4 ways collaboration is changing the workplace

  • PC and mobile operations have become one - your company needs to concentrate on which services fit your companies needs.

  • Video services are being integrated with business apps and are perfect for collaboration and capturing data.

As the collaboration market has matured, the dialogue has changed from describing the technology to describing the value. How collaboration technologies save money and increase efficiencies are still discussed, but business leaders are increasingly looking for ways that collaboration will change the workplace. The future of work has always been described as information moving freely across the company. What’s different in 2015? The devices, services, and types of information in the collaboration ecosystem have expanded. Effectively:

  1. Mobile humanized collaboration. Unified communications and video services were ported to mobile devices years ago, but they were clunky and ugly. Consumer mobile apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook have enticed people to communicate and collaborate using images, video, text, and emoticons. Employees now expect these types of services in the workplace. The concepts from these simple services have forced collaboration vendors and service providers to improve their user interface and simplify the process of connecting and collaborating.
  2. Mobile isn’t an overlay, it’s part of everything. People are using mobile devices in every aspect of their lives. The launch of Windows 10 ushers in an era where the PC and mobile operating systems are one. Consumers and employees expect their services to follow them seamlessly across a range of screen sizes that span from smartwatches to TV. The good news, today’s rich collaboration services can do this. If you aren’t using the latest tools, you aren’t leveraging the benefits of mobility.
  3. Video breaks free from the conference room. Corporate video services used to be tied to a conference room and the average person had difficulty placing a video call. Today, cloud based video services make it easy for any employee to connect across their company and with other companies. Increasingly, these video services are being integrated with business apps, such as CRM and field service apps, to improve data capture and collaboration. Standards-based services are making this possible.
  4. The Internet has evolved to the Internet of Things (IoT).  Whether you call it IoT, Internet of Everything, or Internet of My Things, consumers and companies will live in a world where billions of things are connected. These IoT connects will provide new data sources that will enhance collaboration. For example, a piece of manufacturing equipment could alert both the plant manager and the equipment manager of a problem simultaneously via text or an automated phone call. It could launch a video session with an off-site technician or automatically update a service history record.

What should you do today? It’s time to reevaluate your mobile service plans to make sure all of your connected employees have the right data plan. You should evaluate cloud services as a method of keeping collaboration services up to data. Finally, IT should look for opportunities to link sensor data and new data that will be found in big data marketplaces to their company’s collaboration services and applications.

Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. All opinions are her own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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