By Chris Drew
I first noticed the importance of email integration for workplace collaboration early on in my career, when I worked as a litigation lawyer in a private practice. I noticed that when my lawyer colleagues would go on holiday, there was always the constant worry as to whether the people left behind in the office would be able to cover for them and pick up cases easily. They would have to forward endless emails and files to make sure colleagues had everything in their inbox to prevent some crucial piece of information from falling through the cracks. This created unnecessary stress for the people who were supposed to be taking a well-earned break and made it more difficult for their colleagues to predict their own workload and capacity in their teammate’s absence.
When I joined Iken in 2009, I could see the technology’s potential for team collaboration instantly. Iken’s knowledge management tool is fully integrated with Outlook, and a host of other Microsoft Office applications. This means everything is in one place, which makes collaborative working far simpler. There’s no need to worry about storing emails or constructing complicated filing systems.
Here are five ways Iken facilitates collaborative working:
It’s intuitive, so you won’t have to re-learn a tool you’re familiar with. Iken works in the background, integrating fully with Microsoft Office and drawing together all your existing files and interactions to make searching for the information you need simple for anyone in your team.
It’s easy to add permissions on an individual basis and restrict access to sensitive files, ensuring confidentiality and discretion. This complex security model is in-built within the system and can be tailored to fit your organisation so that everyone has the access they need at the appropriate level. This can range from full access or read-only to total discretion, where the case can only be found by a few defined stakeholders.
Full integration with Outlook, Word and Excel means you can continue to use these as your core applications, and can set up categories and rules for email and documents that work with your Iken system. These integrations are subtly implemented, so you will recognise everything already and click the buttons you normally would, without it feeling invasive.
Iken’s usefulness becomes clear as you work with it. When you’re away from your desk and a colleague gets a call related to one of your cases or projects, they can access your imported Outlook emails and the documents you’re working on instantly. The efficiency benefits are huge. How many times do you get a call about someone else’s work and have to spend time looking for something? Retrieving a document can waste precious time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Multiple people in your team can add comments to the same matter, offering advice and encouraging collaboration. Siloed working and its associated downsides is vastly reduced as a result.