SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Joe Berger
Joe has worked in the unified communication and collaboration space for the past 16 years, with a primary focus on...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Joe Berger | March 14, 2018 |

 
   

Why Team Collaboration Is On the Rise

Why Team Collaboration Is On the Rise Changing workplace dynamics is leading to more teamwork... and team tools.

Changing workplace dynamics is leading to more teamwork... and team tools.

I've been in this industry for quite some time, and I've seen how it's evolved.

For the past 15-plus years I've in some way or another been a part of what we refer to as collaboration. I witnessed the rise of "UC," with all its various definitions. I've seen video conferencing get hot, and then cold, and then get hot again. And I've seen conferencing go from 43 cents a minute to nearly free. In general, this industry has aimed to do one main thing (besides make money), and that's to create better experiences that help get our jobs done -- such as reduction in travel, or increased efficiency in business communications.

Over the past couple of years, a shift in the way we work has occurred. We've moved from individual siloed work to agile methodologies and "teams." Now the concept of teams isn't anything new; however, the number of teams we all must now be a part of has risen. A recent Microsoft report found that we're on twice the number of teams today than we were just five years ago. If you take that, plus the fact that there's been a 4x increase in people working remotely over the past decade, according to the same report, then you start seeing challenges for all of these disparate teams and people trying to work together.

Enter team collaboration. Whether you call it business chat, workflow communication, or team collaboration, the concept is the same: a central application, regardless of device, where people chat, post, and edit documents; launch audio and videos calls; and do all of this as part of any number of teams or groups. Products like Slack, Cisco Spark, and Microsoft Teams seem to be leading the charge; however, it seems like every week others are entering this space to try to take a bite out of this emerging market.

Many times, when we talk to customers we typically get into the conversation of how team collaboration differs vs. traditional instant messaging, UC, and even email. Team collaboration finally allows the people we work with on a daily basis to have a place to keep a conversation going. While email gave us email threads, which can be a pain to follow and hard to keep up with in real time. Instant messaging gave us one-on-one conversations but falls short when someone joins in the mix. On top of that, IM conversations typically stop with the device or app, meaning if I start my IM conversation on my PC, when I move to my iPhone, the conversation isn't completely there. Although this has gotten better, in a culture where we've become mobile first, continuity becomes crucial. So that leads us to UC... this is where things get tricky and where the industry is headed.

Many large enterprises still rely on traditional PBX systems for enterprise-class features, such as call parking, call transfers, logging, etc. -- and this is where UC/PBX stand out. UC gave us those features and enabled them on our softphones/IM clients. Now that we're beginning to make this switch to team collaboration, how do our UC features become a part of this new world? Is it all or nothing or can we live with both?

We've seen Microsoft announce that Skype for Business will now become a part of Teams, and Cisco has made efforts to integrate its UC Manager with Spark as well as deliver voice in the cloud (HCS and now via BroadSoft) with Spark. For businesses that have workflows and users already invested/hooked on UC (IM/p, voice, etc.), moving to this new mode of team collaboration can be daunting. In addition, navigating the sea of team collaboration vendors can be a very tedious task. Many of these technologies are being delivered via the cloud and SaaS. This can pose challenges for any industry that tends to have strict compliance and security standards and must always be accounted for when evaluating the vendors.

When we talk to customers about their options, we try to understand their employees and their workflows. What are they trying to accomplish? Who are they talking to? Are the conversations just internal or are they teamed with their vendors or partners? What type of integrations are required? Depending on the role, maybe a CRM or ticketing system workflow can be optimized by team collaboration integration. How important is content storage and creation? Where does the information need to reside? All of these questions and more need to be addressed when looking at deploying a team collaboration strategy and understanding the vendors that make it up. And don't forget security... oh, security.

So, will team collaboration finally be the email-killing, fully integrated app that UC promised us years ago? Time will tell. Let's just hope we figure it out before the next wave of collaboration tools comes to market.

If you're at Enterprise Connect 2018 this week, I'll be participating in the session "Managing Team Collaboration in a Multi-App Environment," taking place tomorrow, March 14, from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. ET. Join me!





COMMENTS




June 20, 2018

Your enterprise may have adopted SIP Trunks, but are you up to date on how the latest technology is driving evolution in approaches?

In this webinar, youll learn how the new generation of SI

June 6, 2018

The two largest strategic vendors-Cisco and Microsoft-have been busy making changes to their enterprise communications roadmaps, incorporating collaboration applications as fundamental components.

May 23, 2018

If Cisco is a critical strategic supplier for you, then its vital for you to understand the most recent announcements around Webex Teams, and how to build your migration path for the next generatio

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.