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The Future of Online Collaboration in the Workplace

10 September 2015

Collaboration is defined as working together to achieve a shared goal. Traditionally in business this has happened through the exchange of ideas during a meeting or in documents sent via the post or email. However our new digital world has changed all that.

We now use a plethora of applications that typically focus on one or two of the many options for collaboration.  Box & Dropbox for instance focus on document sharing, others like Unify and Citrix focus on voice and video conferencing or chat.

But as the world becomes more sophisticated, more demanding and more security and brand conscious, the next-generation of collaboration has to do more than offer silo point solutions.  At the moment many enterprise organisations have to ‘mashup’ these applications because of the differing requirements of disparate departments or teams, often with poor results.

The next wave of applications therefore need to more nimble, more configurable and be able to better adapt to the complex world of people, content and context. One team may have a simple requirement to share documents, with everybody having the same rights and privileges, while another team might need individuals or small groups of users to do different things, perhaps even based on location and devise.

With security becoming more of an issue, authenticating users and defining fine grained access and rights is becoming even more important.  Data location has to be determined by the client not the cloud provider, as data domicility becomes ever more important.  And in this new world of digital espionage and data leakage, as well as security what is also paramount is need and ability to properly audit who did what where and when.

iomart customer Mvine has been using technology to enhance human connections and collaboration for over a decade. Mvine creates what are known as ‘systems of engagement,’ next generation enterprise portals that allow anyone from senior executives to the wider workforce to engage with each other and collaborate online.

Frank Joshi, co-founder and managing director of Mvine, says, “Everyday there is a new service or App launched to enhance online collaboration and with a SaaS model these can be accessed globally and resourced instantaneously to support scale or peak usage. However many companies have exhausted their first attempt at a new way of collaborating, realising that the pitch and claims did not match reality, partly due to a lack of features, the ability to create context and in others a lack of internal drive to establish new systems.”

Identified as a ‘British Battler’ – one of 12 UK-based SMEs transforming the IT marketplace – by technology analyst TechMarketView, Mvine’s innovative software enables organisations to engage with their customers, staff and partners in the cloud.  Its tools and features create rich experiences for both mobile and desktop devices.  This involves a strong blend of document sharing and management, with integrated voice and screen sharing, high security and audit, with the ability to fully brand the experience for both Apps and portals. Among the organisations currently using Mvine is BT, for which it created a safe, cost-effective and flexible socially-collaborative platform where like-minded staff across all geographic locations can discuss personally-sensitive topics.

So what does the future look like? Frank explains, “The future of online collaboration and communications will be an amalgamation and intelligent aggregation, not a mashup, of many collaborative features and solutions that are currently found in many point or silo’d solutions.  Users will demand a seamless journey between different technologies, systems, protocols and devices, whilst at the same time expecting user centricity, security and their privacy to be a given.”

For more information about how iomart can help, download our Mvine case study.

Tags: Our Thoughts