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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

The Collaboration Tipping Point

Sudha Valluru
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sudha Valluru
Today’s business environment is becoming increasingly complex and virtual, making the days of holding office meetings with everyone in attendance, sitting around the conference room table a thing of the past. Remote employees are working out of their home offices around the country, or even around the globe. Attendees are calling into meetings over Skype or using their smartphones while juggling multiple tasks. Coffee houses and their promise of free Wi-Fi are filled with people logging into work networks. The employee turnover is much higher than it used to be and contractors are plentiful. With that said, it is no surprise that current economic news have become the topic of discussion among us all. As recently as in December 2009, the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the unemployment rate edging down to 10 percent, with the previous three months averaging 135,000 payroll job losses per month. With layoffs, salary freezes, and diminished budgets, it’s necessary to look for increased cost efficiency across-the-board – without sacrificing quality.

Vendors are plentiful, offering ‘the next best thing’. Businesses are looking at the best places to cut dollars with the least impact on productivity. And, users are more conscious of performing with their due diligence and ensuring they are getting the best value for their dollars. Emerging technology solutions – in the realm of communication and collaboration – are stepping in to help.

Communication, collaboration, and cooperation have become everyday terms in technology and have led to the development and use of a broad range of tools – including social networking sites like Facebook, instant messaging applications like Twitter, online spaces, Web sharing capabilities, audio and video conferencing, telephony, and smartphones with access to email and news on-the-go (the list goes on) – all with the mission of enabling groups of people more easily communicate and work together in ‘realtime’. Most recently, some of the bigger players have jumped onboard with the introduction of Google Wave (an online tool for realtime communication and collaboration) and Salesforce Chatter (a collaboration application for the enterprise to connect and share information securely with people at work in realtime). Frankly, the expression ‘realtime’ has been overused during the past few years and it means different things to different people. Vendors have wanted to present themselves as having realtime solutions so as not to fall behind their competitors. However, this coinage seems to be taking on an elevated level of importance of late. Web 2.0 platforms have now made ‘realtime’ to essentially mean instant. We expect live interaction and feedback. We can now find out what friends and colleagues are up to in a single moment in time, as our work and personal lives intertwine. Because today’s users are clearly living in a non-stop, instant-access world, they need the opportunity to organize both planned and last minute interactions on the fly. Otherwise, they will not be able to keep up.

However, in order to collaborate with your peers and stay ahead of your competitors, it’s necessary to know exactly what tools are available and what advantages they can offer for your particular needs.

Easy to use, scalable, and affordable collaboration solutions are becoming a necessity in this fast paced world of virtual offices and remote users. As such, many large organizations are taking it upon themselves to cultivate enterprise collaboration strategies and standardize on collaboration platforms to allow their employees, customers, and partners intelligently connect and interact in secure, efficient manners with one another.

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Reader's comments(1)
1:I don't see how all these apps help people with their relationships. Sure, they are connected and wired to each other. But the truth of the matter is...there's no trust that's built up, people come and go, everything seems to be for the purpose of completion of the project and for the benefit of the corporation. No wonder people have malaise and don't care. Who actually cares about them?
Meredith Gardner mgardner@strategic-cio-solutions.com
Posted by: Meredith L Gardner - 15th Feb 2010
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