Interoute Q&A: Collaborate & Communicate

Interoute discusses the importance of instant communication...

How would you define collaboration in one sentence?

The ability for teams to work together in one connected place, irrespective of where they physically are and what media, technology or device they are using.

How important is effective communication to modern business success?

Effective Communication has always been a vital ingredient of any successful business. In today's world where business is global and change is so rapid, instant communication is crucial to enable businesses to react in realtime to opportunities and disruptive threats.

What are the key benefits of having the right collaboration and communication strategy in place and acting upon it?

It's helps create a united well informed organisation. It enables the cost effective extension of finite human resources to all areas of the business. For example expert consultants or engineers can add value to customers and development team across the world without leaving their office. It makes it easier to ensure all employees are aligned with company strategy, goals and processes and that governance regulations are known and followed.

Conversely, what are the downsides of not getting this right?

Without it, the risk is that employees have no access to the lastest info or working practices. Dispersed groups within the organisation become at risk of pulling in different directions, duplicating work, creating inefficiencies and increasing the chance of errors.

What are companies currently doing well when it comes to collaboration and communication? How is your company a good example here?

Ensuring collaboration tools are device agnostic makes it easier for anyone to interact, be it mobile, desktop PC, video conferencing or audio. Interoute uses its own solution "Interoute One Bridge" to ensure all employees can do just this, enabling users to join meetings and collaborate via mobile devices, laptops, VC endpoints etc.

What words of advice would you give to others embarking on their collaboration journey?

Avoid vendor lock-in ensure cross platform and device collaboration is possible, and don't forget the quality of communications is largely dependent on the quality of the network that connects it all together. The public Internet will not be fit for all your communications so talk to a provider that is an expert in both Communications and Networks.

Who in the organisation should be taking the lead when it comes to choosing the right tools and implementing them successfully? Is it the IT manager/CIO/CTO, business department head, HR or a combination of key stakeholders?

IT should take the lead, but working closely with key stakeholders from different departments who will help define the attributes required of the collaboration tools.

How important are partners and technical innovation when it comes to successful collaboration?

Hugely important. For a business to be successful in today's dynamic word, it needs to focus all its efforts on the value it brings to its customers. To do this the IT team has to work with best practice partners who can deliver (and in some cases manage) the tools it needs to collaborate. So the IT team can focus more time on innovation and developments that add value to the customer proposition.

Where do you see the market and adoption of communication and collaboration tools headed? And why?

There are some fantastic innovations in Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could all take collaboration and communications to the next level. You only have to look at the way gamers work together in virtual teams, battling it out in the same online world, to get a glimpse of how virtual environments could help dispersed teams form close working bonds and produce great results in the future.

What will successful corporate collaboration and communication look like five or 10 years from now?

If it's really successful then people shouldn't even consciously think about it as a thing, it should just be as natural as sharing coffee over a spreadsheet in the office.

Why should people attend our collaboration event? What made you want to be involved?

It's a great opportunity to hear from industry leaders, understand how other organisation are being successful in this space and come away with some new ideas you can apply to your own business.

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