Intuitive Collaboration: A Modern Business Collaboration Solution
Collaboration is driving the next wave of business growth, innovation and productivity. By deploying secure, inter-company collaboration solutions—across video, voice, presence, instant messaging and email—employees can access information from any application or device, at any time and from any location.
Examples of specific applications that make up the collaboration suite include: conferencing, enterprise social networking, telepresence, messaging, mobile applications, video and IP communications.
At MCPc, we believe that collaboration needs to become intuitive—an engrained element of business technology and operations—for companies to compete and thrive in the modern business world.
The Driving Need for Change
A new collaboration experience is needed to address today’s business complexities. Consider the following trends:
- Globalization—No matter what size, almost all businesses work with outside suppliers, partners, clients or contractors across the country or globe. This has forced a shift in where, when and how people work.
- Influx of data—Information comes from multiple sources, devices and applications, often in real time. Employees increasingly need help sifting through this information to find what’s relevant to them.
- Worker mobility—With technology advances, distributed workforces and flex schedules, not all workers come into the office any longer, demanding more robust collaboration functionality.
- Consumerization—Employees continue to bring new devices and applications, such as smartphones and Facebook, into the workplace.
As these trends continue to impact organizations, they will make the workplace more:
- Visual—Inherently video based.
- Virtual—Converged with VDI/virtualized endpoints.
- Mobile—Requiring a consistent user experience across devices and locations.
- Social—Leveraging social networking principles in enterprise settings.
The result is that organizations will need to deploy solutions that bridge communications-centric systems, web 2.0 capabilities and today’s text and document-centric systems to make the user experience consistent and transparent across platforms.
Developing a Collaboration Strategy
The key to creating any collaboration strategy is to focus on the user experience. In doing so, some factors to keep in mind include:
- Open architecture—By creating an open, interoperable infrastructure, all devices and applications can utilize the same collaborative services.
- Inter-company collaboration—Organizations need to be able to work with partners, suppliers, customers and others outside the firewall. Collaboration tools should enable this, securely.
- Video communications—Video is becoming a transformative element that will permeate the entire business world.
- Enterprise social networking—Fluid, ad-hoc communities will evolve the way people work and interact within organizations, as they offer ease of use, speed and ubiquity.
- Flexible deployment models—Both the enterprise network and the cloud will play key roles in enabling a comprehensive collaboration platform. Companies should blend the best of both worlds.
Collaboration Business Benefits
With a collaboration strategy, businesses can experience a range of benefits, including:
- Reduced travel, saving time and money.
- Increased speed to market, as partners, suppliers, customers and others can work together in real time to finalize products, business direction, plans and more.
- Reduced energy consumption, supporting green initiatives.
- Improved customer service through faster response times and greater accessibility, using the customers’ preferred communication methods.
- Better productivity and efficiency as people will have access to the information they need when they need it.
- Improved knowledge sharing and training.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Are you using intuitive collaboration solutions within your organization? Why or why not?
- What business benefits have you experienced?
- What challenges have you faced?
Darin Haines is Group President of MCPc's Advanced Technology Group, focusing on solution delivery, and has over 16 years of experience in leading the technology function in mid-sized and enterprise-level organizations. Connect with Darin on LinkedIn.
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