True collaboration a far cry from conventional approaches

One of the first things I do when I wake up, all squinty eyed, is read email on my phone. I really should look out more through my window (see image – better when it is sunny) but instead I am addicted to the bright, likely eye-damaging LCD screen! A few weeks ago, I woke up to a series of e-mail notifications from our Intelex-Exchange community. One of our users had asked a very detailed technical question about our product the night before. Often these questions are answered by our internal support or development teams but increasingly other Intelex clients answer questions and share their expertise. Over that particular night, three clients exchanged eight or so public postings back and forth to help each other get the most out of their Intelex systems. It was thrilling to realize that these clients did not know each other prior to this conversation. They are not even from the same country! That was collaboration at its best.

The word ‘collaboration’ often receives lip service from companies. It is the ‘buzzword’ of our Facebook era. The idea of increased productivity, frictionless projects and magically shared knowledge is alluring but in reality, it rarely works as promised. Mostly, collaboration ends up meaning buying and implementing some magical new technology (which quickly becomes outdated!)

Technology shouldn’t ‘rule’ collaboration

Intelex believes that collaboration should really be about instilling a mindset of working together, being mindful of those around you and helping each other.

Moreover, collaboration should leverage technology but not be ruled by it. Email, the most widely used technology in the western world, is often used by groups of people to collaborate together. However, because email is a communication tool, and because of email overload and spam, it makes for an ineffective and excruciatingly unproductive collaboration tool. Even more fundamentally, good collaboration allows a person to ask a question without knowing who knows the answer. Actually, collaboration conducted by our clients that night on Intelex-Exchange would have been impossible over email! How would you email a question to get an answer when you don’t know who to email?

At Intelex, collaboration is a mindset mixed with just the right amount of tailor-made technology: our own Intelex-Exchange. ‘Collaboration done right’ means empowering our employees and clients to work together in a secure, transparent, easy-to-use and friendly environment. With that belief, we have built features such as Questions, Ideas and Support tools to facilitate collaboration across traditional silos. We continue to evolve existing tools and build new ones to empower our clients to do more and to transform how we work with our clients and how clients work with each other. We would love to know how we can improve this even further to help you solve the collaboration challenges that you and your companies experience.

Collaboration is a state of mind

Collaboration is more than just a buzzword or an item on a checklist for us. It is how we conduct our business every day – it is a state of mind for us, and for our clients.

In 2012, the number of conversations on Intelex-Exchange more than doubled, an exciting and encouraging signal that we are building a collaborative community that is valuable to our clients. We are grateful to our clients for their contribution – to this, their own community. You may ask: what is a ‘community’? Well, it is more than another buzzword and something I look forward to discussing on a future blog post.

We are excited about collaboration in 2013. I expect to see many more conversations and early morning notifications – hopefully, some from you!

Monish Gandhi is Manager of Online Communities at Intelex Technologies Inc.

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