Technology that Enables Collaboration

Collaborating as a team can be both rewarding for employees and profitable for business. Research by Deloitte Australia highlighted the worth of group participation in a study titled The Collaborative Economy: Unlocking The Power of the Workplace Crowd, in which it revealed that businesses that place collaboration high on their agenda are twice as likely to be profitable and twice as likely to outgrow their competitors.  

Technology has been instrumental in the rise of collaboration as workers can now exchange content for feedback or share their input instantly with colleagues onsite and those working remotely from almost anywhere in the world. Development in the ease with which teams can access and engage with technology has further changed the way teams collaborate, promoting a dynamic approach to meetings and teamwork as employees no longer have to prepare hours or days in advance to ensure they have the tools they need.

Presentation and collaboration software and hardware are the latest natural progression in the evolution of technical collaboration, and with such a variety of options on the market today, there is a technical solution to your company’s collaboration requirements that is as unique as your business.  

We’ll explore the various forms of collaboration taking place in businesses today and the technology that’s behind it.

Collaboration in a Huddle Room – A Small Space for Big Ideas

Huddle rooms require agile solutions that can support a spontaneous approach to work. These small, versatile spaces need to be stocked with audio visual equipment that’s easy to use, compact and flexible.

For a huddle space to fulfill its function, it needs to be a hub for ad hoc team sessions, in-the-moment brainstorming, spontaneous collaboration and team communication. At the very least this level of collaboration demands a display screen with connectivity solutions for multiple devices in place, a video conferencing solution and presentation and collaboration tools that can be implemented at a moment’s notice.

Choosing a touchscreen for your main display brings next-level collaboration opportunities for your team, encouraging everyone to get involved and pull together. As you’ll have less space to play with than in a full size meeting room, a compact but high resolution touchscreen, like the 55-inch Cleverproducts Clevertouch V Series 55, is an ideal focal point for group brainstorming sessions. This full HD screen with a 1080p resolution, supports multiple touchpoints so multiple users can jump in with their input at the same time. It’s worth noting however, that for various operating systems, the number of users it can support varies, for example it enables 10-point touch when in PC mode using Windows 7/8, 6-point touch control in Android mode, but just 1-point touch with a Mac; so it might be worth installing a dedicated PC in the room as well to get the most out of a tool like this.

With that aside, this screen is great value when it comes to encouraging collaboration. It’s worth noting that the screen also has built-in speakers, so there’s no need to purchase additional speakers that could take up valuable space in a huddle room.

Remember, speed is the name of the game in huddle rooms so unless you’re insisting that employees use the dedicated PC, wireless connectivity is likely to be favoured by your teams to enable them to share content from their own devices on the main display. However, to ensure that your huddle room can facilitate collaboration with Mac devices, such as a Macbook Air, you will need to consider purchasing small adapters, like a mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, as this can enable the Thunderbolt port on a Mac to connect with an HDMI connector.

High Level Collaboration

Unlike the spontaneity of the huddle room, board room meetings tend to be prearranged; they have an agenda and are far more structured. As such, the technology that facilitates collaboration at board level has a different brief to fulfill.

Although these meetings may be pre-planned, they still require agile tech solutions that support multiple operating systems and don’t require a call to IT support to set up beforehand. For that reason, an easy to use content sharing device is a must.

Content sharing devices – such as the CS-100, CS-200 and CSC-1 in the Barco ClickShare family – would enable your board of directors to view multiple documents from different devices on one main screen. Wireless devices also support the more traditional layout of a boardroom, as there’s no need to move around to swap connecting wires over. In the instance of Barco ClickShare, collaborators simply plug a ClickShare button into the USB port of their laptop, click the button and they’re ready to present.

Alternatively, if your board of directors has also bought into the BYOD phenomenon and are operating from multiple devices, content sharing tools like ClickShare or Montage by DisplayNote support tablets and smartphones that operate on potentially conflicting operating systems.

Simply by using AirPlay – Apple’s proprietary streaming service – or Miracast, which mirrors a variety of WiFi enabled devices on a display wirelessly, there are numerous content sharing devices that can allow all members of the board to have an active role in the meeting. Make sure you explore the full range of collaboration devices to understand more about the available wireless connectivity solutions that can mirror any device with your boardroom display.

Global Collaboration

Thanks to technology, team work is no longer restricted to a physical meeting. Collaboration devices and conferencing solutions support businesses with global satellite offices that can be communicated with clearly and instantaneously with minimal interruption.

The evolution of meeting room technology has also made sharing creative projects far easier. For a creative team, receiving amends from a client or team in a remote location was once a frustrating task, with no way of visualising shared content and offering clear instructions in real-time. However, with dual-screening, touchscreen technology and content sharing that connects colleagues remotely, articulating feedback and problem solving with a team halfway across the globe needn’t require phone calls back and forth or an endless stream of feedback emails before a project is resolved.

To use Montage by DisplayNote as an example again, this particular content sharing device can enable 12 users to access a central touchscreen display. It also supports annotation functionality and two-way collaboration, so whether your team is local or connecting remotely via the Cloud, decision making can be instant.

As the Deloitte Australia figures suggest, team collaboration in all its forms should be embraced as both a morale booster and a value generation exercise for your business. The scope of collaboration tools and agile meeting room solutions on the market is testament to the importance of teamwork. So whether you’re setting up a huddle room, facilitating simple document sharing in the boardroom or connecting with colleagues overseas, there’s a solution to suit your collaborative process.

View the extensive collaboration product range available on DisplayPoint here, or speak to a member of our team to explore more solutions for your meeting space.