Henry Dewing
Henry Dewing has participated in every aspect of the telecommunications market. In addition to advising industry leaders as a management...
Read Full Bio >>

Henry Dewing | August 19, 2014 |


Design and Tech Deployment Critical to Workplace of the Future

Design and Tech Deployment Critical to Workplace of the Future Meeting space design and collaboration technology deployment are critical components to delivering world-class innovation in the workplace of the future.

Meeting space design and collaboration technology deployment are critical components to delivering world-class innovation in the workplace of the future.

In the workplace of the future, employees will be less likely to be collocated with their peers, more likely to be part of multiple teams, and will spend more of their working career collaborating with ecosystem partners.

As work becomes something employees do, not someplace they go, the 24x7, mobile workforce needs new technology to support communications and collaboration. Architects are reacting to these trends by designing unique workspaces, like Pixar's Steve Jobs-inspired headquarters designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson where the grand atrium is a crossroads of people and ideas. Or Google's whimsically high tech offices designed by Frank Gehry that reflect the personalities of the local work force in each office. Some companies are choosing to outsource the issue, leveraging cowork or temporary office space.

These disparate decisions about workplace design highlight the challenges and opportunities businesses face today. If a company is going to expend corporate resources building and running office space, that space must ooze with purpose that makes employees want to be there so that they can get work done.

Workspace designers today must:

• Design an engaging, attractive workspace that inspires employees
• Reduce the physical and carbon footprint of the corporate real estate portfolio
• Reflect the corporate culture, and provide a platform that drives innovation
• Deploy collaboration tools and facilities built for the anytime, anywhere workforce

When planning infrastructure to support meetings, corporate facilities and IT planners need to cooperate to serve the needs of business unit leaders. Four key considerations include supporting:

Processes – Understanding the processes and results that drive organizational success is the key to successfully defining the needs of the business. If a process requires detailed inputs and strategic understanding of intent, then more intimate collaboration (like immersive telepresence) may be required.

Culture – What is the culture of the firm? Command and Control culture needs far less two-way communication capabilities than do consensus driven organizations. There is no reward for building a feedback loop in an organization that does not listen.

Roles – Not every job is the same – each role needs to be supported by specific collaboration technology. Accountants don't need the same tools or space that product managers do. Communicating the third quarter accrual needed to close the books is best done with IM, where the text prevents misunderstanding and the real-time feedback allows immediate confirmation of receipt.

Personalities – Different people have different appetites for collaboration technology. Some people prefer video, others IM, still others the telephone. If everyone in your firm was in their high school musical, you probably need video communications.

All of these factors then play into meetings that generally fall into one of four categories: information sharing, creative, decision making, or coordination/planning. While meeting hosts always need to be clear about the meeting type, agenda, and objectives, each of these meeting types will require a slightly different set of tools to achieve the desired outcome:

Information sharing. Frequently larger meetings with primarily one-way flow of information and conversation. For complex issues like strategic direction, video is helpful; for simple status reporting for a small team, telephony or even an online chat may be sufficient.

Creative processes. Best kept small, these meetings are used by employees to design a solution, resolve an issue, or brainstorm new ideas. Workers need the ability to seamlessly share information and ideas, so these meeting spaces require collaborative technologies that allow screen or application sharing, as well as joint collaboration via a distributed whiteboard or similar tool.

Decision making. Focused meetings to ask a responsible party to approve an action require timely access to experts and advanced understanding of the issues. Approval meetings are doomed to delay or derailment when the necessary information is not delivered and reviewed by the decision maker and key constituents before the meeting. Experts will be on hand to resolve different interpretations and highlight different potential outcomes to allow decision makers to say "Yes," or "No."

Coordination/planning meetings. Meetings to plan and coordinate future activities require input from many experts. Program and project managers will leverage project plans, Pareto charts, logistics plans, and bills of material (to name a few sources of data that may need to be shared during the meeting) via high definition display technologies to drive commitment to the schedule of future activities and outcomes.

Meetings require personal connections between participants, but that does not have to involve planes, trains, and automobiles. Meeting technologies today allow mobile and distributed teams to share information, collaborate, and innovate almost as if they were together in person – driving innovation processes forward more rapidly. When deciding which tools are necessary to support collaboration and innovation at your company, consider the following:

Collaboration platform. These solutions should provide an easy way to access meeting content and communications capabilities to allow attendance that is as easy as walking down the hall to a meeting room. Popular packages include Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Sharepoint, IBM Sametime or Box for business.

Instant messaging (IM). Many roles and personalities prefer or require fast, simple text-based symmetric communications, and IM is ideal. If you need a quick answer and confirmation in your workplace, look to solutions like Micrsoft Lync or IBM Sametime.

Whiteboard. Employees in innovation meetings need to display, annotate and create. Solutions from vendors like Smart Technologies, Polycom and Promethean offer solutions to connect multiple sites and enable remote employees to collaborate.

Audioconferencing. Allowing distributed employees to speak on one conference is no longer a new or novel capability, but it is a must have for connecting to employees that have no other option. Premises-based and service provider hosted solutions are readily available.

Web conferencing. When remote employees share content from their computer, they turn to Web conferencing -- Microsoft Lync Meetings, Cisco WebEx Meetings, and Citrix GoToMeeting are popular -- while other less adopted solutions like PGI iMeet puts a cleaner user interface and set of capabilities into the hands of meeting participants.

Videoconferencing. Sixty percent of human communication is non-verbal – and video is finally living up to its promise to deliver that extra meaning. Allowing participants to see the reactions and delivery style of remote meeting participants ensures better clarity of communications. Solutions from Polycom and Cisco lead the market, while challengers including Vidyo and Lifesize are leveraging new technologies and capabilities to expand the usefulness of video.

In the end, companies have to combine resourceful, innovative workspace planning with future-focused technology planning to make sure that the tools and the workspaces are there for information workers to innovate.

Planners must design various packages of collaboration capabilities to meet the needs of huddle rooms, mobile executives, immersive video suites, or even collaboration or data visualization studios. Optimal design of physical spaces and technology for various meeting types, roles and processes is not a simple task, but one that will generate rewards in terms of more effectively harnessing the innovative capacity of your organization to drive profitability and competitiveness.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.