In theory, team collaboration tools allow far-flung groups of colleagues to work collectively in ways that boost innovation and productivity. It doesn’t always work out that way, however.
As the use of Collaboration applications has ramped up rapidly in recent years, there have been unintended consequences. Research shows that workers are toggling between four or more different collaboration apps repeatedly throughout the day, leading to diminished productivity and focus. Analysts call this “collaboration paradox” — the more collaboration tools we use, the less effective our collaboration becomes.
An emerging class of cognitive collaboration apps is designed to resolve this paradox. By applying a variety of artificial intelligence disciplines to collaboration workflows, these apps make collaboration a far more fluid experience with enhanced insights, context and intelligence.
AI-enhanced collaboration solutions leverage machine learning, natural language processing, text analytics and more to eliminate bottlenecks, improve information gathering, record meetings and offload routine tasks. Most important, they can break down communication silos created by the rapid proliferation of collaboration tools.
The organic growth of team collaboration apps has created a disconnect in many organizations. In one recent survey, more than 80 percent of IT decision-makers reported that collaboration tools in their company differ by department and are not used across the entire organization.
Other communication channels aggravate the inefficiency. With email, phone calls, text messages, social media posts, and web and video conferences, workers are under almost constant pressure to read and respond to some form of communications. In the end, the tools that are supposed to boost our productivity can wind up making us less productive.
AI-enhanced collaboration eliminates a great deal of the disruptions that cause us to lose concentration and interrupt our workflow. For example, AI functionality can enable cross-product functionality, allowing users to collaborate across different platforms without toggling back and forth. It can eliminate excessive searching by pulling together information from a variety of sources such as business applications, calendars, knowledge bases and email.
Integrated digital assistants enable users to start or join meetings, call colleagues, access reports, manage calendars or share files with voice commands. Text- or voice-activated bots can search for information, turn raw data into graphical reports, track customer feedback and sync conversations across different chat apps.
Computer vision capabilities create smart meeting rooms in which cameras recognize faces, gestures and objects. When combined with other technologies such intelligent proximity, this technology can ask users if they’d like to join a scheduled meeting when they walk into the room. It can also combine internal data with information gleaned from the web to create profiles of meeting participants. Intelligent viewing features automatically detect active speakers and shifts camera angles for ideal framing.
A recent Dimension Data survey reveals increasing demand for AI-powered collaboration tools. More than half (53 percent) of organizations surveyed said smart meeting rooms are critical to improving business processes, 90 percent said having detailed information about participants would make meetings more effective, and 89 percent said using digital assistants for virtual meetings would deliver immediate value.
With increasingly distributed workforces, organizations need collaboration solutions that foster teamwork and improve workflows. However, the tools most organizations use make the process overly complex. Emerging cognitive platforms can streamline the collaboration experience and reduce administrative workloads to help employees become more productive. Give us a call to learn more about using AI-driven apps to improve your team collaboration capabilities.