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75% using collaboration technologies: Polycom reveals key trends for 2018

15 Jan 2018

Polycom has revealed findings from its latest research that shows collaboration technologies to be transforming business in 2018.

In Polycom’s ‘The Changing World of Work’ research, 75 percent of recipients use collaboration technologies regularly to communicate with stakeholders not based in the same office.

Polycom expects this majority to only grow larger over the next 12-18 months, accelerating with five key collaboration drivers.

“With the roll out of high speed broadband networks, technology can now give people the freedom to work the way they want, regardless of where they are. This new business-normal encompasses technology-enabled workspaces from the huddle room; to agile workplaces and anywhere working teams that need to work interstate to get the job done,” says Tony Simonsen, Polycom managing director for Australia & New Zealand.

“However, our basic need for human contact and communication still underpins the way we work – regardless of the location, space or technology we are using to collaborate. As we head into 2018, we fully expect technology will continue to evolve, enabling us to improve our business communication and collaboration at all levels, from intern to the C-Suite.”

Outlined below are Polycom’s top collaboration predictions that it believes will impact business in 2017:

1. Cloud Brings Need for Interoperability 

The cloud space has transformed, not just our office and workspaces but the way we work. If we look at the next generation of technology – it’s modular, it’s adaptive, it’s solutions based and it’s cloud based. As cloud continues to move into the mainstream, the conversation is no longer about that sub 50 office space, the one-to-three user space is back on the table; and how you bring them into the network with mobile devices, with USB devices, and more will be a priority for businesses of all sizes in 2018.

2. User experience and ease of adoption reigns supreme

Where we work and collaborate is no longer confined to a traditional four-walled office environment. Today, people want to connect and collaborate with ‘the office’, regardless of their location or device.

This growth in anywhere working and geographically distributed workforces mean that businesses will need to find new ways to empower employees with vastly different experiences and relationships with technology, ensuring they can collaborate effectively to drive the productivity.

Users want simple click and join. They don’t want to go looking for a meeting room ID, or a truncated number, or the smart board switch to upload documents for team discussion. We will expect to see end users continuing to demand more intelligent, conferencing solutions that can ‘do it all’ – whether connecting from a meeting room, personal device or third-party platform.

3. Meetings are getting smarter and more mobile 

Technology, like the latest intelligent face-detection and voice triangulation cameras, wireless content-sharing, a simple ‘click to join’ meeting interface, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics are helping meetings get smarter and more productive. Expect to see more AI enabled conference rooms, virtual assistants and bots.

In basic terms, it is the convergence of people plus, not versus, technology that are now working together. What’s more, as organisations move to Skype for Business, Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, we expect them to look at removing extraneous meeting technologies and integrate collaboration via these platforms as a means to reduce costs and ensure a consistent user experience.

4. The hyper-collaborative organisation

Imagine that the next step for individuals, teams and organisations would be to go from being “collaborative” amongst themselves to “hyper-collaborative” – bringing together knowledge, capabilities and ideas from a number of ecosystems, geographies and industries.

We anticipate that for 2018 and beyond, more workplaces will be open to embracing ‘anywhere working’, that enables this evolution in partnerships and teamwork. Enabling people to work, the way they want, where they want and in a hyper-collaborative manner that will become business-normal.

5. Bridging the urban-rural divide

In 2017, Australia’s nbn announced that a further 2 million locations would receive an upgrade of fibre-to-the-kerb technology. This faster technology is expected to deliver 100 megabit per second downloads to inner city homes and businesses.

With the improvement of its broadband infrastructure Australia becomes more digitally inclusive and we can expect to see a jump in demand for collaboration solutions like high definition video and digital content sharing that were previously unavailable.

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