The Future of Team Collaboration: Interview with Niel Levonius, Director of Product Marketing at RingCentral
In two previous blog posts we discussed the pivotal role good collaboration plays in everyday business. Both Jim and David mentioned how current technologies will not necessarily become obsolete, but instead these tools are not being used with their intended design in mind.
When thinking about superior and inferior collaboration, a visual of an orchestra comes to mind. Each player may be talented or unique on his or her own, but it is not guaranteed that placing them together in the same ensemble will produce an enjoyable sound. To achieve a cohesive outcome in music, there needs to be communication, direction, and leadership. The same idea applies to people in the workforce and the tools they use. People may be able to work effectively on their own using a single application, but when they come together with others, they need something with more features and direction to join their efforts. This is where collaboration tools come in.
The last member of our webinar panel, Niel Levonius, a musician himself, shared his thoughts with me on team collaboration tools and their benefits.
Can you tell me a little bit about your role and your daily tasks?
Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about collaboration. Why do you think there is now a bigger need for collaboration tools?
There is a bigger need for collaborating because the way we work is evolving. Not only the way we work, but also where we work. We are more distributed. A lot of our customers are working 24/7, and because of that culture change, you need a way for people to collaborate from anywhere and from any device. The culture shift has created an opportunity for RingCentral to make the lives of workers more productive.
In what ways have new collaboration tools made your job easier?
They have made my job easier by allowing me to work wherever and whenever I want.
How have you utilized these types of tools?
In my daily job of running and managing RingCentral GTM activities, often times I need to collaborate with a very diverse cross-functional team. Collaboration tools are useful for this.
What are the concerns that you’ve heard regarding people transitioning to new applications?
Mostly the concerns have to do with training, such as how can people in my workforce benefit and how can I use the new application.
How can people overcome these concerns?
People can overcome these concerns by selecting tools that are intuitive, simple to use, and that come with a great training program.
What industries would find this new technology most beneficial?
The product isn’t limited to just one industry or type of business. There are benefits for each industry because in every company there is a need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively.
What tools are being replaced by newer team collaboration applications?
Stand-alone email and instant messaging solutions are being relied on less. Email is an inefficient tool for collaborating on projects and documents. The way email has been used in the past in a group context, where everyone keeps making edits and sending new versions, creates version-control problems. With instant messaging, you add another single utility application, where as Glip (soon to be RingCentral Teams) combines file sharing, collaboration, and instant messaging. It’s a way to consolidate corporate communications into a single vendor solution.
When you’re not using new collaboration tools, what do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of RingCentral, I am a professional musician and enjoy spending my time playing with various bands. When I’m not playing, you can find me on my 1963 Chris Craft.
Please click here to register for our Webinar Wednesday, July 29, to hear our panelists discuss team collaboration tools and what they can do for you business productivity; and be sure to follow along with the conversation on Twitter using #RCWebinar.