Enterprise Connect 2018: Collaboration Technology Summary

Enterprise Connect is an annual expert-led conference covering the latest systems, software, services, and applications for enterprise communications and collaboration. At the show, our team noticed a couple of themes worth sharing.

Theme 1: Technology should be driven by humans
Theme 2: Collaboration without vision, is useless
Theme 3: Collaboration is video led, more video means more strain on your network

Technology should be driven by humans

In a couple of sessions, I witnessed big product reveals. These reveals were mostly focused on collaboration tools – helping people work together more and better. The thing about humans is, we’re all a little crazy, and we’re all unique. Creating a tool that all your crazy, unique human employees use at work to improve efficiency is an interesting challenge. The companies that have done it well, are keeping their end-user/human at the center. They’re monitoring their use of the product, they’re adapting the collaboration products quickly to help people work better together, and it’s working. I audibly heard “ohh” and “ahh” during presentations as the people who use these tools immediately see the benefit of these new or updated products.

Keeping the human at the center of this product development is the only way these tools will ever become sticky enough to truly scale across the entire organization. If the majority of your employees use a specific tool because it helps them work better, smarter and faster, they are going to tell their friends. That adoption is key. The more people that use a collaboration tool, the better the teams perform overall. This is similar to our Kollective content delivery platform. The more people that are peering, the more efficient your network performs.

Collaboration without vision is useless

I was a surprised how much people talked about collaboration without talking about overall strategy. Consider SpaceX, their singular vision is “go Mars.” Everyone in that organization knows if they aren’t helping get to Mars faster they’re not doing the right thing. You know what happens when you have a focused vision for your work? You get things done faster. Collaborating with teams on a specific project is great, it’ll help the project get done faster, but it might not be aligned with the corporate strategy. In that instance it’s useless.

Aligning your organization with a few focused goals takes clear and constant communication. And, as we’ve learned, being able to communicate that clear vision via video is the fastest way to communicate and convince employees of the compelling nature of this vision.

Collaboration is video led, more video means more strain on your network

There wasn’t a single collaboration tool at Enterprise Connect on display that didn’t have a video component. People like to work with people they can see eye-to-eye. A video is the best way to manage a nearing 50% remote workforce. The problem with video is that it’s a lot of bits and bytes to move across an enterprise network thousands of times a day. Your network must be ready.

We’ve all read the statistic that by 2020 79% internet traffic will be video. Think about how that traffic affects work behind the firewall – this is a massive concern for IT teams. A CEO all hands or a large team video meeting cannot slow down business critical traffic on your network. You need all of those streams to work well together.

To learn more about why we think Video is the best way to collaborate, read our Gen Now report here.

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