Is app switching interrupting your work?

  • Posted on July 26, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Microsoft Collaborative Apps

You’re looking for a message a colleague sent you. But is it in your email, your chat or elsewhere? In which of a dozen folders could it be hiding? Do you reach out to a supplier or partner via the conferencing functionality in your project software, an internet phone call, your company’s collaboration platform or a vendor’s web conferencing software? Or do you just contemplate all these options and have a good cry?

Too often, the solutions that are supposed to increase your efficiency actually make you less efficient. The average worker can only cope with four user interfaces before productivity declines. Yet, employees actually have to wrestle with an average of 88 applications. It’s a recipe for failure.

Not challenging enough for you? Throw hybrid work into the mix (thanks, pandemic!). More people now split their workweek between home and office. They need the same, secure access to their colleagues and resources regardless of where they are. They also need secure access to partners outside the organization to address supply chain disruptions and other pressing needs.

The good news – and yes, there is good news – is that you can address these challenges without major purchases of technology, simply by driving more value from the technologies you already have.

The democratization of collaboration
Office workers have long been the primary (but not only) audience for digital collaboration tools. Now, forward-thinking companies are focusing on ways to bring other employees more firmly into the collaboration tent, including frontline workers, contact center agents, field service technicians, healthcare clinicians, warehouse and distribution employees and others. Employers are giving them the same access to digital tools, devices and collaboration platforms that office workers have long had. Think of it as the democratization of collaboration.

This push for broader collaboration is likely to succeed because it comes from the very top of the organization: the C-suite:

  • Chief operating officers (COO) and the lines of business that report to the COO want to boost process efficiency, reconfigure how work gets done and adapt work environments to improve customer experience and business performance.
  • Chief information officers (CIO) are painfully aware that years or decades of deferring capital expenses have left them with a mix of inefficient legacy systems. Their ability to stitch together effective collaboration solutions in this environment has grown thin – and they don’t want and can’t afford massive rip-and-replace projects.
  • Chief human resource officers (CHRO) see better collaboration as a way to contribute to the personalized work experiences that will help counter the effects of the Great Resignation.

These CxOs and their C-suite colleagues want a collaboration environment that reduces the number of apps their employees must juggle. They want to bring together diverse backend systems, stakeholders and business processes to speed and automate the most tiresome activities. A better employee experience is not the only benefit. Eliminating app switching can also help them streamline workflows, reduce costs, increase productivity and ultimately, improve the customer experience.

And they’re about to get what they want.

Avanade and Microsoft collaborate on… collaboration
For the past year, we’ve been working to implement Microsoft’s vision of collaborative apps that simplify, centralize and standardize collaboration tools while broadening their availability to the entire organization. Collaborative apps work with the technologies you likely already have and in the digital workspaces you likely already use. That includes homegrown systems, non-Microsoft platforms and the full stack of Microsoft technologies, especially Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365. No rip-and-replace, no massive new investments. And, consistent with the goal to democratize collaboration, they’re easy for the people who use them – and not just your IT staff – to customize.

We’ve also been working with Microsoft behind the scenes on collaboration controls, a type of collaborative app that brings intelligent workflows to the collaboration platform. With collaboration controls, you can foster collaboration on key business processes and track stakeholder interactions. Microsoft announced collaboration controls at the recent Microsoft Build, and they’re now available as a preview.

In our next blog, we’ll talk about how you can benefit from collaborative apps and collaboration controls in industry-specific scenarios.

Learn more about how better collaboration can help your organization or contact us to schedule a conversation.

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