Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Working Thoughts on Collaboration

I use the StartMeeting platform for my webinars. One business partner uses Another uses Uber. There are a number of conferencing platforms available with most containing some form of video call and screen share. Even Skype has some functionality like that.

Hosted UC players have conferencing and collab features in their offerings. What are they doing with them? I am not sure they are including them in the ROI calculations. How are they competing against the Freemiums?

Broadsoft just bought mPortal to add to its UC-One mobile offering that it is calling Broadsoft Designs.

The thing about collaboration is that it varies with each business. Microsoft Project was a bloated attempt to stylize project management. Basecamp by 37 Signals is too techie for many. Today, however, there are so many different task managers and productivity tools. (Some Productivity tools are listed here by style of user.) Infusionsoft has a list of 13 analog/offline and online tool, some included on other lists - such as the Lifehacker list and this one.

David Seah is a designer who has been working on perfecting productivity tools. I have used a couple of his simple designs. What is the highest priority? RGA! Revenue Generating Activities.

A lot of productivity has to do with lists and setting priorities. That means prepping for your day, which only the smarter people do. Evernote pops up over and over as a tool, because jotting stuff down gets it out of your head. In a digital form, thoughts/ideas/tasks can later be searched!

But productivity is about getting back seconds, until it adds up to minutes, which accumulates into hours in a month or year. It isn't freeing up hours and hours (unless you outsource tasks.)

Back to collaboration platforms. In an article on UC, the writer mentions that Skype for Business is the form (or style) that many users want to see in their unified comms platform. One interface that does a few functions well and easily. I am not certain that many developers consider UX (user experience). Also, that is why for many small businesses the hope nad light of UC is unrealized -- too many cheap, consumerized, half-baked, non-integrated apps to get the job done. Integration, single sign-on and one similar UI (user interface) would make it so much simpler. Simpler means that it will be used more. As users get familiar with it, they get proficient and productive.

Two interesting apps I came across recently:

Workboard is the team performance app - goals, priorities, actions, reports and feedback always aligned, always available - at no charge. Don't know much more about it.

Redbooth is an award-winning collaboration platform for task management, communication and file sharing. (Good twitter feed too.)

There are so many players in the UC&C space. No clear winner. Plenty of room for consolidation. Plenty of room to go niche. Plenty of space to grab a piece of the market with your story of productivity. Winning back seconds every hour.

IHS Infonetics Enterprise Unified Communications and Voice Equipment report

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