The advent of digital revolution has made businesses think beyond the usual, disrupt conventional methods and carve new pathways, with enhanced perspectives of performance and productivity. One such innovation is in the form of email communication and collaboration suite or what can be called as a smart email platform. According to a McKinsey report, well-connected teams see a productivity increase of 20-25%. CMSWire reports that 97% of employees believe communication impacts their task efficacy on a daily basis. Even though almost 75% of employers rate collaboration and teamwork as “very important,” according to data from Queens University of Charlotte, 39% of employees think that people in their organization don’t collaborate enough. That’s why everyone is talking about online collaboration these days.
One company that claims to offer a highly collaborative online office solution is IceWarp, a cloud collaboration company. Currently, IceWarp is the only alternative to MS Exchange, Office 365, and G Suite.
Smruti Gandhi, Executive Editor, ISMG (henceforth SG) spoke to Pramod Sharda, CEO, IceWarp India and Middle East (henceforth PS) to get insights on the company’s journey of the years, the relevance of email and new trends in the space.
SG: Before I delve deeper into topic, can you tell us briefly about your entrepreneurial journey with IceWarp
PS: As a 22-year-old software company, IceWarp has come a long way since developing IceWarp Mail Server, an email, messaging to proving collaborative solutions along with email service for small, medium and enterprise-level businesses. With a presence in 50 countries, IceWarp has over 50 million users worldwide along with 50 thousand customers. Today, IceWarp is providing businesses with affordable, seamlessly integrated, and easy-to-use communications solutions as it covers all aspects of business collaboration and productivity.
SG: How crucial is it for businesses to prioritize video and team collaboration tools to manage a sustained working environment? Are collaboration platforms the new norm for business communication?
PS: It’s the cornerstone of both traditional and remote workplaces. When team members gel together into one cohesive unit, they’re more productive, the work environment is more conducive, and the organization flourishes. Collaborative and motivated teams that work towards a common goal perform 5x better. A Queens University study suggests that 75% of employees believe collaboration and teamwork are very important for effective communication and better performance. Overcoming barriers to teamwork and creating a collaborative work environment demands concerted effort. The collaborative values must be integrated into the entire organization’s ethos and the company would need to equip their ecosystem with integrated collaborative tools that allow engagement between colleagues seamlessly.
Social distancing requirements and stay-at-home orders required companies to adapt by restructuring their business models. As the world reopens, many companies are choosing to stay partially, if not fully remote. With this decision comes an imperative need for video collaboration to keep employees connected across states, countries, and even time zones.
SG: Why does email remain the top enterprise collaboration tool?
PS: Today there are over 4 billion email users in the world, and 306 billion emails are sent every day. That’s a volume that even the biggest instant messaging platforms or social media platforms cannot compete with. People’s inboxes are now their own personal digital homes. The future working environment will require a shift in how we communicate and collaborate. These digital tools, with email collaborations as their base, will be critical enablers for increased cross-cultural teaming. Studies suggest that virtual teaming capabilities across cultures will become significant and normative in the next five years.
SG: What are the benefits of collaboration tools in a normal new business?
PS: In recent years, the word “collaboration” has been thrown around more than ever before. Collaboration tools are indeed one of the most important aspects of any successful business strategy. There are many benefits that come along with collaboration when successfully pulled off. These inclide time savings, strengthening team relationships, better project management and a better organization.
SG: How is IceWarp helping enterprises establish a secure and connected interface as a cost-effective alternative to other products?
PS: IceWarp offers a competitive range of collaborative and secure solutions like:
- Options for Private Cloud in Indian Datacenters with Public & Private Connectivity
- Integrated Intrusion Prevention System with MDM & Account Level Security controls with 2FA
- End to End Encrypted Video Conferences with Recording & screen sharing
- Public & Private Team Chats with Free Guest Access
- Document editing with online & desktop office
- Private Messaging & Video Calls
- Outlook Compatibility & Native Desktop Client for complete synchronization of email, contacts, calendar & tasks
- Email Archiving
- Bundled Plans including protection for advanced malware, zero-hour protection & phishing, DLP, Encryption
SG: A lot of new technologies have entered the healthcare sector post-pandemic. These have also resulted in concerns around data security, privacy, etc. How do you as a technology provider provide support for the sector in such a scenario?
PS: Adoption of cloud technology for healthcare is concerned with quality assurance, data privacy, government compliance & service reliability. However, at the same time, technology has become a key differentiator, especially towards the cloud for features such as collaboration, personalized experience, Omni channel engagement, etc. IceWarp Collaboration Hub is known for delivering innovative communication tools in a cost-effective yet secure way. By leveraging IceWarp Security features such as end-to-end encrypted channels, Device Management, 2Factor Authentication, Zero Hour Protection against Spoofing & Malware attacks, companies have been able to secure confidential and sensitive data. Furthermore, IceWarp solution is GDPR + HIPAA compliant with the choice of saving data in the domestic datacenters.