Collaboration is the New Communication

My role as EVP of Innovation for RingCentral excites me because I get to imagine what’s next in the technology landscape. Over the past year, we envisioned an exciting new reality in workplace collaboration. We saw that collaboration is essential to unifying all of your  communication streams. Whereas once your phone calls, emails, texts and documents were all separate work streams, now they are combined in one workspace. RingCentral is on the forefront of this movement with our acquisition of Glip. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reimagining communications as increasingly centered around enhanced collaboration.

As I wrote about recently on Real Time Communications, products like Glip or Slack improve workplace efficiency by extending the reach of telecom technology. The way we communicate continues to evolve at lightning speed. Decades ago, we couldn’t have imagined e-mail; nowadays, who can remember a time before text? Having team chat embedded into our everyday workspace is important and a nod toward enhanced need for real-time, quick, text-type conversation as a complement to e-mail’s more lengthy formality.

Collaboration technology is much more than adding team chat components to our communication suites, though. To have one portal through which documents, calendars, task lists, and all communications can be filtered is a dream come true. Now, rather than sorting countless e-mails into files or taking one-off phone calls with “just one quick question” (which we all know is never the case), projects can be grouped and entire streams of communications about them contained in a single, searchable, manageable thread. As someone who has to oversee lots of different moving parts, this is ideal and spares me from being flooded with bits and pieces of every project in a disorganized fashion throughout the day. I don’t have to do any thinking about where tasklist items should go or about where to look for a deliverable; it’s already where it belongs. Enhancing the organization of our communications so seamlessly and effortlessly through collaboration tools like Glip improves our efficiency remarkably.

What I like best about reimagining communications as enhanced collaboration is how it flows so much better, leading me to believe that these tools will improve our work-life in ways that we haven’t yet conceived. Who hasn’t felt inundated with to-do lists largely populated with the need to update people on the status of various tasks? Collaboration as part of unified communications doesn’t do that for you entirely, but it helps to ensure that things don’t fall through the cracks. For example, everyone can check task lists in one place. It is also easy to update whole teams at once and to update them in a way that, if subsequent team members are added, can be reviewed readily without the need for recreating histories of a project to bring someone up to speed. Learning lessons of past work for future projects is becoming a lot easier with this kind of information synthesis.

As far as #BigIdeas2016 go, imagining collaboration as the future of communications is my contribution. I look forward to sharing with you as the year passes how Glip adds to RingCentral’s communications suite as well as how it continues to improve my own efficiency and flexibility at work in unexpected ways.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn as part of the #BigIdeas2016 series in which professionals predicted the ideas and trends that will shape 2016.

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About Kira Makagon

Kira Makagon is a successful serial entrepreneur and tech industry leader. A graduate of UC Berkeley with both an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA, she enjoys sharing her lessons learned from being a veteran “only woman in the room.” Kira's recent awards and recognitions include the following: 2015 YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award 2015 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards Named to Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence in 2015 Named to SF Business Times Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business for 2015 and 2016 2016 Bay Area CIO Awards finalist

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