The term “Team Collaboration” is taking on a whole new meaning in the digital era of cloud-based unified communications, and it’s poised to be the sought-after feature set in UCaaS solutions. What is it? And why do I predict it will quickly reach the mainstream, driving productivity to new heights in 2019? Here’s why every CIO should have Team Collaboration on their radar.
Team Collaboration is a virtual workspace and collaboration hub where group members can chat in an online forum, share files, work together within documents, schedule meetings, call members into a video conference call, share screens, and more. This project-based tool set aims to unify communication channels and streamline collaboration across a series of meetings.
Cisco Webex Teams serves as one example.
You might be thinking, “But wait a minute, those capabilities aren’t new…”
You’re right. These individual tools have been around for awhile, but now they’re being consolidated into a single toolbox that makes them powerfully useful.
In the past, many of these technical capabilities were separate tools spread across many applications and providers. For instance you may have needed three or four different platforms (chat, email, video conference, online meeting) to effectively collaborate around a project. Team Collaboration packages all of those tools in a new way–where everything you need is in one shared place.
As the next evolution of communications technology, Team Collaboration is significant because it unites tools into a project-driven framework, mirroring the way teams function in the real world. That simple redesign removes friction. For instance, it’s known to drastically reduce the volume of emails sent among team members. That’s because all the conversation and collaboration stays in one place.
Working under the philosophy that every project is “basically just a series of meetings,” Team Collaboration makes it easy to host larger sets of meetings. Without it, project managers have to work across multiple applications, individually creating each meeting and then updating the files and attachments for each. With it, they create one virtual workspace once and every file and team member is conveniently accessible. So, there’s far fewer instances of information silos and administrative time wasters like:
Inside a Team Collaboration project, users can streamline tasks because they don’t have to cross reference siloed email programs, desktop files, chat histories, and a myriad of multiple applications that were never designed to work together. Team members can come into the “room,” share all resources collectively, and work on project tasks as needed till the project is done.
Over the past few years, these tool sets have been popularized by free online services or freemium models brought into the workplace via “shadow IT” methods.
But all of that is about to change.
The leading Team Collaboration providers are rolling out integration paths. That means technology providers are expanding their offerings, bundling these new features into existing services. With Team Collaboration adding to the UCaaS technology stack, you can rest assured that virtually every player is jumping on the bandwagon.
As Team Collaboration becomes embedded into broader cloud communications platforms, it will be formally adopted and supported by enterprise IT departments. More importantly, user adoption will soon reach a mainstream tipping point. Over the past few years, we saw only small groups and departments using Team Collaboration, but in 2019 we will likely see it saturate the enterprise. As Team Collaboration becomes the new normal, enterprise productivity has nowhere to go but up.
What else will 2019 bring for cloud-based unified communications? Read all of Masergy’s 2019 predictions.
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