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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.

Our experience is people don't do flame wars because their face and their name is on the bottom of it. In our nearly 20,000 posts over a year in Yammer -- I've only had one that I've had to withdraw.

Peter Yates, Spark Ventures: We have been fortunate to be in Spark [formerly Telecom NZ] but also very separate from it. We have been able to take our strategy, our own thinking around collaboration and technology. We've made a conscious decision of what is going to be core, and what is not going to be core. If it's not core to us, we don't necessarily host or manage it. We want to be a consumer of a service, by taking an ITOps101 approach to getting the foundations in place to support the growth of Spark Ventures

For example, we use Gmail so we don't have to manage an Exchange server. With Google, you also get Google Hangouts. So when we have a major incident or want to talk to one of our partners also using Google, we can do so pretty much in real time. It actually keeps our customer care team and other technical resources involved updated.

We're also looking at our monitoring platforms as well. Again, we don't necessarily want to manage our monitoring platform; we just want to consume the service and get the supplier to carry out upgrades.

We also internally use Confluence (Atlassian) so when we learn something new, we can publish it to the wider teams. Our people can also subscribe to particular feeds/pages in Confluence. We use our own Wi-Fi so we can work anywhere within certain areas within Spark. There are also plenty of break out areas where we can get together and work.

Dave Wilson, Cisco: We have more than 65,000 people in our organisation, across 92 countries around the world. I work and live in New Zealand but I'm part of a global organisation based out of the US and I report through to Australia and Singapore. So for me, collaboration is everything.

We are very lucky to work within an organisation that has an enviable technology infrastructure. The tools and technologies we use here on a daily basis are critical to enabling me to do my job.

Finding and connecting with a subject matter expert and then engaging them with my customers and partners here in New Zealand is at the core of what collaboration delivers to me.

However, it's important to understand that technology is just the first piece of the puzzle. It is the organisational process and culture that underpins the technology. It is this combination that truly enables us to collaborate successfully. This is a point that is often lost when creating collaboration strategy. There is a tendency to focus too heavily on specific hardware or software solutions. It's not about upgrading your communications technology, it's about creating true and lasting organisation-wide change.


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