Remember the old “This file is locked for editing by another user” error message you’d get when trying to open a document across a file share? Thank goodness those days are over. If you’re still getting that error message, it doesn’t have to be this way!
The wonderful world of co-authoring.
If you’ve ever imagined being able to work on a document with others at the same time, imagine no more. The latest versions of Microsoft Office, when used in conjunction with SharePoint and/or Office Web Apps allows you to “co-author” with other team members.
It’s a tool we use often in our organisation. Particularly useful when we’re working on a proposal or requirements gathering documentation, we’re able to have two or more people accessing the same document. As we make and save our individual changes to a document that we’ve stored in our Document Management System (DMS) on SharePoint, these individual changes become available to any other team member’s working on the document.
We can chat to each other via Lync about the changes we’re making and because of SharePoint, our information is available to us anywhere we have Internet access. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the same office or working on a document from different parts of Australia or even overseas. Wherever we are, co-authoring works!
Solving business problems with technology.
The cool thing about co-authoring is that it actually helps address some fairly common business problems, such as:
Increase response time on proposals – Co-authoring makes creating and editing documents in collaboration with your team quick and easy. This has a direct impact on your ability to shorten the turnaround time on business proposals or other deliverables. Anything that can shorten your response time increases your competitive advantage.
Improve your ability to delegate or handover – being able to join your team members on a Lync call while you all view and edit a document together increases your ability to effectively delegate individual tasks that may be required to complete the project as a whole, or explain and handover projects with certainty that the page you’re all on is the same one.
Document version control – Co-authoring ensures that one version of the document can be updated by multiple people at the same time. You’re no longer compelled to email drafts of documents around to team members who then edit them individually, creating a bunch of different versions of the same document. Instead, you have a single point of truth saved in your SharePoint DMS, that team member’s access and work on collaboratively.
Co-authoring is just one of the many features built into modern productivity tools. For more detailed information on how co-authoring works, visit the Office.com website or call one of our consultants for more details.
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