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Next Gen Collaboration Tools: Great Value, But Privacy Concerns Are Here

February 04, 2019

By Bill Yates - Communications Correspondent

Collaboration tools are allowing organizations to share information on a grand scale. But along with the increase in productivity, incorporating new privacy rules into the collaboration process has become more difficult.

In a panel discussion in the Communications Applications track, communications executives involved in producing software that helps companies share information across platforms discussed the topic at the ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale.

The group included Josh Lowy, co-founder and chief executive officer at Hugo, and Steve Smith, founder and chief executive officer at Fonative.

Smith described three types of business collaboration that can be improved by employing new software tools:

  1. Communications within the company;
  2. Collaborations with businesses and vendors;
  3. Interactions with consumers.

Lowy noted how companies are using real-time communications products, such as Slack, to collaborate with their business partners.

He says that the expectation for immediate responses on these real-time collaboration networks makes the services much more valuable than email, for instance.

Programs such as Slack let you converse with your most valuable customers. “The key is to respond within five minutes,” he says.

Quick responses can turn complainers into collaborators, Lowy says. The says the people who raise the most ruckus are 1) the most likely to convert, and 2) the most likely to become brand evangelists.

Lowy also pointed out how the trend toward organizational decentralization is dependent upon the deployment of effective collaboration software.

“The decentralized approach to managing people Is not possible without collaborate software,” Lowy says.

Smith says that the new generation of collaboration tools are going to be faced with increased privacy concerns. He cited new data-privacy rules in California, which allows people to remove data about themselves, are going to changing the landscape for communication-tools providers.

“This is coming like a freight train, and its going to take a lot of effort to comply with these new regulations,” Smith says. Entities are going to have to produce new security standards to comply with the coming regs, he says.

Small companies are going to need to invest in security compliance, beginning with a complete data security audit. “It’s going to take a long time to trickle down to small businesses, but it’s coming,” Smith says.

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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