Enabling social interaction to improve collaboration

  • Social interaction increasingly influences the decision-making process of employees, customers, and suppliers.

  • Ideas can be vetted earlier and acted upon more quickly via social collaboration.

  • Social analytics can help you understand the perspective of target groups.

Social media has been one of the defining trends of the last decade, as tightly coupled interaction increasingly influences how we make decisions. Most businesses, however, have yet to take advantage of social media’s popularity.

Adoption of social techniques internally for most organizations will increase in the coming year. One technique to facilitate this is Unified Communications Capabilities (UCC). UCC plays an important role, because it can lower costs and improve the quality of connecting through instant messaging, conferencing, email, and voice calling.

From a social perspective, improving communications and collaboration is not about a single product or initiative, but about a different way to enable interaction between the business, its employees, and even suppliers and customers. Applying social techniques in this context enables better and faster decisions, since ideas can be shared and vetted earlier and action taken more quickly.


social team


 Analytic techniques to influence decisions

Once an organization has improved connections, even higher value options are available. The use of analytic techniques makes it possible to employ methods such as sentiment analysis to understand the perspective of large groups, and influence business areas such as marketing and customer support.

Another analytic-based approach is gamification, which facilitates behavioral changes of people throughout the ecosystem that are based on metrics and aligned to goals. These can be applied alongside UCC to take it further — the computing capabilities are there, so applying them to collaboration is inevitable.

Tech devices offer new ways to interact

The way people interact with devices is shifting with a range of new possibilities, including haptic feedback, augmented, and virtual reality (with products such as Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens on the horizon). Additionally, there is the impact of mobility on how businesses work, since we can now work pretty much anywhere, on a wide range of devices.

Video is being standardized and included in most browsers. This allows organizations to shift their focus from moving atoms to facilitate meetings to moving bits. The result is a higher bandwidth of interaction while reducing travel costs. Business collaboration strategies should enable increased support for greater contextual understanding within the enterprise, no matter where the employee is located. This change should significantly increase productivity and reduce response time, allowing people to take better control of their decision-making processes.

Business collaboration is expanding in new ways as it moves beyond human interaction to collaboration with machines, models, and information. The Internet of Things (IoT) will allow businesses to mine the connections and facilitate information flow and associations in ways that were not possible before. Most organizations have only just started to touch on these possibilities.

There is no shortage of technology options that organizations can leverage for collaboration and improved decision making. Understanding the possibilities and how they support your goals will help determine your success going forward.

Learn more about AT&T Unified Communications capabilities and the Internet of Things solutions.

Charlie Bess IT Consultant Sponsored Post About Charlie

Charlie Bess is an independent IT Consultant. He is the author of this blog and all opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.