Considerations to Make When Choosing the Best Collaboration Tools

Posted in: Corporate , Education , Healthcare , UC&C

By Joshua Herring on Mar 27, 2019

Let’s go back 10 years. How did you collaborate, brainstorm or group-think with your team? Sticky notes on the wall were popular, then it turned to floor-to-ceiling white boards.

But that was also before 70 percent of the global workforce worked remotely at least one day a week. With the changes in how (and where) people work, companies realize the need to adapt their communication protocols, cultural style, office design, and, of course, the way teams collaborate.

However, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution to this; every company, space, and teram is different, requiring unique approaches to collaboration and the tools used to achieve this. Below, we outline five things to consider to make sure modern teams can be efficient, creative, and organized when using these tools:

The Space

Some good beginning questions are: Is your workspace new or old? Do you have the right Internet speed to support new technology? How many different kinds of devices need to be working together?

Historic buildings hold great visual appeal and can be a great addition to a company’s culture, but the technology might need to be set up a little differently. So whether the collaboration needs to happen between floors of an office building, or across satellite campuses that range from 200-year-old buildings to brand new ones, this will greatly impact how teams will interact.

The Content

How do your team members interact and what are they working on? A medical research team is going to need a very different set up when it comes to collaboration tools. The philosophy of the Lehigh Valley Health Network, for example, is that communication is key in enriching the lives of patients. Their facility is equipped with multiple rooms that utilize video cameras, microphones, computer ingest points and conferencing technology. This enables the hospital to integrate ideas from multiple teams — often under the same roof — and make presentations to advisory boards, the C-suite, decision-makers, and other stakeholders, taking a true collaborative approach to decision-making. Deciding which technology to choose can be heavily reliant on the nature of the content being shared between members of a team.

The Culture

Technology can set the mood of an office and affect how team members interact. Is the culture one of fun and creativity? Maybe the bouncing, throwable microphone is just what is needed to liven up a creative brainstorm. Who wouldn’t want to play hot potato? Or maybe it needs to be more formal, with an interactive, touch screen display monitor.

Maybe it’s something totally different, such as creating a live cooking demonstration to be able to interact with a guest audience, like LG Health/Penn Medicine’s Be Well Events and Seminars. The demonstration station has a camera above the cooking area, as well as sound reinforcement and a lavalier microphone for teaching and training purposes. A 24-inch confidence monitor is provided for the presenter and three 65-inch NEC monitors allow for the live demonstrations or recorded material to be streamed to the audience.

The Technology

Unifying communications between teams is essential for communicating and sharing information effectively. Whether it is audio or videoconferencing, data sharing over desktops or mobile devices, Web sharing or voice applications, there’s a combination of products that can be used to build a single, easy-to-use interface for real-time interaction. Technology is at the core of collaboration and with all of the options on the market today, it’s important to consider each piece of the puzzle that creates a holistic approach to collaborative thinking.

The Guidance

To truly create a culture of collaboration, several considerations must be made before technology can be incorporated into a space. Taking the necessary steps to determine the use of your space, how your company culture fits into the overall goals of the space, and considering the content that’s being shared should help start the conversation and design for collaborative tools to be used. Experts in the field, such as those at Vistacom, can help guide your facility’s management on next steps in this process.

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