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The new collaboration portfolio

Divina Paredes | Sept. 26, 2014
CIOs talk about the shift from simple sharing of information to true collaboration – across multiple channels, organisations and locations.

A source of competitive advantage
Vanessa Sorenson, Spark Digital: We committed to collaboration about three to four years ago and implemented new tools throughout the whole business. In fact, we've implemented multiple systems. But the great news that happened with the recent change [from Gen-i] to Spark is actually how we're integrating multiple collaboration systems, whether it's Cisco, Microsoft and others. No matter where you are -- on your mobile, in the business, or overseas -- it has enabled us to connect with our customers' customers. It's been a real game changer. We basically dial into it now, and it does not matter what technology our customers are deploying.

A few years ago, we had video screens in every single room that were not used because it took you 15 minutes to get the thing going every time before a meeting. So if it doesn't work the first time, people won't use it. Whereas now, all our other solutions absolutely connect, everything works first shot.

There is also faster decision making in connecting to all the right people, but only if the tools work.

For our business, the glory of business travel every week is no longer up there. That was the biggest shift, that people absolutely said they'd much prefer to collaborate face to face with someone than actually get in a car at 6 am to get to the airport to get to that meeting. It has been a really interesting culture shift.

There is also faster decision making in connecting to all the right people, but only if the tools work.

David Pollard, Fletcher Building Distribution: We do make extensive use of videoconferencing, and are currently rolling out a cloud-based IP telephony solution. We see that giving us some competitive advantage around customer service. Across the group, we're just about to go live with a group intranet that is SharePoint based. It will reach 18,000 to about 20,000 employees around the world as well.

We're just about to go live with a group intranet that is SharePoint based. It will reach 18,000 to about 20,000 employees around the world as well.

Chris Robb, ANZ Bank: We are reducing cycle time because of the nature of collaboration. You are not sending emails, setting up meetings for three days. With the nature of co-location and collaboration within our business, you're actually getting people together for cross-functional groups. Agile and SCRUM are very collaborative methodologies without even bringing technology into it. The quality of the relationship, the lead time in getting the decisions, the whole cycle of the project is greatly reduced.

Simon Baxter, Spark Digital: I am based in Wellington with a national team. We had around 50 videoconferencing rooms on two different systems (Polycom and Cisco) historically which weren't integrated.

 

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