Team collaboration apps allow NeuGroup members to safely share and learn from a distance during the pandemic.
Most forward-looking treasury professionals (like our NeuGroup members) have been using web-based team communication tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams and others for years. But the onset of Covid has expanded their use within corporate suites—and these days dining room tables—creating a unique test laboratory to explore how they might be incorporated even more into daily use.
- In addition to Slack and Teams, NeuGroup uses SalesForce community portals, which currently host most of NeuGroup’s 25 peer groups for member interaction and shop talk.
- NeuGroup jumped at the opportunity to experiment with these various channels over the past several months, allowing members to utilize new, accessible ways to share and learn together.
A matter of preference. There are certainly pluses and minus to each platform, with members already utilizing and developing preferences for the various options.
- Entire articles compare and contrast the competing features (use of bots, security, integration, availability to guests, pricing, etc.) but the comparison, for now, could be oversimplified to the opinion that Teams is stronger in integration with the ubiquitous MS Office apps and other business applications, while Slack is more familiar to younger workers and (in many people’s minds) easier and more intuitive to use.
- NeuGroup’s approach has been to be largely agnostic to those arguments and is focused on providing the tools that best allow our members to talk directly to one another and share best practices real-time.
Continuously updating. Staying up to date and experimenting with these tools will be critical as the sector quickly evolves.
- Lately, multiple articles are tracking rapid growth of the more recently introduced Microsoft Teams tool (launched in 2017), as it passed Slack (launched in 2013) in market share.
- Slack has responded by pursuing a merger with Salesforce – a potentially game-changing move.
Topic-based collaboration. Regardless of that battle, NeuGroup has had great success using these tools to quickly share articles of interest, create small working groups on specific topics including LIBOR to SOFR, TMS systems, ESG, and other sector-specific issues.
- These tools allow for informal direct connections, pop-up collaboration meetings, and instant requests for connections to needed subject matter experts.
- All the tools also allow for “profile” sections where members can easily get to know each other and build camaraderie—a critical attribute during Covid.
Tools are just tools. NeuGroup has found that no matter the instrument, the key to success is curating discussions, maintaining well-organized and defined ecosystems within the system (including the art of defining the “right” level of detail for sub-channels), and building an environment of trust, and gentle “pushing” to keep our members engaged with the tool. We have found that, despite the explosion of dazzling fintech tools and communications vehicles, the human touch of personal, trusted interaction remains the most critical factor in creating valuable peer-to-peer relationships.