For collaboration solutions to be truly effective in organisations, even the most techno-phobic users need to feel comfortable with them – simplification is key. The best solutions are often the simplest ones. This stands to reason. If something is easy to use, people will use it. If it’s difficult, they won’t. For far too long, video conferencing and collaboration solutions have been too fiddly and problematic to use. Understandably, they have not been employed as widely as they perhaps could or should have been. That has got to change though. The way we work today means we really can’t afford not to make use of conferencing and collaboration solutions – and the good news is that they are getting much easier to use and much more affordable. Finding a better way Our working lives today are hectically busy. Most of us are ‘back to back’ every day, our schedules crammed with conference calls and meetings. We seem to spend most of the rest of the time organising our schedules or responding to a seemingly endless stream of incoming emails. There has to be a better way – and there is. Today’s collaboration systems enable teams to work together, communicating via messaging, voice, video and conferencing, whenever they need to, sharing files and information within the same digital workspace. All participants are able to see the very latest versions of documents, without anyone having to wait from them to be sent via email from whoever was due to make the most recent changes. But to be genuinely useful, collaboration systems have to be what us at SCC AVS call ‘CEO proof’. This is not meant to be disparaging to senior executives – quite the opposite in fact. The point is that the CEO is probably the busiest, the most distracted and impatient user of IT in any organisation. She or he will want to get on with the meeting right away and, in our view, they should be able to do just that. They should be able to walk into a collaboration suite or room and join the conference straight away – with, at the most, a touch on the screen. Presence sensed This is perfectly feasible. Today’s smart collaboration solutions can sense when someone has come into the room, welcome them and ask them if they want to join the current meeting – or one that’s about to take place. Users should be able to do that with a voice command or just by touching the display. In other words, collaboration solutions should be entirely intuitive, so that anyone – even those who are most pressed for time – can use them instantly. When the experience is that good – and that easy – video conferencing and collaboration solutions will get used much more and enable organisations to adopt working practices that are more productive, efficient and cost-effective. If you’d like to read more about our views on how organisations can use modern collaboration tools to drive improvements in working practices and environments, please read our A better way of working together whitepaper.
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