legacy Solution Does Not Fulfill New Needs

Your business is flexible and adapts to the ever-changing market and the needs of your customers. You need a collaboration solution with modern capabilities that simplifies communication and work processes for your workforce. 

If your business demands new capabilities from your collaboration solution and the vendor can’t keep up with your request, it may be time to migrate. 

You Need to Consolidate

If your workforce is using multiple collaboration solutions, it creates a messy, inefficient process for everyone involved. Data can be siloed or lost and employees waste time connecting to multiple solutions. 

To resolve these issues, you need to consolidate to one collaboration solution. You will likely need to migrate to a new one to do so because if your team is currently using multiple solutions, none of them are probably meeting all of your needs.

You Need Room to Grow

Your growing business needs room to grow, including in your collaboration solutions. Most legacy solutions limit users or storage space in some way and may incur additional costs when you do grow, if they can accommodate your growth.

Most modern collaboration solutions are now hosted in the cloud, which provides you with scalability and flexibility, accommodating to your ever-changing needs.

Your Workforce Uses Multiple Devices

If your employees WFH or work on the go, they likely use multiple devices to complete tasks and collaborate with their teams. Legacy collaboration solutions are limited to specific devices, but solutions in the cloud can be accessed anywhere from any device, enabling your workforce to work on the go in real-time.

You Need Increased Security 

Security is likely one of your top concerns, but your legacy collaboration solutions may not meet your security standards. Most legacy solutions that were rolled out within the past decade or earlier weren’t created with the same security measures we have today. Cyber threats are constantly evolving and new technologies are accomodating to those changes to protect your data. Your legacy solution probably isn’t adapting as fast, if at all. 

Is It Time to Migrate?

If you can identify with one or more of the reasons above, then it’s time to migrate to a new collaboration solution. Don’t go through that process alone. Learn more about our Migration Services at this link

Coronavirus and the Future of Work

Coronavirus and the Future of Work

It’s evident that the novel coronavirus has changed how we work. Largely, many of us continue business operations by working from home. While remote working has increased because of state-mandated stay-at-home orders, will these changes continue after the crisis ends? If not, what will the future of work look like? In this article, we have compiled what habits and expectations are likely to continue.

 

How COVID-19 Is Accelerating Changes In How We Work

With an increasingly multi-generational workforce, remote work was already predicted to be the norm by 2028. The coronavirus pandemic only accelerated the adoption of remote work and digital communication. Companies like Webex, Zoom, Microsoft, and Google have responded to the increased digital demand for their video conferencing and other digital communication applications, as well as project management tools.

 

But Is The Influx Sustainable?

The increase itself is not sustainable, but the way we work will not go back to how things were a few months ago. Instead, as Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 Jared Spataro says, we will be entering a “new normal” once the crisis ends. We will take our recent adaptions to the work-from-home lifestyle and update corporate policies to be more flexible.

With the exploding opportunity to work from home, more employees are likely to expect the option in the “new normal” and with future employers.

 

Enterprises that don’t continue flexible, remote options after the crisis will likely lose employees, especially millennials and Gen-Zers, which can harm a business’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

 

The Future Of Streamlined Operations And Expenses

Companies are also realizing how cost-effective and efficient distributed teams are. By removing much of the in-office chatter and distractions, personnel may be able to dedicate more focused time to their work, if their lifestyle allows for it and they are not worried about the pandemic.

 

According to this Forbes article, “Layers of management will disappear along with very expensive physical plants, while investments in office perks can be reallocated to salaries or (more likely) the bottom line.”

 

Even more, the implementation of a full-time remote team could mean that enterprises could hire highly skilled workers from across the globe. This could further benefit companies that have diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as companies that struggle to find unique talent in their area (or who are willing to relocate to their area).

 

Remote work could also save employees time and money by removing their daily commute, which averages 26.1 minutes one way. Remote work would remove over 4 hours per week and 200 hours per year in a vehicle, lowering the total cost employees spend on gas and car maintenance for work-related travel.

 

The Future Of Collaboration

As enterprises implement and expand their work-from-home initiatives, they will also need to utilize cloud-based services, including cloud-based collaborative efforts. While we have taken this time of state-mandated work-from-home situations to just get through, we need to be looking at the long-term effects of what this pandemic has started.

 

As stated above, many companies will be adjusting their current policies to be more flexible. With this becoming part of the expectation and new norm, companies must also look at what tools and resources will these employees need to not “just get through” in their remote locations but what will they need to succeed and excel!

 

Collaboration tools and virtual meetings, as we’ve seen in the news and our most recent post, need a higher level of understanding for security on a company and a personal level. This understanding comes from knowing the programs functionalities and capabilities.

 

So How Do You Gain This Knowledge?

We at Meet Me In The Cloud offer a variety of solutions that support the usage of workplace technology tools in a remote work setting from customized training plans utilizing out 6 step methodology to our partnering with CyberFort to maintain a high standard of security.

 

Meet Me In The Cloud is here to help you establish your new normal within your company. Reach out to us to discuss the solutions that are best for you and your team as we move past COVID-19 and into the future of work.

5 Signs Your Virtual Meeting Could Be At Risk

5 Signs Your Virtual Meeting Could Be At Risk

As hundreds of thousands of traditional workers have transitioned into a work-from-home environment, the entire country has watched as horror stories have surfaced of virtual meetings gone wrong. Some of those have made top ten lists of “funniest virtual meeting fails”, but there have also been some completely frightening meetings in which intruders were able to easily access the virtual meetings and take control. And the reason this is happening is simple:

 

Companies are providing free software that appears popular and helpful, but it hasn’t necessarily been designed with secure collaboration as a priority.

 

Teams need to feel a sense of security and normalcy throughout these uncertain times, and never knowing who might pop in on a collaborative meeting is not a way to create that culture. Unfortunately, using free software to manage meetings is not a best practice during a time when those with ill-intentions are looking at every avenue to take advantage of the unprepared. The time has come to ask yourself…

 

Is your team susceptible to an “invasion” of privacy?

  1. Do you use a different access code for every meeting?
  2. Is there any kind of multi-factor authentication for sensitive topic meetings?
  3. Are hosts the only individuals who can begin a meeting?
  4. Is there a method to monitor and identify attendees?
  5. Does your meeting allow anyone to file share, screenshare, or chat?

 

If you answered “No” to any of those questions, then your virtual collaborative meeting is at jeopardy for a security breach.

 

But even looking at those questions, you may be thinking: “I don’t even know how to implement some of those changes!” And that’s where we can help.

 

Tools & Support for Secure Collaboration

Meet Me In The Cloud can provide you and your team with the tools and the support to secure your virtual collaborative team meetings.

 

Security is top of mind right now when it comes to collaboration. Meet Me In The Cloud has been ensuring success in security with our 6 step methodology since 2011. Because of this, we know that secure collaboration isn’t a one-size-fits all. We have designed customized training and advisory services for each level of your organization.

 

For Your IT Team

In the early steps of our methodology, we provide an Extensive Security Walkthrough conducted during a Site Admin Training Session with your Adoption Lead.

 

For Your End Users and Meeting Participants

During training sessions, we will discuss the features that you can implement to ensure secure collaboration. We’ll help you learn how to lock your meeting room, when to use your personal meeting space vs one-off, regularly scheduled meeting, how to allow attendees to start the meeting or choosing alternate hosts, along with a wealth of further information and best practices.

 

What Are the Next Steps?

All of these details can be overwhelming if you don’t have an expert on your side to help you create a secure collaborative environment for your team. We are here to be that expert for you so that you can focus on the collaboration that will help your business continue to move forward during these uncertain times.

 

Please feel free to reach out to us and we can help you and your team create a more secure work-from-home experience!

8 Tips To Make Working From Home Work For You

8 Tips To Make Working From Home Work For You

At Meet Me In The Cloud, we’ve been an entirely remote company for 10 years, and so we know all the ways to make working from home productive, enjoyable, and collaborative. And during these challenging times, it helps to create a positive connection between your traditional work experience and your new work-from-home life.

So here are our 8 Quick Tips and Tricks from those who live the remote life year-round:

Have a schedule

1. Establish a start time and a finish time.

Set those boundaries with your boss and your family. You don’t have to work 24/7 simply because your office is now in your living room.

2. Kids at home? Anticipate a few disruptions!

It’s okay, everyone else has kids at home too. And when you think about those disruptions, it’s not really that different from when Donna comes by your office every morning and wants to tell you about her online internet date!

3. Plan Breaks.

You are not 100% your job – make sure you take a break for meals, for exercise, for sanity.  Especially if you now have kids at home that are also needing to do schoolwork – make sure you give yourself a few breaks to check in on them and make sure they are progressing.

4. Don’t Interrupt!

There will be times during the day when you need to video or phone conference calls and you will not want to be interrupted. Be very clear about the cues that you will use to indicate to your family when those times are: a shut door, headset is on, a red colored piece of paper at the entrance of your workspace, etc.

Prepare for the Day

5. Get Yourself Ready.

It’s easy to just roll out of bed and make the 30 second “commute” to your new work-station, but it doesn’t give you the same fresh start to the day that you usually experience. Take a shower, put on your business casual clothes, and do your hair. You’ll look the part and you’ll feel the part.

6. Eat Breakfast – It’s The Most Important Meal Of The Day!

Before your scheduled day starts, take a bit of time to have a calm cup of coffee and eat a bagel to get yourself completely ready. This way you won’t find yourself halfway through the morning starving and taking it out on everyone else in that virtual meeting!

7. Prep Your Workspace.

Clean up the area of any extra stuff from the day before, make sure you have the tools you need to get your work done (phone, chargers, pen, paper, etc.), and check to make sure your internet is working.

Take Care Of Yourself

8. Don’t Forget To Take Time for Self-Care!

Probably the most important tip! Working from home can start to have a “hermit” feel to it, so take some time during the day to take a break and experience life! Take a walk (keep that six feet distance though!), do some yoga, read a magazine on the porch, play a ball game with your kids. Do something to give yourself balance!

Please feel free to reach out to us and we can help you and your team find a perfect balance between traditional and work from home experiences!

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