Is your organisation’s collaboration environment fit for purpose post-lockdown?

By Vicky Hart - 17 Mar, 2021
4 Minutes Read

Lockdowns have affected everyone. The first arrived without much warning back in March 2020, leaving many offices only a few weeks to prepare to support their entire workforce remotely.

Fast forward 12 months and much of the world still have remote workforces. Many organisations are now facing the challenge of hastily deployed video conferencing and collaboration tools not working with their in-office solutions, licenses for free software expiring, shadow IT, being stuck with outdated platforms or global offices separately adopting their own software & platforms.

The focus for a lot of businesses now is recovering quickly, staying competitive and being prepared for the ‘new normal’ and to do this, having an effective communications and collaboration tool-set is critical.

We are ‘making do’ with a platform that does not meet our user and business requirements.

This is probably the most difficult scenario to be in. With reduced or frozen budgets, the prospect of overhauling something as relied upon as videoconferencing or collaboration tools is daunting. What can be especially difficult for IT departments is justifying a new platform if it involves making a lot of expensive meeting room equipment obsolete.

There is also a concern that deploying a new platform to remote workers will hamper adoption of an unfamiliar workflow. With reduced IT oversight, there is a justified fear of shadow IT cropping up as users turn to consumer tools such as Whatsapp and communication breaking down as teams can’t connect properly.

We quickly adopted new software to support remote workers

Theres no denying that Zoom was one of the big ‘winners’ of the lockdown. They moved quickly to offer free licences and many organisations suddenly faced with keeping a remote workforce connected, jumped at the chance. Coupled with it becoming the almost defacto consumer video conferencing tool of choice, Zoom seemingly conquered all.

But many organisations are now faced with a few challenging scenarios. Firstly, the free licences are starting to expire. This leaves businesses who took advantage of the offers in a scenario where they still require the easy-to-use communication tools for their remote workers, but may be starting to bring people back into the office and are trying to connect remote workers on one platform, with office workers using another.

Or maybe your organisation is looking at a longer term remote or hybrid remote working scenario. Either way the challenge is select a solution that works in or out of the office, on any device and in all the meeting rooms.

We have segmented collaboration tools across our national or global offices

We see this a lot. Many large organisations with offices across the globe have individual requirements and have either deployed their own solutions or have fallen behind in company-wide upgrade programmes.

Whatever the cause, the scenario of multiple offices, around the country or the world, using separate video conferencing and collaboration tools and struggling to connect teams effectively is a common one.

What is the answer?

The answer may seem simple, centralise IT governance and roll out a single platform. But this can cause some of the issues we have covered earlier. Forcing a set of staff to adopt new workflows, to align to an office the other side of the world is even more likely to lead to shadow IT and lack of adoption.

Then there’s the issue of relying on local installations & deployment, especially with restrictions on travel. It’s not currently feasible to send a service desk engineer over to the US to switch the office from Zoom to MS Teams. And how do you support a centralised global collaboration environment?

How can New Era Technology help?

New Era Technology design and deploy global collaboration environments that can allow users to maintain their familiar workflows and seamlessly connect different platforms. Crucially for IT leaders, we provide a single SLA, regardless of the platforms being used. That means one place to go for support, no more buck passing between software support, hardware vendors or local installers.

If your’ organisation finds itself in one of these, or similar scenarios come and have a chat with us. We can help you design, build, deploy and support a collaboration, AV or video conferencing platform that will give your business a competitive edge, no matter what the new normal looks like. Visit our collaboration area or contact us directly for further details.


Author: Vicky Hart

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