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The collaboration imperative: 3 key ways in which it guides technology decisions

By Bruce Newton – Solution Specialist, Data#3

[Reading time: 2:22 mins]

EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION

In my previous blog, I covered the top 5 questions that you should ask to ensure that your collaboration solution is getting the results your business needs.

For most businesses, investing in collaboration is now a crucial priority. At Data#3, we are seeing a need for more and more effective collaboration – between departments, teams and supplier and contractor networks.

This focus on collaboration is, of course, having a major influence on how and why businesses invest in communications technology. Specifically, we believe it is driving change in three key areas

1. More incremental solutions

Firstly, technology has progressed to the point where it is no longer economically or logistically feasible for businesses to “return to scratch” when it comes to their communications and video infrastructure. Instead, we are seeing more and more businesses looking for innovative ways to leverage their existing tools. A solution that can be purchased as an “add on” to a current platform is a far more logical and potentially cost effective purchase than an entirely new ‘rip and replace’ solution.

In keeping with this, we are seeing the emergence of more and more flexible, cross-platform solutions that enable businesses to make the most of the investments they have already made. In August this year, for instance, following its acquisition of Acano, Cisco launched Cisco Meeting Server, a new offering that allows for interoperability between Cisco’s Collaboration Suite, and Microsoft’s Skype for Business. Cisco Meeting Server enables workers who are using Cisco Telepresence endpoints or Cisco Jabber to connect seamlessly with others who are using Skype for Business. This means anyone can join in a meeting, regardless of whether they’re using other vendors’ standards-based infrastructure, or using a Cisco or Microsoft collaboration suite. Importantly, all end users can also connect via their familiar system, meaning there is no need for time-consuming and potentially costly retraining.

This move represents a big change for the industry as a whole. By giving organisations a way to communicate regardless of the platform they are using, Cisco has given businesses a huge advantage when it comes to effective collaboration.

2. More service-based solutions

Secondly, we are seeing a departure from businesses making large, costly, up-front IT investments. Instead, more and more businesses are looking for opportunities to transition their IT investments from capital expenses to operating expenses. And as such, more businesses are looking for Cloud-based, service-based initiatives that can work seamlessly with their legacy systems. Solutions that can fuse with a business’ existing infrastructure, and which can be adopted cost effectively and in line with a business’ needs, have the most appeal. Cisco’s WebEx Cloud offering, for instance, also now supports Microsoft Skype for Business clients.

3. More user-led IT

Thirdly, we are seeing the growth of user-led technology infrastructure. As more and more people work from various locations, and across a wide range of devices, there is an increasing demand for far more logical and easy to use systems that operate as they are expected to, with no input required from the IT department for normal operation. Users are being increasingly empowered to control their own software, without reliance upon an in-house audio-visual expert.

 

This is the third and final blog, in a 3-part series.

Why engage Data#3 for help?

Data#3 is a Cisco Master Collaboration Partner. To help improve engagement and collaboration across your business, we use a portfolio of Cisco hardware, software and Cloud services (in conjunction with a select number of complementary technology partners). We listen to your specific requirements, and recommend collaboration solutions based on these. We can also provide any required training or change management, to ensure your solution is utilised effectively.

Want to learn more?

Speak to us to learn more about how we can help you achieve interoperability in your business.

Tags: Cisco, Collaboration, Mobility

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