The next evolution of unified communications: why team collaboration is the new centerpiece

In the digital era, the term “Team Collaboration” is taking on new meaning and is poised to be the sought-after feature set in cloud-based unified communications solutions. What is it? And why is it expected to become the new centerpiece of enterprise productivity? Here’s why every CIO should have Team Collaboration on their radar.

What is team collaboration?

Team Collaboration is a virtual workspace and digital 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 toolset aims to unify communication channels and streamline collaboration across a series of meetings.

Cisco Webex Teams serves as one example.

What you'll learn

  • What it is and why the hype
  • Benefits and why it’s different
  • What to expect from providers
Continue Reading

How is team collaboration new?

You might be thinking, “But wait a minute, those capabilities aren’t new…” You’re right. These individual tools have been around for a while, but now they’re being consolidated into a single toolbox. That’s the difference, and it’s making these tools powerfully useful.

In the past, many of these capabilities were separate tools scattered 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.

Why is it the new centerpiece of productivity?

Team Collaboration serves as the next evolution of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) technologies. Its impact is significant because it unites communications tools into a project-driven framework, mirroring the way teams function in the real world. That simple redesign makes projects frictionless. For instance, it’s known to drastically reduce the volume of emails sent among team members.

How does it make meetings easier?

Working under the philosophy that every project is “basically just a series of meetings,” Team Collaboration makes it easy to host large 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 Team Collaboration, they just create one virtual workspace once and every file and team member is conveniently accessible. So, there are far fewer instances of administrative time wasters like:

“Did you remember to invite Dave to this meeting?”

“Did everyone receive version three of the project plan?”

“Let me email you that attachment again.”

With communications tools packaged in fresh ways, work silos become shattered. Inside a Team Collaboration project, users can streamline tasks because they don’t have to cross-reference a myriad of multiple applications that were never designed to work together.

What can you expect from team collaboration?

Over the past few years, Team Collaboration toolsets have been popularized by freemium models brought into the workplace via “shadow IT” methods. But all of that is about to change.

Leading Team Collaboration providers are currently rolling out integration paths, meaning features will be bundled into unified communication services. With Team Collaboration added to the UCaaS technology stack and embedded into broader cloud communications platforms, it will be formally supported by enterprise IT departments and usage will skyrocket. As Team Collaboration becomes the new normal, enterprise productivity has nowhere to go but up.