The potential of Collaboration

I’m often asked, what is the next “wave” in the IT Market that will deliver the same results as the ERP, CRM and Web waves of the last three decades. The more I talk to people the more I conclude that Collaboration is the next IT opportunity for us all

Why Collaboration?

In the past 20 years Telephony (Voice), Network (Data) and Applications (Process) have been distinct disciplines with their own platforms and infrastructure. This has been reflected in the ownership and management of these platforms within most enterprises. With the proliferation of VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Web 2.0 / Social Computing the behaviours of users are changing at home and can now change in the workplace. The potential exists now to drive work to be completed in a truly different way releasing value and streamlining processes like never before. I call this the Ubiquitous Martini (anytime, anyplace anywhere anyhow).

Why now?

Let’s take an example we are all familiar with – The HR process of filling a request for a new employee position. In the past we were all familiar with the traditional approach:

Job Requisition > Job Spec > Recruitment > Selection > Appointment > New Hire Orientation

Companies tell me often that it takes between 12-21 weeks to complete the process, even when they have dedicated resources to drive the process. When I ask why, they talk about the process as sequential and involving many people. This makes it cumbersome and a logistical nightmare. As the market picks up and Enterprises compete for skilled labour this process needs to be more agile and shortened in order to support growth and underpin results.

Why use collaboration?

Imagine the scenario above delivered in a different way:

  • A hiring manager enters a New Hire Request from a SharePoint portal that HR have created
  • The recruiter completes the Job Spec based on other examples and submits to the Hiring Manager for approval
  • Once approved this Spec is made available on the Companies Intranet and Web Site automatically. Also a process is launched to automatically search LinkedIn, Monster, Facebook and other sites for suitable candidates
  • The recruiter is then presented with 20 CV’s of likely candidates to screen prioritised by experience, proximity and package. The collaboration platform has already set up calls with the top 5 candidates creating outlook appointments and an online test for the recruiter to assess the candidate’s written and technical skills outside of their verbal communication.
  • The recruiter then presents through the Hiring Managers Mysite the shortlist of 3 candidates with their Facebook Profile, LinkedIn Career check, and references obtained personally and professionally as Salesforce Leads.
  • The Hiring Manager uses a Video link in the face to face interviews to ensure a Peer and another employee are involved in the interview and obtains their feedback through Chatter functionality in salesforce that is attached to the “Lead”
  • The panel decide to offer the Job to Paul. The “Lead” is converted to a sale which automatically invokes Salesforce content to create the Job Offer, SharePoint URL to complete the joining forms for the employee and then creates a work item in the Joiners Process for Finance, IT, HR and the Hiring Manager. This ensures all the tools that have been chosen from a simple pick list are available for Day 1 of the employees joining, giving an efficient and professional impression. In addition the process will set up appointments for the mandatory training and induction steps in everyone’s diaries.


Combining Voice, Video, Process & Data is now cost effective and can deliver significant results breaking down the barriers to productivity creating competitive advantage and agility like never before. If you spend money on any element in this mix without a watchful eye on how it supports your downstream collaboration then you are going down a cul-de-sac! To get the recipe to my favourite Martini go to!

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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