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Collaboration Becomes a More Human Experience

Has the collaborative experience become more human? Maybe the marketing line should read:

Technology has advanced to give us more choice in the devices, applications, and locations of our work.

But what does that mean to me as a person? Let’s think about what makes up today’s collaborative experience by looking back at where we started not so long ago.

Sharing documents was job one. The PC-centric world made simple document sharing a chore!  I had to have access to documents first and foremost. Then I needed to keep my contact list up-to-date so I knew how to share those files with the right people – which usually meant emailing them directly. The contact lists themselves were all over the place.

Today there are more sources of information I can use to do my work: RSS feeds, community events, and activity streams of what my colleagues are up to as social enters prime time on the business side.

And of course it’s no longer just about documents. I may view or record different types of media to share information as well. All of these elements have become part of how I collaborate.

In the old model, I needed copies of each of these things on every device I used, so there was always the challenge of keeping them in synch.

And then along comes cloud.

And things begin to change.

Now instead of spending time moving files from desktop to desktop, from person to person, from email inbox to inbox, I can store them in a cloud and get them when I need them. Wherever I am. On the device I want to use at the time.

The same thing goes for activity streams and rich media. As long as each of these devices and applications are linked to my personal identity – they can follow me wherever I go. From device… to device… to device. I have access to information when I need it, making my whole existence, which seems to be all about work, more human.

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