Redefining our understanding of collaborationPeople have been collaborating for centuries. So what’s changed to make it THE hot technology topic of the last few years?

The enabling collaborative services that are now available mean that collaboration has been redefined. What are these services and what experiences do people now have and need when working together irrespective of physical location or time zone?

The key requirement for collaboration is communication. By providing platforms for team members to put forward their opinions, it allows others to review, comment and discuss.

Factors in the workplace have driven the speed of development in this area. The culture of hot desking, remote working and job sharing has made demands on the technology. At its best, the tools we have available to us now, can capture global opportunities, while eliminating the barriers of time, location, culture, language and organisational hierarchy.

Today the trend is away from disparate tools and towards technology solutions that can offer comprehensive support for working together, in one system. Messages, meetings, calls, all easily created. The simple sharing of audio and data. All accessed on our desktops or on our devices. And from our office or from a café or hotel. Simplicity of use is key, we all want intuitive interfaces, and the confidence that technology will just work, first time.

Systems such as Cisco Spark offer this on-demand collaboration. They are designed to never be more than one click from initiating and receiving voice and video calls, joining meetings, scheduling meetings, and sharing content – all with the historical context of being part of a team or one to one interactions.

How do we see the benefits of this system impacting the workplace?

Cloud security – with end to end encryption Spark provides control and management of the encryption keys, with no intermediaries having access to decryption keys.

Investment protection – Spark can connect to existing Cisco call control, such as Unified Communications Manager or Cisco powered HCS services ensuring your investment in protected.

Simplicity – Delivered entirely from the Cisco cloud, each element makes the user and administrator experience simple and intuitive. Integration into your existing scheduling, calendar and mail application is offered on a simple subscription basis, so you can add services on demand.

Adaptability – “Spark for Developers” offers open APIs to integrate Cisco Spark with your business critical apps and take the hassle out of teamwork and extend the Spark experience.

It all adds up to a system that removes bottle necks, offers the ability to improve time management and present a live project status at any time. It’s an example of the type of tools we predict we’ll be seeing more of, a total solution that creates an environment where collaboration happens almost unconsciously.

How does your organisation collaborate?  Are you embracing the available tools? Or do you struggle with keeping teams updated?  Tweet or post on LinkedIn your collaboration challenges.