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What Does the Future of Business Collaboration Mean to You? (Part 2)

As part of the launch of the Future of Business Collaboration blog, we polled all of PGi’s 2,100 associates across the globe with a simple question: what does the Future of Business Collaboration mean to you? These men and women are the beating heart of business collaboration for businesses all over the globe, so we knew the responses would be strong.

Missed Part One? Check it out here!

In Part Two of our Two-Part series, we’re featuring some of PGi’s best and brightest, all talking about the endless possibilities for the Future of Business Collaboration:

Pete Lubeski, Sales Training Manager, is ready for the future, imagining more voice recognition and more portable video hardware:

Why use a keyboard when voice commands are easier?  I envision future business collaboration to involve more “voice recognition/activation” features to start, attend, and manage virtual meetings.  I also envision collapsible video monitors that mobile meeting hosts/attendees can use instead of viewing from their smaller phone/tablet screens.  Who’s in?

Connect with Pete on LinkedIn

Matt Fedak, Product Manager – Video Collaboration, writes about contextually intelligent collaboration solutions that automatically tailor themselves to your meeting’s needs:

Virtual collaboration rooms that detect guest browser presence and “dial out” to the end users’ browser of choice (desktop or mobile), prompting end user to join room when ready.  Once within virtual collaboration room, features and functionality are automatically engaged and shaped (layout changes) by participants’ natural conversation (i.e., “Let’s get on video”, “Take a look at document ‘X'”).  Collaboration sessions are automatically recorded and indexed (content, audio, and video) for easy “content” retrieval, playback, or insertion into next collaboration session.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn

Nic Hilgendorf, IST Training Specialist, writes about a future free of cubicles and assigned workspaces, powered my increasingly intelligent mobile applications:

After reading about innovative large scale companies that don’t assign their employees regular cubicles/stations or working hours (such as Results Oriented environments), but instead allow them to work where the environment best fits the needs of the project, it makes me hopeful that our mobile apps will develop inline to help fill those needs.

Virtual personal assistants that help you manage your schedule and meetings would be interesting too.  Jarvis-like, to go all nerdy on you…   Voice tech has improved so much over just the past couple of years, it’s hard to imagine that not being part of the equation for us too.

Margaret Walker, Team Lead in Call Delivery, makes the case that modern collaboration tools are the cocktail napkins of today’s businesses:

Technology that allows people to collaborate from anywhere at any time is the new cocktail napkin.  Many of the greatest ideas have come from a small idea, drawn on a napkin, capturing the attention of the group sitting around the table and building on it.  We no longer need to be in that same restaurant, bar, etc.  We can connect with one another over our various offerings and recreate that cocktail napkin experience.

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Kevin Foley, Account Manager, writes about the rise of the user, and the increasing power and freedom that individuals within organizations will have to choose their own tools:

The future of collaboration is the meeting host.  It’s not their IT or Telecom or Procurement organizations telling them what they should be using to get their job done.  Now the power is in the hands of the end user who can download iMeet® or GlobalMeet® from the App Store or the Android Market and start meeting (however they want) right away.  The future is the end user going and getting what they need, not just using what lame, stale tools they’re provided.  Adopting intuitive, easy to use tools and forcing the establishment to get with it and provide apps that help people get things done, this is the real future of business collaboration tools.

Barbara Bacigalupi, Director, NA SaaS Sales Engineering, writes of a future defined by ubiquitous tools and apps, powering the next generation of truly virtual collaboration:

Collaboration in the future will look completely different, and it will probably not look like anything we imagine today.  The best tools we use today will reach a point of commoditization, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as that implies they will have been adopted as the norm by everyone.  And then they will be replaced.  There’s a lot of opportunity between now and then! Who could have envisioned, even a generation ago, that a ‘phone’ would become the ubiquitous, so-necessary-to-how-we-live-that-we-cannot-live-without-it item that it is today? iMeet and so many other apps make it so!

Remember what futurists Allen and Heidi Toffler predicted, among other things, in 1970: “relationships tend to be superficial with a large number of people instead of intimate or close relationships that are more stable.” And while that resonates 44 years into the future (post my status much?), the cause of that prediction was not the “electronic frontier”, as they called it, but rather people following “transient jobs”, because professions and professional knowledge would become outdated every ten years. So they got the prediction right, but not really the reason.  Similarly, they did make the prediction that “people would become as comfortable with virtual and interactive environments as with real life”. But I don’t think there was any mention of green-glowing cubes

Connect with Barbara on LinkedIn

About Joshua Erwin

Josh is a content creator and strategist with a passion for all things tech, such as the latest gadgets, apps, games and more. Josh loves listening to and playing music and is a big college football fan, especially for his alma mater Georgia Bulldogs. When not writing for PGi, you’ll find him gaming or drumming on Sundays for the Atlanta Falcons.

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