In this interview, Marc Kirshbaum, CEO of Sococo, shares some insights about the organization’s unique online workplace, their unique value proposition and their roadmap for the future.
What are the challenges that CIOs face in the collaboration space and how does Sococo address those issues?
CIOs face the challenge of removing physical and virtual barriers to their team’s workflow. Most collaboration issues, from miscommunication to decision delay, stem from a physical or communication-related barrier. The way to break down these barriers is to provide colleagues with a common virtual space in which they can work, regardless of physical location. Every Sococo office is designed to enable seamless, spontaneous work that empowers colleagues to work together and achieve business goals.
Additionally, as real estate prices skyrocket, many organizations are finding the cost and hassle of working in a physical office prohibitive. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to maintain physical offices, businesses can gather around the online conference table in Sococo. Teams can get together for meetings, hold real-time breakouts and brainstorming sessions and maintain the same levels of face-to-face interaction they would have in a physical office space. Plus, they can reduce commute time and expenses to zero.
Another challenge that CIOs face is that email and other forms of asynchronous communication and collaboration are proving less effective and more time consuming, with professionals spending about 6.3 hours a day sending and receiving an average of 123 emails.
Please shed some light on Sococo’s Collaboration Solution based on its methodology, features and benefits involved.
Sococo isn’t a collaboration tool or meeting platform—it is truly the online space where distributed teams come to work. Sococo is the virtual representation of a physical office, empowering teams to “sit” side-by-side, build relationships and get work done. Working in Sococo enables distributed teams to feel present and connected as they communicate and collaborate spontaneously in their virtual office. Teams can easily collaborate face-to-face in real time and stay up to date with what’s happening across the organization by seeing their colleagues on the Sococo Map. Sococo also eliminates the need to send a meeting link or an “Are you available?” chat— employees can simply pop into a room or “Get” a teammate to instantly collaborate face-to-face. In Sococo, employees can see their colleagues’ avatars on the Sococo Map and watch and listen as they “pop” around the Map getting work done.
Sococo is the virtual representation of a physical office, allowing teams to ‘sit’ side-by-side, build relationships and get work done
In the early days of working remotely, it was difficult to identify if employees were heads-down working intently on a project, in a meeting or available to interrupt with an email or phone call. In a Sococo online workspace, leaders can encourage the kind of synchronous, real-time conversations that transform businesses. Sococo also enables social awareness as teammates “sit” in the same virtual office, which is key to keeping remote teams engaged and cohesive. In addition, employees can bring the collaboration tools they’re already using (Zoom, Slack, etc.) into Sococo to create a fully virtual communication hub.
Could you share a use case scenario wherein you helped a client overcome their challenges?
After transitioning to a fully remote workforce, leading global Agile accreditation and certification body ICAgile experienced decreased visibility, less osmotic communication, a slower feedback loop and a feeling of disconnection. The team decided to start working in a Sococo virtual office Sococo ended up becoming a vital part of their distributed Agile workflow, increasing camaraderie and communication, boosting productivity and improving visibility, all with a dash of fun.
What differentiates Sococo from its competitors?
While there are companies that provide video and audio conferencing, chat and other asynchronous solutions, no one else is bringing the entire office online in the same way that we are. In Sococo, work no longer happens in occasional chat messages or video conferences—communication and collaboration happen in real time as teammates work together in their virtual office. The Sococo Map is the main differentiator of coming to work in Sococo. One of the biggest challenges distributed teams face is a feeling of isolation and disconnection between colleagues because of a lack of meaningful daily communication. The Sococo Map, as well as the ability to communicate face-to-face at any time, replicate the proximity and personal interaction you get in a physical office environment. Teammates actually feel like they are in the same room as the person they are talking to, even if they are continents apart.
What does the future hold for your organization?
We are always working to enhance the Sococo virtual office experience and are committed to ensuring that more distributed teams and remote workers can feel connected and productive coming to work in their Sococo office. We will continue to focus on enhancements to our unique workspace that drive increased employee engagement and streamline the ability to work side-by-side regardless of physical location. At the same time, we want teams to be able to bring the communication and collaboration tools of their choice into their Sococo office. Currently, teams can launch a Zoom meeting from any Sococo conference room or leave shared documents on a conference table for future meetings—we want to expand on this and make Sococo the central virtual hub where teams’ tools and workflow intersect.