In this two part blog post we spoke with industry experts Peter Chalmers and Martin English to learn more about how they have approached collaboration in the cloud. Both discuss the impact cloud can have on a business, what needs to be considered before making the move, what causes a business to fail at cloud collaboration and finally both men share their advice on how best to get started.
Peter Chalmers Bio
As Managing Director of Morphate, a Salesforce Partner focussed solely on the Not for Profit sector, Peter is passionate about transforming organisations utilising technology. Peter is an experienced Senior Manager with a diverse background in Operational Management, Process and Systems Improvement, Staff Development, Mentoring and Managing and Delivering Projects across many industries including Financial Services and Not for Profits.
Mike Reddie (MR): How will collaborating in the cloud change a business?
Peter Chalmers (PC): The cloud opens up the ability for companies, teams and people to utilise tools that were not previously available. For example, collaboration tools such as Salesforce Chatter ensures meaningful and contextual conversations are captured within a CRM. This is extremely powerful when you are having a discussion with a colleague or a customer, the added bonus is it reduces email noise and ensures all the important activity is noted on the relevant record and not in someone’s inbox / tray / file etc.
MR: Out of the seven key considerations listed in the attached discussion paper, what do you believe is most crucial?
PC: For me the most crucial is adoption. Adoption should never focus on the technology - it should focus on the reason for change and ensure the benefit of the change is clearly defined and owned by the users. This doesn't change whether an app or IT solution is in the cloud or hosted locally. Without a structured change management approach to implementation you are ensuring your project will fail.
MR: What are the key factors that cause a business to fail when implementing collaboration in the cloud?
PC: The main factor is not providing a clear reason for change. If you cannot articulate "what's in it for me" then the chances are the tool will not be utilised. To combat this find early adopters or champions within the business/organisation and empower them to help drive the change.
MR: What advice would you give organisations that are looking to implement cloud collaboration?
PC: Consider all the tools that are out there but firstly focus on the problem at hand. Ensure you choose an appropriate solution that actually addresses your pain points and that the organisation are all on board. Utilise workshops to help the team/s understand the problems and introduce solutions to address the pain points. Do not expect technology alone to resolve your issues - technology + change + empowerment = success
Connect with Peter Chalmers - Managing Director at morphate.com and Salesforce MVP
Read part 2 here
To find out more on collaboration go to http://www.optus.com.au/business/voice-collaboration