Recent Articles in The Telegraph reported the Gartner and Barco predictions and Surveys, see below:
"Three years from now, a third of all companies will rely on digital collaboration as their No 1 competitive asset, according to a recent report on the digital workplace from Gartner"
However, whilst Barco now have their Click-share product connecting devices in the room, seamlessly the sad thing is they have Click-share in 5% of the 50m meeting rooms.
For the author we need to be more ambitious, IF a third of companies will use COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION as a competitive edge within 3 years several factors have to change to empower that move/shift.
We have to:
1. Have a clear view on collaboration and whether we are talking Internally, in the meeting room, within the organisation or as we see it beyond the boundaries of a meeting room and an organisation. This we call True Collaboration.
Too many companies think of just their "Team" when they need a communication strategy Beyond their Organisation with their entire Eco-system of suppliers, partners as the above graphic illustrates.
2. Although Gartner forecasts three years we believe it COULD be longer as we see very little OWNERSHIP in organisations of communication and Collaboration, in fact ownership if fractured across the organisation with IT , operations, HR, Facilities or in larger companies within an AV Team. At the moment strides are being made by evangelists in both vendors and customers, lone pioneers who are striding forward going:-
a) They are doing so with a tactical mindset fixing their issue, today.
An example the IT manager says "our video kit needs to talk to Skype for Business" or "we need Audio attendees in Skype Meetings"
b) I have a particular Use Case that I see drives a need
An example "we want to Interview candidates remotely, to get access to them faster, secure high quality candidates and shortlist faster, recording screening Interviews
What is the Issue you ask?
In our experience this fractured ownership, tactical problem fixing and isolated Use Case need very rarely escalate to achieve a Strategic Competitive communication edge.
In fact its more like the IT or Finance reign in the evangelists, Try and wrestle control and come up with a solution that is "myopic" "insular" not because they lack the foresight but because they are busy folk not paid to solve Strategic Companywide communication issues.
3. Worse still we see anarchy, with tools like WhatsApp and Slack being used across whole companies simply to bridge the communication gap.
Here's an example that fits 79.3% of Enterprise or Small to Medium sized companies that have Skype for Business.
On the First two stages you have 93% of organisations and CTO's.
1. They have fixed Team connectivity
2. They may have federated "Connected" with other Microsoft users but still just communicate in a silo.
However True Collaboration and a competitive edge lie the other side of boundary. So what do we see as crossing boundary advantages?
1. Any device and any platform face to Face Meetings with your entire eco-system have a dramatic affect:
- Travel costs drop immediately as 90% of travel was depending on the organisation driven by external communication and meetings not internal.
- Productivity leaps upwards as people cut down commute and travel time.
- Motivation heads North as the entire business momentum gathers pace with more "shorter meetings" with less people in them. Face to Face meetings tend to average 4 attendees and last 25-45 minutes.
- The Business Impact starts with faster input into meetings and then escalates to Better Business Decisions being made faster, together.
The better decisions are a simple output of its easier to get "faster input into decisions" and "more recent information" from more "disparate sources" and when key subject experts are required, its simply easier to get that input. These facts are born out by the Wainhouse Research study of 4,000 regular users of Visual Communication.
We can see the Three impacts quite clearly.
The key though is that if as Business Leaders or Shareholders its important to gain business momentum and performance then we need to remove the evangelist or tactical strides that the majority are currently making and deliver a strategic shift.
For that to take place there are very few things required:
There needs to be clear ownership of the Communication strategy at a VERY senior level that has a remit to drive change across the stakeholders.
The measurement of the impact needs to be established:
- Visual Meeting Minutes V Audio
- The Email Volume decline
The slide below is from a Tech Data Maverick event designed to showcase the future and if you look closely at the CIO's slides the key metric takeaways were:
- 100% increase in Video/Visual Communication
- 20% decrease in VOIP and Carrier minutes
When asked what DROVE the change the CIO Massimo Rapparini was extremely honest, the CEO told me to deliver the change.
How many CEO's see this as a Strategic priority the answer is more and more, but too few to drive the Gartner metrics.
3. Mechanism to drive change and the tools to deliver any device and any platform face to face meetings.
a) You can invest in Virtual Meeting Rooms today Simple Virtual Meeting Room flexibility the blog gives you some simple tips and useful links to follow to get the best deals and trade offs.
b) The key is you have the option to use the devices you have TODAY and therefore depending on whether they have a camera and microphone or not (most do) the investment in hardware can be minimal, but what's more important, they are using familiar devices, removing fear of the unknown and support loads.
c) Flexibility, Virtual Rooms deliver any platform flexibility so the IT director doesn't have to possess clairvoyant skills. Armed with the right any platform Virtual Meeting Rooms he/she can be ready for whatever a supplier or customer may have.
d) Microsoft Certified solutions, for those on Skype for Business (79%+) there are Virtual Meeting Rooms that have been certified by Microsoft
Pexip based solutions have Three Key advantages:
No Software to download
They use Native Microsoft features like contact records and click to join
No new User workflows
For Those certified simple Google "Microsoft Certified Virtual Meeting Rooms"
e) 1 Click to Join from any browser
Whoever your eco-system are they will have access to browsers so they can join a Virtual Meeting in 1 Click from any laptop, desktop, mobile device*.
*chrome on iOS is the only one that does not work currently because its a Safari webkit that doesn't have the latest web socket WebRTC real time communication.
F) True Collaboration can then start to deliver a competitive edge
The figure below shows the Why, How and What to do to establish True Collaboration.