Dr. Michael Pauly
17. December 2018 0
Collaboration

Magic of the hybrid world

It’s not for nothing that companies have introduced their communication and collaboration systems (whether they’re from the telecommunication or IT sector). They’ve weighed up the costs against the functions and management outlay and put in place a data protection / data security system. This gave rise to a demand for a solution – one that ideally is optimized to meet current requirements, and at least some of the future, foreseeable ones, too. But as nobody knows what the future will look like precisely – despite artificial intelligence and customer centricity – what will be will be. We still need one function or another that our existing systems don’t offer us. The path to a hybrid world is already emerging.

New collaboration feature wanted

There is a growing demand for additional services that support collaboration more effectively, such as live meetings with team rooms for specific groups etc. But let’s be honest – would this type of new function make you withdraw your existing solutions for telephone and e-mail services etc. when these solutions on the whole work fine?

In an estimated 99 percent of all cases, companies make the most obvious decision in such a situation. They purchase an add-on and install it on their existing solutions. Probably from the cloud – because of the benefits in terms of cost and speed. And with that, welcome to the hybrid world, where on-premises solutions are designed to work in tandem with the cloud.

Take this example – I have Cisco Business Edition 6000 or 7000 and also use WebEx Teams from the cloud.  As a customer, I can expect that one product can be effectively integrated into another from the same organization. And that’s often precisely one of the main factors in making a decision – ease of implementation and low management outlay. However, depending on the other parties involved, Skype for Business is used as an alternative to WebEX Teams – and can naturally be integrated just as smoothly into the existing office world.

Hybrid world: IT and telecommunications – who calls the shots in business collaboration?

Large companies still mostly have two worlds, which have grown organically – the IT world and the telecoms world, which both have their strengths in specific collaboration functions. And over the past few years, companies have already gone to great lengths to integrate these two worlds in the interests of ensuring a good user experience (‘keep it simple for the customer’). This has resulted in customized solutions where the original underlying solutions have been adapted accordingly. And now on top of this tangible collaboration landscape comes the cloud.

The universe of continuous adaptation

This means that no longer do existing functions just need to be checked whenever a component is adjusted to see whether they still run smoothly – this now also needs to be done for the interface to cloud services. In addition, the (public) cloud also provides the pace set by the providers, which dictates when a new release appears. It’s on its way. In this process, little value is attached to integrating or interacting with existing solutions (outside of the company’s own ecosystem) – including the discontinuation of familiar interfaces. This applies in particular to the many third-party applications used in numerous companies. In the case of Microsoft, users can ‘buy themselves out’ of the next update to gain valuable time for the necessary adaptations and function tests – from this point of view, non-agility definitely has its price 😉.

Users find themselves in a Robinson Crusoe situation owing to the continual checks about whether their collaboration landscape can also support the next update – they want to survive in a world of hybrid collaboration. What seems like a vision of simplicity at the outset quickly turns into a nightmare due to the subsequent outlay. Hybrid is complex – and not just once, but over and over again. Be prepared when you enter this world.

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