Boosting Productivity Across Global Teams
By Mark Fincham
It can be challenging to work on business documents when a number of people are involved. In fact, it can be downright frustrating for many teams—especially when they are spread around the world. This was a big challenge for us at Inmarsat, a global company that provides mission-critical communications in locations where terrestrial networks can’t reach or are ineffective.
Our global teams have global needs. That strength is reflected in the international nature of our organization. With employees stationed in offices around the world, we needed to more effectively work together to create new documents such as budgets, proposals and contracts to support our growing customer base. Such documents are critical assets that need to be managed, and we wanted our team members to be able to add and edit content, roll documents back to previous versions, provide feedback and more.
Teams across Inmarsat have adopted KnowledgeTree, cloud-based document management tools that boost collaboration, to support core business processes. We were able to implement the solution with no developers required. Now, our finance, HR, sales, marketing and vertical market teams all use these tools to improve the way they work together to produce documents.
Teams can add documents to the globally accessible KnowledgeTree repository simply by dragging and dropping files into their browsers. Colleagues then have instant access to the files no matter where they are, and they can immediately begin to edit and add to the documents.
Inmarsat’s vertical markets teams collaborate to produce statements of work and other customer-facing documents. One of the most important needs is to manage document versions. This helps teams stay focused on the latest content.
KnowledgeTree enables us to easily revert to older document versions and avoid unwanted modifications. Our team members can even subscribe to documents with a simple click of the mouse. Then, any time a colleague modifies the document, team members are alerted and can review the changes.
Collaboration accelerates the development of new business documents, and increases the quality of the documents as well. Our team members use KnowledgeTree’s Smart Feeds as a way to share input into a document, since colleagues can comment on a document in a dynamic “activity feed.” This lets team members and the document owner identify suggestions for improving the quality of the document. Rather than depending on comments embedded within dozens of document files, feedback is visible and centralized on the document view page.
Metadata let our team members easily apply customized descriptions to their documents, making it easy to organize content in a way that makes sense to everyone on the team. They can tag their documents with tailored metadata such as project number, expiration date and more.
For Inmarsat, documents are valuable assets. With KnowledgeTree, our team members can create, organize and manage documents from anywhere. That translates into a huge productivity boost for our global team.
Mark Fincham is chief information and communications technology architect of Inmarsat. He focuses on steering the company's IT and digital strategy in the following key areas: access and identity management, portals and mobile digital platforms.