Over time the market has become swamped with applications designed to improve the way that individuals work together. Chat Rooms; Document Sharing; Screen Sharing; Instant Messaging, audio, video and web conferencing; Enterprise Social; Cloud document storage and they were launched to defeat the mass of emails that we all receive every day as well as to enhance collaboration. These multiple channels provide employees and suppliers with choices in how to communicate and share information. For example, designing new products can be performed using white-board sessions across multiple sites in real-time.
With Google Hangouts and Office 365 you can now have teams simultaneously editing documents while chatting over an IM back channel, no email is used and no attachments need to be passed between contributors. Legal documents, designs, website content and others can be modified, agreed and published in one meeting. Gone are the days of passing documents between reviewers and collating responses. The choice of tools creates a headache for administrators and users, with limited interconnection or Federation between them. New products with specific attractive capabilities are challenging the established vendors. Both Google and Microsoft are innovating in collaboration. For example, Skype Teams will allow users to chat in different groups within a team, also known as “channels”. Additionally, users will be able to talk to each other via Direct Messages within Skype Teams.
As we become more global, language barriers can appear to become more pronounced. Tools which translate on the fly are becoming nearly as accurate as human translators, providing instantly spoken and written text immediately in your chosen language. The future is very exciting with AI bots designed to deliver services to employees. This will enable self-learning, automated chatbots to participate in team activities, picking up tasks such as action taking, project management tracking and document library maintenance.
The days of email in its current format are indeed, numbered.
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