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Digital collaboration
how to best implement it?

Digital collaboration. How to best implement it by WESTPOLE Belgium NV

Digital Collaboration is the new collaboration frontier, which organizations have been conforming to in recent years. Accomplicing phenomena are the recent restrictions on mobility that governments are imposing all over the world to counter the spread among the populations of Covid-19. The Digital Collaboration is gaining increasing interest as an alternative participation method in the representatives work of the same team or, in a cross-functional way, from exponents of multifunctional teams. Especially in this second event, the Digital Collaboration contribution is becoming crucial in terms of effectiveness and results. The reason is that the digital dimension of collaboration breaks down the physical constraints of space that are usually considered insurmountable in carrying out a project or in achieving a common goal, transforming the lack of proximity into an additional resource. Therefore, if before it was necessary to meet several times to check a work progress and this required meeting in shared meeting rooms, today all this is no longer necessary.

Digital Collaboration, it’s not just a meeting rooms matter

With the Digital Collaboration, corporate meeting rooms used for business meetings don’t disappear, but they perform a new function, with an unlimited extension, inwards and outwards, which previously didn’t have. And this also applies to the multifunctional teams’ involvement. In fact, the usual departmental division in Finance, Operations, Marketing, Human Resources etc., as well as concerning the related skills and responsibilities, also affects the business applications dedicated to their respective functions or to different processes (ERP, CRM, OMS, ITSM etc.). This means that some documents relate to one company area and not to another. Moreover, this means that there is a hierarchy in drawing on certain critical data with heterogeneous accessibility criteria. Therefore, the first obstacle to the implementation of a fluid and effective Digital Collaboration between multifunctional teams is the fragmentation of the database. An obstacle to which the Unified Communication & Collaboration (UCC) technologies respond only partially. The UCC must be adopted for any self-respecting Digital Collaboration.

The UCC technologies are not enough to create Digital Collaboration: why?

Unfortunately, UCC and Digital Collaboration technologies are not synonymous. Although UCC systems allow you to converse, in chat or video conference, and at the same time to show and exchange documents regardless of where the meeting participants are located, all this is not enough. In fact, the ability to share information across the board, must not compromise the prerogatives of the individual members of each team. These prerogatives are exercised in being able to take advantage of a database whose consultation, as well as any modification, must be segmented taking into account the position held in the company and belonging to the team. For this reason, the UCC tools offered today by some big vendors, often combined with other productivity suites or software, are not sufficient to enable a Digital Collaboration between multifunctional teams. In fact, a unique information backbone that integrates different application environments is needed, enabling each profile of the various teams to select their own files of interest. This is possible by providing different permissions levels for each user or group of users.

Enable multifunctional collaboration with an information platform

Since mobility is a distinctive feature of Digital Collaboration, it would not make sense if it wasn’t possible to remotely reach the same documentation that you have access by your office desk. Particularly, this documentation could have legal value as in the case, for example, of the signature book. A Digital Collaboration platform, on the other hand, makes it immediate, for a prosecutor who is kilometers away from the headquarters, to sign any document using his or her tablet. Just as the same platform, acting as an intra-functional hub, allows you to create a knowledge sharing repository detached from the access criteria that underlie the relevant teams and that generally follow the logic of the classic departmental business applications. Only those with the assigned permissions will be able to consult or correct the files stored in the repository, with a speed of intervention and an optimization of the processes that no other collaboration model, even in the presence, can guarantee.