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Technology Trends Driving Adoption of Collaboration Tools
By Andy Nallappan, CIO & VP Global Technology & Services Organization Broadcom Inc.
For me, digital transformation is nothing but a frictionless and enabling experience with a transaction, activity, or process. Collaboration platforms are at the forefront of digital transformation. Not only are collaboration platforms crucial in day to day business operations but also play a critical role in the growth of a corporation. In my opinion, it plays a significant role in making the Smarter, Faster, Better strategy possible.
Traditional collaboration tools have lacked integration. Some examples are stand-alone email; disparate video, audio conferencing, and web content sharing systems; independent chat; and finally document sharing via attachments or independent document sharing tools. These non-integrated tools have caused non-cohesive communications, multiple versions of documents, and vulnerability to data leaks. To address the need, we see the emergence of a much needed frictionless Team Space Collaboration Platform with secure, controlled, and integrated communications channels and a centralized data repository.
Many corporations have a multitude of technologies to collaborate and many have siloed tools adopted by only a few divisions and functions. It is very important to have a corporate strategy for a standard and secured collaboration platform enforced across the enterprise. For a collaboration platform to provide a frictionless experience, it must encompass the following qualities:
● Forward looking. It must constantly be improving, adapting and scaling - all seamlessly.
It is important to secure the environment for employees, suppliers, and customers allowing them to collaborate without compromising data security or data privacy
● Intuitive. The platform must deliver a consistent experience on any device anywhere anytime.
● Millennial friendly. The Millennial workforce expect a consumer-like social-media collaboration experience in the workplace.
● Robust and reliable. The system must demonstrate high availability that supports critical business operations including sales, customer success, supply chain, and engineering.
● High quality. This is especially important during video calls and online document collaboration to deliver the best frictionless experience.
● Focused on QoS (Quality of Service). Network bandwidth and the user interface play a key role in this regard.
● Seamless. Wireless connectivity for presentations supporting any device and avoiding cable-clutter is one example.
● Driven by a “cloud first” strategy. This allows the platform to easily scale and evolve continuously with minimal adoption effort of new features. It also facilitates and simplifies High Availability, Disaster Recovery, and collaboration from anywhere, using any device and at any time.
● Interoperable. Platforms must integrate with other platforms within and without the organization.
● Have a global footprint. Localization in terms of local language and translations are critical for multinational enterprises such as Broadcom.
● Include video-based collaborations. Video engages employees more deeply as they can observe the body language of their collaborators. This minimizes miscommunications especially when collaborating with multicultural & multilingual teams across the globe.
● Easy to see. Highly visible function displays make it easier to connect/disconnect and improve the in-call experience.
With a Team Space Collaboration Platform, documents, conversation and sensitive information are shared across the cloud and internet. Moreover, people have the ability to connect from any location on any device. Therefore, it is important to secure the environment for employees, suppliers, and customers allowing them to collaborate without compromising data security or data privacy. A secure environment also helps prevent intellectual property theft and ensures compliance with all local regulations such as GDPR. Collaboration tools (like file sharing, texting, conferencing, etc) can be vulnerable and easily compromised when not secured. Enforcement of single sign-on across the platform with multi-factor authentication and traceability is critical. Enabling DLP, monitoring, alerts, and policies enforcement are also some of the required key components.
For corporations with siloed and disconnected toolsets, establishing a common platform while enforcing standards and policies across the organization will not only improve users experience but also drive higher ROI. Not all collaboration technology provides a high quality and intuitive experience due to QoS challenges over the internet, latency, performance, etc. Presentation sharing is one of the biggest challenges. Participants waste an average of 10 to 15 minutes resolving cumbersome connectivity and network challenges. Such issues can devolve a well planned meeting to a frustrating, productivity-free experience. Such interactions with customers or partners can drive negative brand perception.
Hence, it is critical to architect a cohesive, intuitive, frictionless, secured Team Space Collaboration Platform with ease of accessibility, high resilience, high availability, and a guaranteed quality of service.
Collaboration Platform must Enable, Enhance, and Empower the people and the corporation.