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The new collaboration portfolio

Divina Paredes | Sept. 26, 2014
CIOs talk about the shift from simple sharing of information to true collaboration – across multiple channels, organisations and locations.

Vaughan Robertson, group manager - technology strategy, Beca
Tim Chaffe, chief IT architect, IT Strategy, Policy and Planning, University of AucklandChris Robb, head of technology, retail and business banking, ANZ Bank
Andries van der Westhuizen, CIO, Stevenson Group
Walter de Wit, group manager, information systems, HEB Construction
Craig Columbus, CIO, Russell McVeagh
Richard Horton, CIO, Fidelity Life
Peter Yates, head, operations and platform delivery, Spark Ventures
Carlo Bussen, information systems manager, NALCO (National Aluminum Ltd)
Simon Baxter, sales and marketing manager, Spark Digital
Dave Wilson, regional manager for collaboration, Cisco
Hannes van Zyl, CIO, Hawkins Group
Dave Pollard, general manager technology, Fletcher Distribution (PlaceMakers and Mico)
Vanessa Sorenson, business manager, commercial acquisition, Spark Digital
Divina Paredes, editor, CIO New Zealand (moderator)
Monique Hooper, technology leader, Flight Centre NZ
Leanne Buer, head of collaboration, Spark Digital

The state of collaboration
Craig Columbus, Russell McVeagh: Collaboration is everything in our business. Interactions with our clients are key to ultimately successful outcomes for our clients. We're always looking for better ways to collaborate and better ways to improve the relationship.

From an internal perspective, we already have a good deal of desktop collaboration, desktop video conferencing and that works really, really well. In fact, it works too well. We are really revolutionising the way we work. We're going to purely virtualised desktops in our environment. But along with that I need to also bring my desktop video conferencing and cell phones, and it's got to work seamlessly. It's got to work just as well as it did with my fat physical desktops that have local processing power, lots of RAM, SSDs and so forth.

I've got a challenge on my hands here. In order to upgrade and make this work, I found out that I have to upgrade my UC client. But in order to upgrade my UC client, I've actually got to upgrade my voice infrastructure. And in order to upgrade my voice infrastructure, I have to upgrade my VMware infrastructure. And in order to upgrade my VMware infrastructure, I have to upgrade my server infrastructure. So all of that gets sunk so I can have desktop video conferencing in a pure VDI environment.

There's a huge investment that has to happen there. If I looked at it from a purely financial perspective, I'm not sure the investment stacks up. But if I look at it from a collaboration perspective, a cultural perspective, the soft benefits that you get from that face-to-face collaboration no matter where you are, all of a sudden I've got a different business case/justification. I then extend that out further and say, "Okay, now I'm not just talking about my employees; I'm talking about engaging with customers". This is where the real value begins to come in and perhaps differentiation that leads to business advantage.


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