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The Future of Team Collaboration: Interview with Jim Payne, Product Manager at RingCentral

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jim payne Successful corporate environments require that employees collaborate productively. People rarely accomplish large projects and tasks alone, and instead, each person belongs to a team where he or she is a crucial part in achieving a goal.

In the workplace, there are several different ways to exchange ideas, but not all of the existing outlets are efficient. The way people collaborate within the office continues to gradually evolve, and technology needs to change with it. Many of the tools currently available, such as email, IM, and document sharing, are missing crucial pieces that promote effective teamwork. This gap, however, can be avoided with a new generation of team collaboration tools like Glip, HipChat, and Slack.

With the idea of collaboration and tools in mind, Jim Payne, Product Manager at RingCentral, sat down with me to discuss how he works most productively within the workplace.

So Jim, what is your role here at RingCentral?

I have many different roles, including product marketing managing, all field marketing, competitive analysis, industry trend analysis, and sales enablement.

With so many different responsibilities, what tools help you in your job?

I use a lot of Adobe products and Microsoft Office. Really, I use anything that allows me to collect and distribute information quickly from my coworkers. In fact, I’ve been using Glip for nearly every project. It has been extremely useful.

Now that new tools are being created and are constantly evolving, what tools do you no longer use in the workplace?

I don’t touch my desk phone anymore; I just use my softphone. I rarely use email, which has been helpful. There really isn’t a need for these outlets with so many other options available.

What does team collaboration mean to you?

To me it means fast and open access to information and other people’s skill sets, while filling those gaps quickly and effectively without necessarily needing to be in the same place.

What excites you about a new generation of collaboration tools?

I would say the single point of organization. I can manage my tasks, my calendar, and my files all in one place as opposed to traversing multiple systems. Although we are still using older technologies, we’re moving toward using Glip for more applications. Companies and people are always obtaining new technology. It’s an ongoing process. That’s exciting in itself.

But obtaining new technology can be time consuming for those having to learn how to use them. Why should companies change?

It’s a lot easier to learn in increments than in leaps and bounds. I look at how quickly technology evolves and the impact that it has on people. If you don’t learn in steps, it’s going to be harder in the long run. To me, team collaboration tools are the next evolution.

How should early adopters spread the word to those around them?

The proof is in the pudding. Tell people how you can use it daily, and share information for how it impacts you as opposed to just what it does. It’s important to communicate results.

What types of advantages do team collaboration tools like Glip have that other applications lack?

The file sharing is cool for me as well as starting video meetings. Being able to add content on an ad hoc basis is also awesome. For example, I was just on the phone with a colleague and I was able to take control of her keyboard, see what she was working on, and contribute my own input. Even though she’s in Colorado and I’m here in California, the distance doesn’t prevent us from collaborating as though we were in the same room. Glip has made working more cohesive.

So Jim, we’ve heard a lot about what you like at work, but what types of activities do you enjoy during your free time?

I’m a big fly fisherman, I play the violin and the drums, and I’m a pretty good cook. Lately, I’ve tried taking up surfing, and I love spending time with my Catahoula Leopard dog, Gonzo.

You can hear more from Jim on July 29 during RingCentral’s webinar, “Does More Technology Equal Better Collaboration?”; click here to register now, and join the conversation on Twitter using #RCWebinar.

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Collaboration takes on many different forms in a corporate environment. Whether it is brainstorming ideas for a new campaign or simultaneously working on a webinar deck, people must be able to work together efficiently. Today, however, it can be a challenge to achieve this. With employees in different locations, time zones, and offices, there needs ...


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