Typically, the downfall when working with a group is a lack of communication between the different members or even various departments. Throughout this series, we have provided you with ideas and tools that could help you improve your team’s communication. Whether through cloud-based solutions or data management software, there’s a wide variety of solutions to ensure that your team is communicating well throughout the product lifecycle. In this article of our series, we are going to explore different chat tools, their capabilities and how they can help your teams stay connected.
Microsoft Teams is the chat solution integrated into the existing Microsoft Office infrastructure. You’re able to reference files saved on SharePoint or even edit Excel sheets directly inside of Teams. Additionally, Wikis can be created to hold relevant information and documents that can be quickly accessed by team members at any point. Not only can you share files and chat with coworkers, but entire meetings can be hosted for a company with video feeds for each attendee. However, notifications in teams can be tricky, and their timing is not the best. Notifications get sent straight to your inbox and need to be turned on for each channel. The schedule is nonsequential, so sometimes the newer messages get buried behind old messages with new replies.
Discord is a solution more pointed at online communities, but that doesn’t mean it's not ideal for inter-departmental communication. Discord allows for servers to be set up with different channels within the server. Members in the server can have different roles (management, quality, engineering) that will have different access levels (view, edit, post) for the channels in the server much like SOLIDWORKS PDM. Like Microsoft Teams, Discord supports voice and video group calls for virtual meetings but also supports open voice channels where users can leave and join in serving as a “virtual breakroom.” On the downside, notifications tend to stack as they come in, so to avoid important messages from being missed, users can ping individual users, roles, or even entire channels to get the attention of the intended audience.
Slack is the "team-first" communication tool created by Slack Technologies. Like most chat tools, it organizes conversations into different channels to be set up by office locations, departments, or even specific project groups. Messages and files in these channels maintain the order in which they were sent and are accessible to anyone with credentials. This means that the history stays intact while being fully searchable. Files shared within a channel can have a comment chain attached to declutter the main message board further. While Teams integrates into Office products, Slack offers integration from Google Docs, GoToMeeting and even live Twitter updates directly into a channel's messages. However, when you give a group of engineers a bunch of fancy toys, then, of course they are going to play with them. Just like with any other chat tool, information overload can become a serious issue with Slack. when you have a larger team in a channel.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps to connect people, data, solutions and ideas under one single platform. With applications like 3DSwym, you can create internal or external groups that encompass all areas of your business from marketing, sales, designers and manufacturing. These groups can share posts in a feed, comment or react to the posts and even share files internally or externally. Posts can also have different tags to differentiate questions and ideas from normal posts. Each user in a group can have specific roles assigned to them to keep permissions and a chain of command intact. The files uploaded to 3DEXPERIENCE can make use of 3DSpace to control the revision history of any file type to ensure no mistakes with incorrect versions appear. Additionally, users on the platform can create group chats to share files privately. The platform allows for large groups of individuals, internally and externally, to work in a collaborative space while utilizing the entire 3DEXPERIENCE suite.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform can appropriately support discussions and accountability from your Market Research Teams all the way to your Production Teams. Another 3DEXPERIENCE cloud solution that can be a secret ingredient to improve communication with all stakeholders of a project is Communities. By setting up Communities within the platform, you can address your intended audience just like you would with popular social platforms. The posts and updates in your Communities app can elicit different types of interactions from your colleagues depending on who’s included and the type of details you want to share.
Some of the features in the 3DEXPERIENCE Communities include:
- Creating blog articles and command attention using @tags in Posts
- Brainstorming new product lines or solutions to new problems using Ideas
- Uploading pictures, audio, 3D models, etc. to preview using Media
- Liking an individual’s to-do list, creating a team’s WeDo task list
- Posting a question to the community and identifying a comment as the answer
- Sharing knowledge and keeping shared content updated using wikis
- Creating multiple choice, single choice or open answer surveys
These types of posts can be sorted and are easily identifiable by anyone at any time, ensuring no one is left behind or out of the loop. Thanks to the flexibility of the cloud, your collaboration is not limited to being at your desk.
There’s a variety of chat tools that can help you keep your team communicating. Through sharing files, hosting video calls and the ability to chat with each other, the different groups in your company can ensure a smooth and successful product creation.
We keep getting a lot of questions regarding the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and all its capabilities. Check out our on-demand webinar to discover the answers to the most popular questions about this cloud-based software.