The Future of Collaboration
Collaboration has been a hot topic and buzz word for quite some time now across the entire UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service – cloud phone systems) and standalone collaboration systems like Slack.
But what really is collaboration supposed to be?
The Oxford Languages dictionary says, “The action of working with someone to produce or create something.”
When we talk collaboration in the IT space, it means more. It means centralizing information, communications, meetings, conferences (internal and external), being able to see presence, and much more. What we really mean by collaboration in the IT space is the centralization of communication and collaboration. In IT, it’s not necessarily about creating or producing something, it’s about driving towards a centralized point of communicating and collaborating.
When we look at what collaboration really means – the act of creating or producing something with other participants – who is leading the charge in this space? Who is combining the IT space definition with the definition of the word?
The true goal of collaboration is enabling creation.
At the 2021 Virtual Enterprise Connect, Microsoft seems poised to be the leader in this space with Microsoft Teams. Microsoft has an impressive suite of products and has long dominated the business application space, from Word to Excel to PowerPoint. And now, they are leveraging their existing dominant product set to allow for never-before-seen levels of centralization and collaboration.
Microsoft has a unique position that traditional collaboration solutions don’t have – they have additional, highly used product sets. This gives Microsoft a chance to stand out, as they announced at Enterprise Connect, with the ability to integrate video presenting into a PowerPoint itself.
Microsoft is continuing down a path that centralizes not just communication and collaboration, but business processes and business workflow improvements. Teams has acted as a catalyst that Microsoft needed in order to truly deliver a centralized user interface that unifies and enables creativity in order to produce something of value.
The question becomes, how are other collaboration providers going to compete against a behemoth like Microsoft as it leverages its expansive product suite to enrich the collaboration and communication system?
As always, in the telecom field, providers may accomplish this through unique acquisitions/mergers, open API integrations into dominant platforms, and/or create home-grown products. ChoiceTel engineers and consultants are keeping an eye on the everchanging world of collaboration and IT/communication centralization.