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Collaborating Across Company Borders

Author: Irwin Lazar, Vice President and Service Director

Enterprises are rapidly deploying team collaboration and cloud-based unified communications and customer-engagement platforms, primarily to support internal collaboration and/or customer-facing interactions. Team and UCaaS platforms, however, are generally not optimized, or primarily designed, for cross-company collaboration. This gap creates management and efficiency challenges for projects that involve complex interactions or ongoing collaborative activities among people from multiple companies. Collaborative workspaces that integrate messaging, file management, meetings, and enterprise applications create the ability to offer a consistent user experience and apply project-wide security and governance controls; some can support creation of templates to speed project setup and management and AI-enabled functions to improve ease of use.

Adopting collaborative workspaces overcomes limitations of team collaboration and unified communications applications by removing barriers to effective internal and external collaboration. This results in better project collaboration, and increased opportunities to deliver measurable business value. Business and IT leaders should

  • Identify potential limitations in extending current collaboration capabilities across company boundaries
  • Evaluate emerging collaborative workspace platforms for business benefit
  • Determine security and governance requirements for cross-company collaboration
  • Evaluate providers based on their ability to deliver integrated workspaces, features, and support for AI while meeting security and governance requirements
  • Determine metrics for measuring success, focusing on opportunities to reduce cost, achieve revenue gains, and/or increase efficiencies.

Table of Contents
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • The Cross-Company Collaboration Imperative
  • Today’s Collaboration: Evolving to Cloud and Teams
  • Extending Collaboration Beyond Company Boundaries
    • Disjointed Apps/Lack of Context
    • Cross-Company Collaboration Difficult to Manage
    • Compliance
  • Evolving to Collaborative Workspaces
  • Collaborative Workspace Use Cases
  • Measuring the Value of Collaborative Workspaces
  • Conclusions and Recommendations


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