What’s Next in Col­lab­o­ra­tion?

Or­ga­ni­za­tions to­day have moved away from ques­tion­ing the need and use for col­lab­o­ra­tion tech­nol­ogy. In­stead, it is pro­lif­er­a­tion that is high on the list of con­cerns – how to equip and de­ploy, how to scale up or down as nec­es­sary, how to ac­count for the d

Voice&Data - - COLUMN -

Pres­i­dent, Poly­com Asia Pa­cific

In re­cent times, we’ve seen some in­cred­i­ble col­lab­o­ra­tion in­no­va­tions come to life and the na­ture of work rapidly change. What has been very clear is that sig­nif­i­cant ad­vance­ments in ‘any­where, any­time’ col­lab­o­ra­tion, and the evo­lu­tion of work­places and workspaces are be­ing seen glob­ally.

To­day’s cus­tomers not only have greater free­dom and flex­i­bil­ity of choice for their col­lab­o­ra­tion needs, but open en­vi­ron­ments have re­placed tra­di­tional meet­ing rooms with hot desks and shared spa­ces.

With that, tra­di­tional room-based con­fer­enc­ing tech­nol­ogy is pro­gress­ing to ser­vice th­ese spa­ces whether they are con­trolled, per­sonal, or open en­vi­ron­ments. Sim­i­larly, the very na­ture of work teams has also changed; projects tend to scale down the num­ber of peo­ple in­volved and this dy­namic is driv­ing per­sonal, small group in­ter­ac­tions – very of­ten across dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions to­day have moved away from ques­tion­ing the need and use for col­lab­o­ra­tion tech­nol­ogy. In­stead, it is pro­lif­er­a­tion that is high on the list of con­cerns – how to equip and de­ploy in ev­ery space, how to scale up or down as nec­es­sary, how to ac­count for the dif­fer­ent modal­i­ties re­quired, and so on.

The key for ven­dors here is to bring all the pieces of the puz­zle to­gether and pro­vide a cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence that is con­sis­tent, un­in­ter­rupted, and as pain­less as pos­si­ble.

Some re­quire­ments for ef­fec­tive and pro­duc­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion re­main the same: con­nec­tiv­ity, rich me­dia, and ac­cess to con­tent are a given. As we ap­proach 2016, here are some thoughts on what lies next for col­lab­o­ra­tion in APAC:

Through­out his­tory, nat­u­ral hu­man col­lab­o­ra­tion and in­ter­ac­tion in most so­cial set­tings are con­ducted ‘in the round’ – con­ver­sa­tions around din­ner ta­bles, team hud­dles be­fore a game, brain­storms to solve prob­lems and cre­ate new ideas. How­ever, tra­di­tional video col­lab­o­ra­tion sys­tems have par­tic­i­pants seated side by side at a rec­tan­gu­lar con­fer­ence ta­ble, lead­ing to a ‘tun­nel vi­sion’ style of in­ter­ac­tion.

The far-end and in-room ex­pe­ri­ence is now chang­ing; by putting cam­eras and dis­plays at the cen­tre of a workspace, smaller groups of peo­ple can draw to­gether into a col­lab­o­ra­tive cir­cle.

New so­lu­tions are de­vel­oped with this in mind, with hu­man-cen­tred de­sign for use in open space en­vi­ron­ments as well as tra­di­tional meet­ing rooms.

They will also in­cor­po­rate fea­tures such as in­tel­li­gent 360-de­gree video, au­to­matic mut­ing and noise block­ing, and ad­vanced cam­era tech­nolo­gies which frame the ac­tive speaker, en­sur­ing nat­u­ral hu­man in­stincts are a key con­sid­er­a­tion for im­prov­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion tools.

A re­cent re­search re­port showed that a typ­i­cal en­ter­prise uses over 1,100 dif­fer­ent cloud-based apps for col­lab­o­ra­tion and file shar­ing.

The range of apps is ex­plod­ing and they are be­ing cre­ated to help sup­port how peo­ple get work done. New so­lu­tions which stitch to­gether work­flows that go through th­ese apps –‘cloud on cloud’ so­lu­tions so to speak – are set to rise in the fu­ture. In the real-time col­lab­o­ra­tion space, op­por­tu­ni­ties are open­ing up to in­te­grate au­dio, video and con­tent within work­flows in the cloud, mak­ing it faster and eas­ier to de­ploy to mul­ti­ple cus­tomers at once.

This model would elim­i­nate the need for soft­ware dis­tri­bu­tion and re­mote sup­port to cus­tomers on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis. In­stead, up­grades and im­prove­ments can be man­aged from one cen­tral data cen­tre as a faster and con­tin­u­ous process.

Imag­ine a time when a cus­tomer can sim­ply call up to sign up for a ser­vice that pro­vides a full suite

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