Frost & Sullivan, the industry research and growth consulting firm, looked beyond the more obvious return on investment (ROI) calculation a company may make before investing in these tools, such as the cost of operating the solution against savings derived from travel avoidance. Instead, the research and consulting firm took a broader approach to the method of evaluating one collaboration solution over another by developing and applying a model for certain aspects of their effectiveness and usability.
"To help create a truer picture of the value derived from the use of collaboration, companies should consider a range of factors, such as the availability of the solution to a worker needing it—at any given time–or how well a particular solution meets the collaboration needs of a team," advises Brian Cotton, Vice President of Frost & Sullivan's Information & Communication Technologies consulting practice.
Frost & Sullivan's new whitepaper, The Velocity of Collaboration: Selecting an Appropriate Collaboration Solution, considers the challenges organizations face when selecting and evaluating collaboration products and services, and also details the metric that can demonstrate the relative merits of different collaboration solutions in supporting information flow and decision-making in everyday work situations.
"Such a metric would help enterprise IT decision-makers evaluate which solutions are most appropriate for their collaboration technology needs," adds Dominic Dodd, Principal Analyst of Frost & Sullivan's Unified Communications & Collaboration research group and co-author of the study.
Frost & Sullivan calls this metric the Velocity of Collaboration (Cv), and it is a gauge of the efficacy of a collaboration solution in supporting the achievement of collaboration goals.
The collaboration industry has been developing for more than 40 years, with a growing range of products and services that aim to approximate the natural meeting experience. Most people today are familiar with audio conferencing, and most have at least participated in web conferences. Videoconferencing tends to be less familiar, and telepresence, which is considered by some to be the state-of-the-art for collaboration technology, is not yet in the mainstream. These solutions were among those considered in the analysis. A new form of collaboration, called telecollaboration, was also analyzed.
Cv is a practical assessment of the usefulness and applicability of a collaboration product or service. In addition, used as an index, it can be a method for comparing different types of collaboration solutions. It can also help a prospective buyer or user consider the ways that collaborative activities seek to achieve business goals and the choices they will need to make in acquiring the appropriate solution.
The two key attributes of this efficacy are the richness and the accessibility of collaboration solutions. Richness is a set of the core properties of a collaboration solution, with seven key components corresponding to the most fundamental capabilities found in collaborations products and services today: chat, voice (or audio), presentation, information access, application sharing, interactive video, and immersion.
Accessibility is used to describe the degree of ease with which a user can gain access to use a particular collaboration solution, relative to the availability of the solution and speed of access, or how long it takes to start using the solution productively.
The value of the Cv for a given collaboration solution is generated from the product of these two attributes. Analyzing a set of six collaboration solutions, Dodd and Cotton found that telecollaboration, web conferencing, and telepresence yield the highest Cv scores. This suggests that these solutions would be most appropriate to support the complex, tacit interactions characterizing today's business environment.
If you are interested in receiving a copy of The Velocity of Collaboration: Selecting an Appropriate Collaboration Solution, please send an email to Jake Wengroff, Global Director, Corporate Communications, at jake.wengroff[.]frost.com with the following information: your full name, company name, title, company telephone number, company email address, city, state, and country.
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Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents.