“The way users get their work done is undergoing a dramatic, historic change,” according to Wainhouse Research senior analysts Bill Haskins and Andy Nilssen in a report they have authored entitled “The Collaborative Enterprise — How Enterprises are Adapting to Support the Modern Meeting.”
Haskins and Nilssen say they find this new work environment is being embraced by ‘work-life-harmony-seeking millennials and driven by highly collaborative interaction.” Anyone and everyone can become instantly engaged through the use of technologies that enable virtual collaboration. But are these new technologies really improving collaboration? Are they making the dreaded business meeting more productive? If the technology exists and works, why is it still in many cases a hard sell?
The Wainhouse Research analysts surveyed online cross-functional decision makers at mid-to-large enterprises — those with more than 250 employees — and asked questions about their company’s facilities strategy, collaboration habits, and probed the respondents for the tools they use to get their work done. The results of the survey led them to the conclusion that technology has indeed transcended the ability to simply enable virtual collaboration. Anyone and everyone can instantly become engaged and contribute to the work product. Some are contributing in-person, some virtually from home and others while on the road. Users are no longer satisfied with just audio conferencing and are adopting the use of video more and more.
“The Collaborative Enterprise” report sites seven key findings:
Finding #1: The Modern Meeting = High Volume. Workers are attending more and more meetings, with a classification of “Power Workers” spending almost half of their time in meetings equaling an average of 27 meetings per week or almost 5.5 meetings per day.
Finding #2: The Modern Meeting = Virtual, Visual and Anywhere. The more frequently a respondent meets the more likely they are to include virtual attendees in their meetings. Video becomes a critical component of these meetings enabling collaboration. Average respondents include video in almost half of their conferences. The Power Workers use video in over 60 percent of their meetings.
Finding #3: Workplace Transformation = Collaboration. The physical workplace continues to undergo a transformation. Companies are reconfiguring and adding more conference spaces and huddle rooms. There is more support for the mobile worker indicating the growth of teleworking and flexible seating environments.
Finding #4: The IT Environment = Growing Complexity. IT departments are finding themselves managing highly complex communications environments. Over one-third of respondents have two or more UC platforms in use.
Finding #5: Huddle Room Collaboration = A Traditional Mix. Companies are relying heavily on a mix of conferencing technologies in today’s huddle room. Respondents indicate that almost 44 percent of the time conferences in their huddle rooms involve four or more people in the huddle room This has implications for outfitting the room, how participants connect, how a/v is captured and how content is shared.
Finding #6. Huddle Room Technology = Lagging Behind. Technology in these huddle rooms is usually a speaker phone, followed by a fixed display. The use of mobile technology is on the rise. Almost half of respondents note they use their smartphone or tablet to participate in at least some of their huddle room conferences.
Finding #7: Users Want Better Collaborative Tools. While using a laptop to collaborate in a huddle room is typical, respondents indicated they are looking for more advanced collaboration and technology that will facilitate this. They indicate that their laptop’s microphone doesn’t perform well enough and their embedded laptop camera doesn’t work as well as they would like.
The sponsor of “The Collaborative Enterprise” paper is Logitech, for which Jenne is a value-added distributor. Logitech recently announced their ConferenceCam Connect, a portable device capable of delivering 1080p video and 360 degree sound. It is optimized for huddle-room meetings with one to six local participants and supports a range of connectivity options, including USB, Bluetooth, NFC and HDMI for an in-room display. This device is the third installment in Logitech’s ConferenceCam family.