Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dread collaborating? It's about the technology you're using, not collaboration.

If you're concerned your employees would waste more time using collaboration tools than they'd gain in increased productivity, you're not alone. One in four C-level executives dread collaborating "because of the amount of time it can waste." That's according to a new study by Kelton Research on behalf of the IT services firm Avanade.

I agree certain tools such as e-mail and telephone are time wasters, because the emphasis with these tools is on sharing information, not on true collaboration that occurs in the real world. As we've written before on the blog, this requires a platform that integrates the communication and collaboration tools we use in the real world, including VoIP, document sharing, text chat, etc.

I left some other thoughts on this in the comments on IT Business Edge's coverage of the Kelton Research study. Swing over to read more about the study's findings and then scroll down to my comment.

This integration notion is playing out similarly in the unified business communications (UBC) space. CIO Update covered it well the other week. "... more people, in more places, have to work together and the result is the proliferation of mobile tech tools ranging from voice to VM, IM, videoconferencing, and more. Traditionally these tools have been siloed, disconnected, and difficult to piece into one inbox. Enter the UBC tools that are supposed to tie all the disparate threads into a neat package," writes Robert McGarvey.

As our own Reggie Best said in the comments on the article, UBC tools that get it right tie the disparate threads together into one effective platform, giving end users the flexibility to chose which one(s) will help them achieve the objective at hand. I'll let Reg finish out his thoughts by referring you to his comment. (Just scroll down to read it.)

What are your thoughts?

UPDATE 9/21/10: Rob Preston posted some more food for thought regarding enterprise collaboration in InformationWeek recently. I thought his analysis was thought-provoking, and I left some feedback in the comments.

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