Mike Brady explains how GroupWise Instant Messenger has enhanced productivity in his organization. GroupWise Instant Messenger is a secure corporate instant messenger that lets you chat about work without fear of the content being hijacked. Mike shares some nifty tricks that will boost your team’s mad collaboration skills.
When we first adopted GroupWise Instant Messenger, many people in our company thought it had minimal uses. After all, why would I need to use IM when I can use an email? Here are some ways we have found GWIM has enhanced productivity for us.
Seeing who’s in and who’s not. By checking the status of our contacts in GWIM, we can easily see who is available and who isn’t. This normally translates not just into IM, but into calling that person or visiting their desk. Chances are pretty good that people who aren’t on-line in GWIM might not be available for a visit or a phone call. It also gives an idea of where to start looking for them – if someone is not logged into Messenger, chances are we should start by calling their cell phone.
Communicating with people in less-than-ideal conditions. We have quite a few people who work on construction sites, mostly in partially finished, or finished buildings. These folks do a lot of their work in the mechanical areas of these buildings, where cell phone service just doesn’t work well. Many of these locations do have wi-fi, so our folks are able to get real time communication using GWIM, rather than wait for e-mails to go back and forth. This same principle applies to folks who do a lot of work from public places, like airports and coffee shops. These places are often too loud to carry on a conversation, or you might be discussing something that you don’t want to have other people hear. IM is perfect for these scenarios.
Sending broadcast messages. Remember the old days of sending broadcasts from the server to let users know a server was going to be shut down? Now we use our handy corporate instant messenger for that. With GWIM I am able to Ctrl-click a group of people, and send them a message. The nice part is they can reply back. So if I say to them “Hey folks, the GroupWise server is going to be off-line at lunch time for maintenance,” they can reply back with questions, and the whole group sees those messages. So the old style broadcasts are now many-to-many conversations, instead of being a one-way message.
Getting information while in phone calls. It used to be a pain when we were having a phone conversation with someone and realized we needed a piece of information from someone else, or just needed to ask someone else a question. The old method meant putting the phone on hold, or having to call the person back, while we tracked down the info. Now we just say “Oh,, let me ask our marketing person,” and are able to continue our conversation while at the same time asking the marketing person the question over IM. This same idea applies to incoming phone calls. We will often be on a long call with someone, when a new call comes in for us. The receptionist is able to IM us, and let us know we have a call. We can give instructions back to the receptionist immediately, and the person on our current call never gets interrupted.
GroupWise IM from the Blackberry. If I am going to be away at a conference (such as BrainShare in a few weeks!), or some other work-related trip, I run Blackberry Corporate IM for GroupWise on my Blackberry. This gives me GroupWise Instant Messenger in the palm of my hand. This allows me both email and the quick IM-type messages when I am out of the office. Sometimes people don’t even realize I’m not at my desk! http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/downloads/im.jsp#tab_groupwise
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