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Top 5 collaboration trends for 2016

Geoff Thomas, President, Asia Pacific, Polycom | Jan. 19, 2016
People-centred collaboration tools, user-driven innovation, and deeper use of analytics to prevail.

Imagine a time when a customer can simply call up to sign up for a service that provides a full suite of collaboration and communication tools, that fully integrates with all of the other services, applications and workflows that they use already.  Imagine if these services could be provisioned and integrated in minutes, whether using a shared public service or a private cloud instance;this is the speed and flexibility that customers are demanding.

3. Big data and analysis will influence collaboration strategies
How many organisations today have invested in equipment and technology that is gathering dust? Far too many, and this is an issue that impedes creating a culture of collaboration. In the not too distant future, we can expect real time analytics on the way people use (or don't use) the tools available to them, at the click of a button. The data available will be way beyond simple metrics like conferencing minutes or room utilisation. In the world of collaboration, business leaders can analyse all activities related to how people interact: how they prefer to work, what applications and features they use, and what kind of issues were experienced and so on. Having this type of business insight would enable customers to optimise their operations and improve productivity. Deep usage of data and its analysis will also provide necessary insight to vendors when developing new solutions - perhaps to deprecate unutilised features or introduce new functionality. For example, let's say a call sequence requires five different strokes to be completed. What if we find that people only get halfway through that workflow and abandon it? This is an indication that the sequence is too complicated and needs to change. These are the types of situations that would truly benefit from the availability of big data. 

4. End-users will expect simplicity
Today's workers were raised on technology and require more out of the devices and technology they use than ever before. It's no surprise then, that user expectations get higher with every new solution in the market. People look for the simplification of products and solutions in order to fully utilise them, and so, collaboration should be as natural as opening a favourite app on your smartphone.  Not many people would read an instruction manual these days! Over time,it is assumed that end-users will not require training to use technology as they expect it to work the way they want it to work. What would this look like? Some examples are that collaboration solutions will be built to be out of the box and set up within minutes, adding devices to an existing cloud subscription will be seamless, and more employees will have freedom to integrate enterprise applications with the technology or device they choose to work with.


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