Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Covid-19 & The Evolution Of Collaboration Technology

Just as Sputnik sparked off the Space Age, Covid and the pandemic has set off the Digital Health Age. It has impacted the evolution of Collaboration Technology. This year introduced the greatest movement towards remote work the current labor force has ever experienced. The impact from COVID-19 has forced a shift in the collaboration tech industry and put a spotlight on virtual team collaboration and how it plays a role in maintaining business continuity now and in the future.

Digital transformation is happening globally, and organizations, large and small, are embracing it in order to stay competitive in today’s evolving market.

Collaboration and unified communications technology are a critical part of business plans to support distributed teams for years to come. Management teams across the enterprise market must be able to implement solutions that support seamlessly bringing together both remote and in-person team members, to support productivity and long-term success for their organizations.

Collaboration technology, such as interactive displays that provide touch screen capabilities, as well as integration with popular video conferencing software provide the ability to easily connect and share ideas, from wherever people are working – in the home or in the office. They also provide the added ability to share and engage with cloud-based, real-time annotations with (and from) everyone in a meeting and then saving and sending as notes to access afterwards and enhance engagement and teamwork among hybrid groups.

 

The opportunity for us is to figure out how you could get Engineering to deliver 10x results. How do you deliver 10x results that can compete with the big guys and go faster than the big guys do? It is easy to scale Technology but scaling Organizations is linear and sometimes sub-linear.  Collaboration, both horizontally and vertically is key to driving exponential growth

 

First, as a workforce, we are in the future already. Today, Almost 80 to 85 percent of our employees and customers have non-standard work arrangements, meaning they do not come into an office every day. They work from home, or from an airport, or from wherever they have to. Our Healthcare workers are meeting our members under bridges because unfortunately, some are veterans who are homeless. The question is, “How do you get the company to collaborate better?”

Establishing a collaboration platform is crucial, and we have partnered with AWS and Microsoft for that. There are other platforms such as Facebook @ work which make collaboration easy. Leveraging these platforms, we can now begin to cull innovative ideas from the ecosystem and help drive innovation within the Organization. In my previous role, we were one of the first 10 customers on Workplace by Facebook! We went with Facebook because most of our workforce were familiar with it and therefore the training was simpler. Next, we needed to make document sharing simpler, so we introduced Box. We wanted to switch from video and impersonal voice conversation to a richer HD video experience, so we added Zoom more than 5 years ago.   these cohesive platforms made working with partners and building the integrations between them, both efficient and seamless!

Most of Our platforms todayare available on desktop and mobile, which is important since there are so many peer-to-peer communications going on. Our developers of that platform are all remote. The marketing and account teams live and work across different states as well . As we build our products, it has to be a collaborative effort.

Getting on conference calls constantly to review product design with a team of 10 or 15 spread across three different time zones would not have been possible at that speed if we did not have these platforms. That is an example where we did not go try to build and host in-house. It was cloud-native and mobile-native. It was a way for us to leapfrog everyone else that had made investments in in-house collaboration. Additionally, I have picked something that is a common denominator, because for the most part, these are tools that people use in their home lives. It is a lot easier for them to adapt and use them when they are already familiar.

Second, as an Industry, Healthcare is behind the rest of the industries in terms of adoption of cloud. I have made it a top priority to get to the cloud in a safe and secure way.  To deal with today’s security threats, we could either choose to invest in the old environment and get it up to speed, or we could build an environment from the ground up on the cloud that will meet the security constraints going forward. In a short time span, we have been able to get a pretty solid cloud footprint with Amazon Web Services. My approach is cloud first, unless there is a compelling reason not to do it.

 

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