While collaboration is nothing new, it is becoming increasingly important in the modern world, as we become more connected around the globe.Conversation and engagement inspires innovation, which is why collaboration has become increasingly important
Now is the time for businesses to benefit from social collaboration within enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Today’s ERP should engage employees, customers, partners, suppliers and constituents and should be mobile and socially integrated. Making it easier for staff and departments to share information and views means that skills and knowledge can be pooled, leading to quicker problem solving and project progression as well as sparking new ideas.
Why is this move towards collaboration within ERP important? It’s about becoming more responsive, reacting to challenges quicker, increasing transparency across the entire process and leveraging all the information you’ve gained in the past to avoid future problems in order to stay competitive in today’s business environment.
Enterprise collaboration is now simpler than ever before with the introduction of integrated social collaboration tools. The most modern ERP solutions are ‘ground up’ social. This means that users participate as equals in the platform, collaborating around a business object or transaction within the ERP, bringing people together from different departments to share their expertise and increase productivity. This promotes collaboration beyond the four walls of the business: opening up conversations with customers and suppliers, and access to data so that decision making is both smarter and faster.
Agile ERP solutions also allow real time user interaction- Collaboration features such as messaging, presence and notifications are available for both non ERP users (as a portal or an application)and ERP users (as an internal ERP feature).Userscan therefore choose the way they work with other users and within the system without changing environment.
In essence, the introduction of integrated social enterprise collaboration creates an environment where ideas can be shared while documenting them within the ERP so – unlike Post-It notes or telephone conversations – they’ll never be lost.
Using established social networking techniques allows users to quickly share and easily consume information from deep within the ERP as these mimic the ways in which employees interact with technology in their lives outside work. Well-known social networking concepts like message streams, hashtags, status updates, and subscriptions simplify the sharing and distribution of information, requesting advice, actions or opinions.This in turn speeds up the resolution of problems and the identificationof opportunities – essentially leveraging collective knowledge, experience and skills.
The tools provided in modern agile ERP not only offer a lot of flexibility in how businesses can collaborate, but also allow the users to personalise and choose how and when to use them. For example, users can create informal groups and work together on specific issues or projects, and then simply disperse these groups once the job is done. Users can opt in and out of information by choosing to follow ‘streams’ and receiving notifications, of any changes within the ERP related to a specific customer or project etc. In essence this is a self-service scenario where users can structure the information that they specifically want. Embedding the concept of user subscription and on demand information within the ERP is something a lot of other collaboration tools can’t offer.
Collaboration provides a competitive advantage and is essential for the future prosperity of all companies, as it provides increased transparency and joins ‘silos’ of departments together. But it’s not just for larger enterprises; smaller or medium sized organizations will benefit too, where groups of people may have overlapping areas of responsibility. Collaboration tools enable them to document information, add traceability and provide a higher level of control.
We’re not talking about the future: collaboration tools are already starting to change the way people work. Gartner estimates that, by 2016, 50% of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, 30% of which will be considered as essential as email and telephones are today. Forrester predicts that the market for social enterprise apps and related services will reach $6.4 billion in 2016.The time to benefit from collaborating from within your ERP is now!
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