Are fluid workplaces the key to collaboration?
In the current battle to dominate the unified collaboration space in the enterprise workplace between Microsoft Skype for Business and Cisco Spark, decisions must be made on the needs and workflows of the users.
In our previous two blogs, we have looked at why so many companies are looking at Skype for Business and/or Spark to deliver the next stage of their communications strategy. We also discussed why 80% of collaboration projects failed to meet business objectives.
In this blog, we want to look at the changing workspace environment (a much-discussed topic), but really pull out what it is that Skype for Business and Spark can offer users, and why it is so important.
It is very clear that next generation unified collaboration solutions are making it easier for enterprises to connect users to the applications and services they need to be effective and productive. This factor is being driven by three specific trends:
- Integrated collaboration going mainstream
Companies want integrated collaboration tools that deliver instant messaging, audio and video communication, file sharing and more, through a single application. Effectiveness through collaboration is increased when the need to have multiple programs running is removed, and when people can jointly edit documents in real time via video, rather than having to continuously email backwards and forwards.
- Persistent chat in the business space
Instant messaging has been around for a long number of years. 2016 saw a massive rise in the use of workplace chat, and now in 2017 we have seen the introduction of persistent chat; and in particular, persistent chat that allows groups to work on projects within spaces. The ability to have a continuous chat conversation going that can be viewed from any device allows participants to pick up where they left off, share documents and easily continue the conversation without the need for reminders.
- Increasing demand for video-enabled collaboration
Today’s workers expect to be able to engage in video collaboration with colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers in support of their day-to-day business activities, much in the same way as they do in their consumer lives using video-chat applications like WhatsApp, FaceTime or SnapChat. Video conferencing with remote users, makes them feel more engaged in the meeting, drives a stronger team culture and greater unity. It eliminates presence disparity.
What is driving these trends? A report from Forrester in 2016 showed that key areas such as improved operational efficiency, changing the customer’s experience and expectations and reducing costs were just some of the targets that companies were trying to achieve.
When you consider that the users of the unified collaboration technology are actually the customers of this technology then it is their wants and needs that are playing a big part in the overall change.
Our desire as employees to continuously work smarter (faster and more efficiently), will continue to drive what we see as technology that works for us out side of the office, into the office. This means that Microsoft and Cisco will need to continue to enhance the offerings of Skype for Business and Spark.
Which is right for your business? That is where the 20 years of expertise of Videocall will help. We can analyse the way your internal customers use collaboration tools, and help create the road map for where they and the business want to get to. From the analysis, we can discuss what will achieve the best results, and what will deliver the business objectives so often being failed.
Download our latest comprehensive whitepaper on the subject to find out more – Microsoft Skype for Business vs Cisco Spark: The Enterprise Collaboration Battleground.