What Is The Biggest Challenge When Dealing With Collaboration Technology?
Asking The Experts.

What Is The Biggest Challenge When Dealing With Collaboration Technology?

Ever heard that question? I certainly have, a number of times.

Even though I have a really short answer in my mind, I’ve decided to ask the experts dealing with the most dominant Collaboration solutions.

Before I ask what you think is the biggest challenge when dealing with Collaboration technology, have a look what these guys think.

The answers are in alphabetical order.

1. Vulnerabilities remediation – there are lot of dependencies involved when we apply the fix.

2. Frequently upgrading system/software/hardware due to EoX is difficult to manage at times. 

3. If the number of sites are more i.e. 100+, latency problems observed.

4. Cisco has many products in Collaboration when compared to other third party companies like Avaya, Asterisk, Ring Central, Zoom etc.  which is not a single box solution and sometimes it gets difficult to manage all these boxes using different URLs/VMs. 

I think the biggest challenge is change management especially user adoption. Each (collaboration) technology project/service will fail if users will not use it.

Collaboration technology challenges

To me, the biggest challenge when dealing with collaboration technologies is the same challenge when dealing with any other technologies.  In synchronization with Moore’s law, collaboration seems to be an ever, and rapidly, evolving field.  Where 20 years ago the focus was largely on the transition to VoIP, we are now firmly in the VoIP era with new technologies and ideas being produced all the time.  That incredible growth strains collaboration engineers as we must not only continue learning what we already have, but also learn about what newfangled technology was recently released as well as be aware of what will come out in the near future.  Also, with our learning, we must be cognizant of how laws affect how we use these technologies. (i.e., Kari’s law and the Ray Baum act as recent examples)

There truly is such an incredible amount of information that no single person can know it all.  I struggle daily with maintaining my responsibilities while also trying to learn what I need to know to accomplish today’s, or tomorrow’s, challenges.  I have been fortunate enough in my short career so far to have been faced with many challenges that have expanded my knowledge equally as wide as it is far, but often, as learners, we get sucked into learning as much as possible and forget to learn as deep as possible.  That depth of understanding is really where the key is to being successful in such a technical field.

I will often buy relevant books and other sources of information just to have on hand.  Knowing that I do not have time to read and go through it all but purchasing them to have as a reference that I can dig into as needed.  Then when a challenge arises, I crack the book open, look through the index or the appendix for a relevant topic, and then flip to the appropriate pages and read an entire chapter to ensure I have a solid understanding before looking back at the task at hand.

Many bloggers have written about the shameful imposter syndrome, and the reality is that we all do, and honestly all should, feel imposter syndrome to a certain degree.  I am forced to remind myself constantly that this feeling is not unique to me.  We feel this way because of how expansive collaboration technologies are.  Because no individual could possibly know everything about everything.  And because of that expansiveness, we are faced with new challenges all the time, and because of that, we often feel like imposters.  I recently started a new job, and even I feel like an imposter while looking at this new [to me] collaboration infrastructure.  I feel like I am being judged every time I ask a question that, in my mind, is a simple question.  I often criticize my own questions before I ask them, “will this question make me sound dumb?” or “will they think less of me for asking this?” or even “can I figure this out without asking, or am I just being lazy?”  I am not suggesting you should never ask this question, in fact, you should always ask questions like this.  Give each challenge, regardless of its significance, its due diligence.  This is a common trait of a successful person.

Bob Parsons, the founder and CEO of Go Daddy, Inc., has 16 rules to business and life. (https://www.bobparsons.com/my-16-rules)  Rule number 7 says “Always be moving forward.”  I love all of Bob’s rules, and if you haven’t read them, I encourage you to do so.  Never stop investing in yourself.  Never stop improving.  I would like to leave you with the concept of Kaizen, which Mr. Parsons references in rule 7.  It says that small daily improvements, over time, creates significant results.  Create significant results.

Collaboration technology challenges

My first thought is dealing with the teams who manage the network and security devices.

My second thought is dealing with how to make your Collab environment secure and then maintaining that. Some issues with SRTP can be a true headache to work against.

Third thought is, and this might be a little different than what your asking; however, it has been on my mind a lot… What’s next? What is the correct “next move(s)” to remain relevant/marketable? I feel like there are a lot of companies making the waters a little choppy and I’m curious about how things will pan out in the market.

I think conferencing is the biggest challenge for Cisco Collaboration because it’s now fundamental for work and business anywhere and anytime. The Covid-19 pandemic we are facing currently confirms that this domain is unmissable and becomes vital like the need to eat and drink.

Another point, if we look at the history of Cisco about the conferencing solution provided in the past through MCU, Telepresence Server, Telepresence Conductor and the migration to an All-in-one solution with Cisco Meeting Server for on-premise solution and webex team for cloud solution, the goal is to provide more flexibility and easy management and prooves that video and web conference is now important for better business profitability.

The result is that the evolution is so fast, therefore the customers was facing to another deal: how to migrate from an EOL solution to a new solution, as an example, the tandberg telepresence endpoints acquired by cisco after the acquisition of tandberg company and its own call control VCS (Video Communication Server) in addition the VCS Expressway as Edge solution while Cisco has already its own call control and Edge solution, this acquisition had a negative impact on companies because the tandberg endpoints are not supported on Cisco Unified Communication Call Control and Finds himself with two call control Cisco CUCM and VCS, both should be integrated to allow collaboration between users using disparate endpoints, more products means more management and more complexity, so another challenge emerges: how to provide new solution with less impact on customers, end users and existing collaboration infrastructure. Because the final goal of collaboration is to improve the end user experience.

That’s easy. There are lots of good tools in the market and they are more feature reach, more accessible and cheaper than ever thanks to cloud technology.

The real challenge to get good ROI from them is helping people/teams use them well and make the most of them. There is a big shift from email and online meetings and maybe a bit of group chat to actual group collaboration and working out loud.

What is the biggest challenge when dealing with Collaboration technology for you?

Leave a comment below. The best ones will be added to the article.