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Enterprise Collaboration – The New Normal



I recently authored a blog that discussed today’s state of Enterprise Collaboration.  It detailed how the collaboration industry has spent time sharing and laughing at a new comedic video that portrays a conference call in real life where people bounce in and out, very few ideas get shared, and everyone wastes time because the call is unproductive.  It seems that everyone has been having a belly-laugh at how funny this situation has been, as opposed to feeling ashamed that this conference call technology is the best we’ve been able to give our enterprise clients.

Old-school technology providers have gotten so far into the rut of delivering only the solutions that they know how to deliver, that they just keep right-on delivering them - regardless of how poorly they perform.  These providers build the same rooms that they built twenty years ago when there were no smart phones, no tablets and everyone just went to the same office and sat at the same desk every day.  When the user experience is poor they blame the end users for not understanding how the technology works. 

My blog detailed a list of current practices that have to change to take conferencing to the next level of competence:

  • Conference rooms need to stop relying on custom programming to control and training to operate. 
  • Complex, custom-designed rooms need to be the exception going forward, not the rule.
  • Interactive whiteboards, if needed, must be much simpler to operate than current industry norms. 
  • We have to stop thinking about our meetings (and our client’s meetings) as videoconferences and/or audio conferences. We are having meetings – with people.  Video, audio, data sharing and collaboration should just work – on whatever device you happen to have nearby – all the time - easily. 

How will we get to this new normal?  We will with an understanding and acceptance that the nature of communication and collaboration have changed.  People now expect access to their data all the time – anywhere – on whatever device they happen to have with them. 

  • Organizations will need to support next-generation wireless solutions and access points throughout their offices.
  • Providers will need to understand that home based broadband connections will become the de-facto access to work.  We are experiencing, for the first time in history, people better equipped to work from their homes than from their offices. Tools to manage, monitor and troubleshoot home connections are going to be much more important going forward.
  • Managed services from ICT organizations will need to include these new standard modalities.  Service providers will have to rely upon them to deliver promised SLAs.

Smartphones are video and collaboration devices. Tablets are video and collaboration devices.  Desks are not always going to be in offices and, most importantly, work is what you do, not where you go.  This new normal is already profoundly impacting how the industry move forward.  Are you preparing and partnering as needed to meet these new challenges?

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