Collaboration is already important to many businesses. But many believe collaboration will play an even bigger role in the organizations of tomorrow.
Before the proliferation of cloud computing, mobile devices and incredibly quick networks, when most folks talked about collaboration in the workplace, they focused on the desktop.
Now, thanks to the evolution of technology and the rise of mobility, the definition of workplace collaboration is changing.
Today, collaboration is defined differently than just having real-time communication modes (chat, voice, video, conferencing, etc.) on a single desktop client.
In our opinion, four trends are responsible for this redefinition of business collaboration.
Increasingly companies are relying on contractors and consultants to reduce costs and bring in specialized skill sets, among many other reasons.
While the trend helps, in order to get the most out of the cost benefits, companies need to provide contractors and consultants with access to their internal networks. Organizations then need to equip these workers with communications and collaboration tools, like UC clients, so they can do their jobs just as though they were regular employees.
As the market for real-time communication and collaboration services emerged more than a decade ago, there was a heavy focus placed on the technology that powered each platform. Everyone was always talking about what this vendor was doing or what that vendor was up to.
But that’s all changing, according to David Mario Smith, research director at Aragorn Research.
Computers have been around for quite some time, but it wasn't until 1984 that Irene Greif and Paul Cashman coined the term "computer supported cooperative work" (CSCW). In essence, the CSCW postulated about how collaboration could be enhanced through computing.
In 1988, taking the idea a step further, sociologist Robert Johansen created the CSCW matrix to conceptualize the term. The four-square matrix addresses the four possible aspects of collaboration: individuals working together from the same location or remotely, and whether that work is occurring in real time or is asynchronous.
Enterprise collaboration is more than just sending emails to peers. It’s about sharing documents, chatting in real time while in different locations, connecting teams via video conferences and sharing screens to remain on the same page, among other things.
Truly effective enterprise collaboration applications represent one of the most promising opportunities for cloud computing. During the last few years, several software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies have emerged with the promise of improving team and workplace collaboration. These include Quip, Biba, Zulip, Thinking Phones, Glip, Hall and Slack, among many others.
The sound of clashing armies can be heard across corporate networks as Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Unify, Mitel, ShoreTel, Avaya and a lot of other UCaaS providers battle it out in intense competition for market supremacy.
Although the concept of entropy originated in thermodynamics (as the 2nd law) and statistical mechanics, it is very applicable to the current state of the UC market. In simple terms, entropy is the measure of the level of disorder in a changing system, a system in which energy can only be transferred in one direction from an ordered state to a disordered state. The higher the entropy, the higher the disorder and lower the availability of the system’s energy to do useful work.