THE FUTURE AS SEEN THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Service providers are always touting the benefits of more effective communication among employees, including better collaboration and greater efficiency. And as more corporations expand globally and more employees work from diverse sites, including those who work from home offices and those constantly in motion, the thinking is that maintaining real-time communications becomes more important.
Those benefits are such a common part of the marketing lingo that service providers almost take them for granted. But Verizon Business has gone one step further to help companies find out just how well they are performing in this regard with a new Web-based tool.
The Collaboration Calculator lets companies see how well they currently collaborate and what they can do to improve collaboration and work more efficiently. The tool was designed for Verizon Business by Frost & Sullivan, which also conducted a global survey, sponsored by Microsoft and Verizon Business, that evaluated the collaboration efforts at 948 enterprises making between $5 million and $10 billion annually.
The survey “Meetings Around the World: The Impact of Collaboration on Business Performance” showed that enterprises believe collaboration is both important to their ability to compete and a source of workplace productivity. Based on that report, F&S developed a Collaboration Index. Companies can now use the Collaboration Calculator to obtain their Collaboration Index and learn what they need to do to improve collaboration.
The Collaboration Calculator looks at a number of factors, including the market and number of employees; an organization's collaborative culture and business structure; and how it uses technologies such as instant messaging, audio conferencing, video conferencing, Web conferencing and meeting-scheduling software. Based on that information, the calculator produces the organization's Collaboration Index and compares it to the overall index score in the original “Meetings Around the World” study. A company can compare its score to others within its industry, businesses of its size or those in its region.
For Verizon Business, this is a chance to sell collaborative services, including conferencing, messaging and unified communications, and get closer to customers while helping solve problems beyond their telecom needs, said Mike Marcellin, vice president of product marketing for Verizon Business.
“What the calculator does is ask very specific questions about the interaction,” Marcellin said. “When we start making recommendations, we may recommend a specific product, but some of the other recommendations may be cultural or organizational changes.
“We don't purport to be able to make those changes happen, but we can point out benefits or show that some other companies, maybe competitors, are doing this successfully. The changes have to be owned by enterprise itself, but if we can facilitate that, it's a good thing for both of us.”
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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