Recently I answered some thought-provoking questions for the folks at Mikogo about the online collaboration software space and the future trends, developments and challenges I'm seeing. What follows is our interview, which is included in Mikogo's free report, The Future of Collaboration Software.
What trends and developments will we see in 2015 in the online collaboration software market?
Cloud storage has become commoditized; in this competitive space all the major players are rapidly dropping prices in order to outbid one another for customer acquisition. We can assert that cloud storage vendors must now create more differentiated value by moving beyond file storing/sharing and evolving into true collaboration platforms. We’re seeing a lot of acquisitions and announcements in the space that confirm this trend. We see cloud collaboration technology evolving to include more context in addition to content. People want to share ideas, conversations and content in real time, not just files or instant messages; being able to maintain that connection between file content and the discussion around it is something that is missing from today's main collaboration tools such as file store/share and email.
What benefits will this bring to businesses that adopt online collaboration software?
To the swiftest goes the race. True collaboration improves a business’ competitiveness by enabling better communication and work-flow between employees, partners, vendors and customers. It increases business process efficiency, individual and team productivity and fosters innovation.
What challenges can businesses expect to encounter when employing such software?
Once a collaborative software tool has been rolled out and adopted by a team, it's smooth sailing. The challenge is at the front-end—getting people to adapt new habits, using a new technology that will save time and make for clearer communication.
How can businesses utilize online collaboration software to its greatest potential?
At Samepage, our parent company has more than 60,000 business customers. We've been listening to customers’ collaboration needs and built Samepage from the ground up to meet them. Samepage brings together content from cloud solutions such as Office 365, Google Apps, Box, Dropbox and YouTube on one easy-to-create page that enables people to have an ongoing conversation around that content. No more hunting for old emails for attachments or conversations. No more searching through cloud file folders for the right file. From conception, we built Samepage as a contextual engagement platform—to unite the content and conversation in a "post-file" (cloud applications based) world.