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What's driving business collaboration in 2017?

09 Jan 17

Kiwi and Aussie workers spend nearly half their time collaborating with people who are not in their immediate vicinity, according to new figures from Polycom’s Workplace of the Future research.

According to the study Australian employees spend 40% of their time, and New Zealand employees 43% of their time, collaborating with people elsewhere, a figure Polycom expects to increase in the next 12-18 months as workplaces continue to change.

The stats come on the back of Polycom’s top five predictions that will drive business collaboration in 2017.

“Physical workplaces are transforming with technology as a driving force,” says Tony Simonsen, Polycom managing director, Polycom Australia & New Zealand.

“Traditional conference room meetings, emails and handsets are making way for Skype Business video calls, mobile phone messaging and live content sharing and editing,” he says.

“Workspaces and workplaces have evolved. Witness the rise in popularity of the ‘huddle room’ (or small group meeting space) and other agile working environments,” says Simonsen.

“These encourage face-to-face communication and impromptu catch-ups, but through video connectivity deliver better sharing opportunities near and far,” he adds.

“As we head towards 2017, the changing dynamic of workplace culture and collaboration will increasingly impact business at all levels, from C-Suite to intern.”
Polycom’s top collaboration predictions that will impact business in 2017:
1. Access Anywhere Collaboration

As more people get access to collaborative technologies at work, there is an increased end user expectation that tools should be as easy and intuitive to use as smartphones or tablets. People expect to be able work in the same way across any device, in any room and as they move from a desk to a meeting room – seamlessly and effortlessly. To continue to drive user adoption, collaboration tools will need to be designed for simplicity.
2. Creating Intelligent and Personal Customer Experiences
In an age where information is instantly available online, customers are more empowered than ever before. In 2017, interactive collaboration technologies like video are expected to be increasingly adopted as a way of personalising the customer experience. Face to face communication, in real time enables customers to be more closely connected, develop rapport and have open dialogue; which can lead to even greater innovation, loyalty and share of wallet.
3. Digital Transformation Moves Up APAC Government Agendas
Companies will continue their digital transformation journeys in 2017. According to research firm, IDC, worldwide spending on technologies is expected to exceed US $2.1 trillion by 2019. It’s also expected that digital transformation will become a higher priority for Government. The ambitious Digital Transformation Office in Australia, is just one example of this in action. With more digital natives joining the workforce - harnessing the right technology to ensure connectivity to society will be essential to the success of public sector digital transformation initiatives.
4. Evolving Workspaces and Workstyles
Transformational technology is no longer a ‘nice to have’ in today’s globally connected marketplace. A mix of cloud, mobile and desktop collaboration apps is commonplace. However, tomorrow’s technology has to meet the demands of different workstyles and collaboration requirements ranging from group brainstorming to talent acquisition and training. The ability to collaborate seamlessly will be integral to the design of future workspaces. Expect more open meeting spaces, huddle rooms and personal workspaces; as well as home offices – and the ability to seamlessly switch between them.
5. Startups and Entrepreneurs, More Collaboration Needed
Co-working spaces, crowdfunding and the hiring of freelancers has become increasingly commonplace among this new breed of business owners. It’s expected that collaboration technology and platforms will continue to drive the spirit of innovation, keeping ideas and business concepts alive through the right connections and transfer of knowledge.

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