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Biamp survey: collaboration needs not being met by technology

The findings come from a survey of IT decision-makers at UK firms in the first part of 2014 that gauged attitudes to business collaboration tools.

Networked media system manufacturer Biamp Systems has published a new white paper looking at the crucial role that collaboration technologies play in today’s businesses. Entitled Clear Communications: Placing the End-User at the Heart of Collaboration, it highlights problems reported by organisations as they expand working relationships over increasingly larger distances.

The company surveyed IT decision-makers at UK firms in the first part of 2014 to gauge attitudes to business collaboration tools. “Since many of the tools currently in use fall under the responsibility of the IT department, we were expecting a consisted endorsement of one or to of the systems business already have in place,” says the report. “Our study actually found the opposite to be true – IT leaders are themselves frustrated.”

With more than 37% of respondents stating that time is regularly wasted on conference calls due to unsuccessful attempts to connect and poor sound quality, businesses must address these issues or they may find themselves falling behind more efficient and productive competitors.

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The report emphasises the need for organisations to evolve their internal processes in order to cope with a workforce that continues to include numerous, international locations. With 43% of respondent businesses having opened one or more offices over the past three years, and another 16% either planning or considering expanding into a new location, IT departments are under increasing pressure to ensure that teams are able to communicate effectively despite being separated by continents, time zones, or cultures.

Investing funds solely in IT is not enough. The white paper recommends that IT and AV departments must work together closely in order to develop an appropriate solution. IT decision makers agreed — with 62% of respondents stating that AV systems that are networked into the existing IT infrastructure would increase productivity at their companies. Fifty-two percent added that such AV systems could improve their company’s bottom line.

Incidentally, the report notes that the AV ‘land grab’ by IT departments feared by some AV professionals has not occurred: 45% of those interviewed agreed that AV technology did not fall within their area of responsibility.

“Clear communication is the primary facilitator of good business relationships. With workforces becoming increasingly distributed around the globe, businesses cannot afford to be let down by the technology they use to enable collaboration,” said Graeme Harrison, executive vice president of marketing at Biamp. “High quality conferencing exists, but the introduction of desktop conferencing solutions requires companies to invest thoughtfully so they gain all the benefits from this technology. Ensuring that clear, intelligible audio is included with the other capabilities is critical. Coordination between the IT department and the AV expert will enable effective collaboration.”