Next Generation Collaboration Solutions for the Federal Sector

Sep 19, 2012

Collaboration is a must for any team to succeed whenever they are involved in a process or common goal of any sort. According to Wikipedia, the definition of ‘collaboration’ is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.

Today, there’s an unlimited amount of technologies that make business collaboration more effective.  In addition, with employers embracing more flexibility, employees are no longer chained to their desks and the supporting technologies have branched out beyond the office, desk, computer and landline phone.

A decade ago, having a wireless network in a conference room was big thing.  This allowed employees to be more productive on their laptops by being connected via IM and email.  Fast-forward ten years, and collaboration tools have progressed tremendously.

Along these lines, video is becoming the next collaboration frontier.  Whether it is saving on business travel, enabling telework or a doctor observing a patient at remote location, video is becoming a primary mode of communications.  In addition, employees now seamlessly engage in video calls and share each other’s desktops virtually.

Most of us have been in a situation where our manager sends an instant message asking, “did you get a chance to see my email that I sent yesterday?”  This email apparently got lost in the hundreds of other unread emails in your in-box.  At that point it would be great if the IM client itself could pull all the prior emails exchanged and provide you with an option to do a video call, share the desktop or both.

In next few years, the post PC-era will explode.  Very few people will use a desktop computer in an office or home to be productive and collaborate.  Mobile devices will reach full fruition, resulting in a thin boundary between family, co-workers and friends.  Securing these new tools is already happening, so this blending between personal and professional lives will not be a problem.

To support this, federal agencies will provide solutions that enable workers to collaborate on their own terms.  Government employees will have seamless access to instant messaging, voice, video, voicemail, desktop sharing, and conferencing using their mobile devices, while being able to transition this data into their desktops or laptops.

Stay tuned for my next post, which will focus on different public sector case studies in multiple verticals.  In the meantime, if you have a real world example of effective collaboration, feel free to post a comment.  I always welcome a lively discussion.