Team collaboration is driving the communications agenda
In today’s rapidly changing, mobile, disruptive and agile competitive landscape, every company (if they want to survive) will need to address the challenges around communication and collaboration, both inside and outside of your organisation. The age of the individual genius is over, the power of teams has never been stronger. Technology providers are lining up their offerings to "solve" part or all of the problem.
There is no doubt "Team Collaboration" is a hot topic, just take the recent Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando - the opening panel discussion was "Is Team Collaboration the Future of Enterprise Communications?"
But one person's choice is another's confusion and that leads to islands of collaboration.
Islands of collaboration
So let's consider the landscape today, broken down as follows:
Messaging - A textual message to an individual or group of people. The message could vary in length from a few words to sentences or paragraphs. The length of message might dictate the medium used.
Content - a piece of digital information – a file, document, spreadsheet, presentation, image or video.
Media - a real-time element, whether that be voice, video or the capability to share a screen.
Now consider how we address those elements depending on whether the person/people we want to communicate with are internal to our organisation, or external – i.e. outside our company.
Draw it up for yourself on a 3 x 2 grid, you'll probably end up with something like this:
It's a mess, requiring the user to decide which of many different tools to use depending on what they are doing, and who they are communicating with.
Even if the tools work internally, externally will be a challenge, either requiring IT intervention to make them work (e.g. Federation), or IT specifically blocking them to meet InfoSec requirements. But as they block one, the users find another app - because they just want to get stuff done.
Would life be easier, would we be more productive, more engaged and more connected if we had a one-stop shop where the technology just worked, enabling us to bring all that together?
But isn’t Email that one-stop shop…?
…or at least the place today where we spend most of our time - so let's just stick with Email?
Don't believe me? Well ask yourself this question: "Do you want to receive more Email?" - I can pretty much bet what your answer would be.
Email is broken, we all get too much. The unread count of your Inbox is your badge of honour. The higher up you are, the more important you are - the less time you have to manage your email. You orchestrate email threads trying to stitch together the fragmented discussion. You process your emails with regimental efficiency and yet when you file something in that massive folder hierarchy that made perfect sense the moment you did it, five minutes later you can't remember where you put it. We go on courses to learn how to manage our email, we stress over Inbox "Zero" - we've become professional email managers rather than focussing on getting stuff done.
Neglecting the human element
Also we can’t neglect the real time element - possibly the most important, where people come together to actually talk to each other and share their ideas.
In years gone by we would have done this in person, face to face, but in today’s global, cross boundary environment we can't. Scheduling the meeting is a whole new drama: Who needs to be there? Are they free at the specified time? Where will they be? What technology will we use to bring everyone together?
It’s time for a change – but how to choose?
So hopefully if you have got this far, you know there is a case for change. Why? Because doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
Google any of these phrases "Team Chat", "Team Messaging", "Persistent Chat", "Workstream communications". You’ll be spoilt for choice with new products in this space appearing almost daily.
Compare the vendors, and you’ll find some feature differences (how important is the degree of Emoji support to you?). But in practice, these are marginal. There’s basic table stake functionality that all the key players have to offer.
So how do you choose? The key is balancing the user experience, the feature set and the ease of use with the IT requirements around architecture, management and probably most importantly these days, security.
There is no doubt whatever solution you choose, it will (to a large degree) be mobile first and cloud. If it's cloud then your thoughts will quickly turn to the areas of security, encryption, compliance and policies.
Only Cisco Webex Teams (formerly known as Cisco Spark) addresses these challenges. It’s cloud delivered, mobile first, giving the users the capabilities they need across the collaboration modalities whether internal or external. It's delivered by one platform, has one management interface with end-to-end encryption built-in from the ground up with open APIs to extend and enhance it.
Add to this the blending of Cisco’s virtual experience together with physical rooms, and your teams can now collaborate effectively both asynchronously and synchronously from wherever they are, whatever network they are on and whatever device they are using.
Want to learn more? Contact us here at MeetingZone…..
In my next blog we'll look at how the Cisco heritage is written into the Cisco Webex DNA to deliver a quality immersive video experience that bonds people together.