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The emerging generation of Team Collaboration applications is, I have to say, pretty impressive. The version we use gets all of the basics right, which to me means that it’s dead simple to do the things that you really need to do: IM and call a colleague, join a video meeting—turning your video on or off—share your screen, and see others share their screens.

These applications are meant to do way more than these basics, of course—they’re meant to be your complete portal to document sharing, application integration, and more. But the more useful these applications get, the more challenges they’ll pose.

That’s the subject of the this week’s No Jitter post, 5 Barriers to Team Collaboration Success, by Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research. Irwin focuses on the challenges around governance, security, management, deployment, and integration, all of which are complex, multifaceted issues. You’ll come away from Irwin’s piece with a sense of how these challenges are likely to comprise the fabric of much of your day-to-day work as a communications/IT professional in the next few years.

The piece previews a session that Irwin is going to deliver at Enterprise Connect 2020, Avoiding Team Collaboration “Gotchas.” He’ll elaborate on the points he makes in his article, and will be able to go into detail about how to tackle these challenges.

So where do Team Collaboration apps go from here? I think the next advance for end users will come when more enterprises link their Team Collaboration apps to the systems already deployed in meeting rooms.

The video providers have done a good job integrating to major Team Collab apps so that you can run, say, a Team Collab-based meeting on your existing videoconferencing system. But a more widespread scenario, and one that continues to bedevil our organization, is how you carry out an audioconference from a Team Collab meeting in a legacy room that has only an old-school Polycom conference phone. Our experience has been that once people get used to that one-click launch of a conference, it really becomes a habit. The downside is that we tend to run a lot of audio-only conferences from people’s laptops, which is never a good experience. So this may be the thing that finally drives enterprises to retire those old Polycoms and replace them with Bluetooth-enabled speakers in their lowest-end rooms. It mirrors the issue of getting rid of the desk phone.

It shouldn’t be long before most if not all of your end users are comfortable using Team Collaboration apps as their primary means of communications. That’s when things will get really interesting—and challenging—for all involved, as users explore new ways to use these applications.

We’d love to have you join us in Orlando for Irwin’s session and the rest of Enterprise Connect 2020. Our planning is full-speed ahead even as we keep on top of the coronavirus situation. You can go here to see our conference program; here to see our regularly-updated coronavirus information; and here to get registration info. Hope to see you in Orlando!

Eric Krapf
GM & Program Co-Chair Enterprise Connect & WorkSpace Connect
Publisher, No Jitter

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