How to fight against workplace fragmentation
Not long ago I mentioned here with Arnaud Rayrole and Alain Garnier the question of the fragmentation of the workstation. An essential subject that I had the opportunity to explore with Richard Hugues, Director of Social Strategy at Broadvision, who presented me with the solution Vmoso. The opportunity to remind once more that not only the collaborative bricks must talk to each other but must also integrate with the rest of the business IS.
Bertrand Duperrin: Can you tell me what Vmoso is?
Richard Hugues: It is an integrated communication and collaboration platform, which allows you to work more efficiently. It’s not just a matter of easily sending messages to each other, but above all of organizing the information that is generated in these discussions so that they can be found and navigated very easily, not only now but also several months after the conversation. is finished. I like to say that Vmoso is where KM meets mobile collaboration.
What types of applications can be combined in Vmoso?
R. H: Here are the 5 main components of Vmoso:
- Messaging – whether we are talking about short messages – instant messaging – or long messages like email.
- File sharing – most professional tasks involve file sharing, and this sharing must comply with access control rules consistent with those of messaging.
- Social network company – some communications are made within small groups of people, but others correspond more to a blog logic with the possibility for a large audience to read and comment on the content.
- Task management – when you ask someone to do something in Vmoso, you can specify who should do it, who is included just for their information, and for when it should be done.
- Contact management – the possibility of managing the directory of all the people with whom you work.
It is clear that the digital workplace – or digital workplace – is a very fragmented environment. Did you conceive of Vmoso as a response to this fragmentation? And, more generally, what is your strategy through Vmoso?
R. H: Indeed, one of Vmoso’s goals is to reduce information fragmentation. I am very happy that you are telling me about fragmentation because it is a subject that is far from receiving the attention it deserves. People talk a lot about the limits of email which can be summed up as (1) information overload – we get too many messages and the ways to deal with them are inadequate and (2) a lack of accountability – being everything time having to run after people and ask them why they’re not responding to your emails or doing what you asked them to do. Most people admit these problems, but it is more difficult for them to agree on a solution. There’s always a trending new mobile app that makes them think it’s going to get rid of email problems. But everyone chooses a different application, which leads to an increasingly important fragmentation of communication and knowledge within all kinds of different and incompatible application services.
The difference between fragmentation of communication and fragmentation of knowledge is worth noting. If people in your company use 10 different instant messaging systems to say “I’ll be 10 minutes late”, does that matter? Not really. But if these exchanges contain business information that you might need months or years later, that is a much bigger problem. In which system was this contract approved? Do you still have access to it when the person who wrote it has left the company? Knowledge fragmentation is a very significant risk for businesses and many people have fallen into this trap, with the good intention of solving email problems.
Thus, Vmoso aims to address the three challenges of corporate communication: information overload, empowerment of people, and information fragmentation.
Why did you adopt a “mobile only” approach for Vmoso? Fragmentation exists on all devices.
R. H: Vmoso is not exclusively for mobile devices. This solution also works on desktop computers. But this question raises an important point. Many new communication tools are “mobile first” or even “mobile only”. Mobile is where the buzz in the industry is happening right now and it is the preferred communication platform for the general public.
But corporate communication is different. Of course, there are categories of employees who greatly benefit from the benefits of mobile devices – such as sales teams or field engineers. But, it should be remembered that in many companies the majority of the employees are behind a desk. They have a keyboard and a mouse, a big screen and of course they’re going to use them rather than their phone.
Today, mobile devices are essential for business communication, but a “mobile only” approach would discriminate against many employees. So rather than the term “mobile first” I prefer that of “independence from the terminal” and “independence from the location”. Vmoso gives users the flexibility to choose the device and location that best suits the task at hand, allows them to switch between devices easily and have the same user experience wherever they are .
So Vmoso is not limited to Broadvision products but can integrate with other solutions?
R. H: Indeed, the web and mobile versions of Vmoso being entirely built around its API, it is therefore possible to integrate Vmoso into existing business solutions, either to integrate data in the backend, or to add Vmoso in the interface. application user.
For example, it could just be a way to access your file directories – we integrate with Google Drive so you can choose files stored in Google Drive and make them part of a discussion on Vmoso.
It can also be much more sophisticated. We have thus achieved an integration with SugarCRM, so that Vmoso discussions can take place in the context of an incident reported to customer service. CRM systems are good at recording who the customer is, what they requested and what was done. On the other hand, they have little capacity to manage the collaboration often necessary to resolve an incident. Take the example of a customer of a telephone operator who reported a problem on his line, requiring the intervention of a technician. Even at this small scale, the collaboration between the customer support agent, the customer and the technician can quickly become ineffective when the respective interventions of the collaborators are not recorded in a single source of truth. So if for each customer incident referenced in the CRM tool, we have a corresponding discussion in Vmoso, then communication becomes more effective. For the customer support agent, the Vmoso discussion is integrated into his CRM tool, for the technician it is accessible from his mobile, and the customer can use Vmoso from the web, the mobile application or even through his email system because Vmoso also integrates with email applications.
This is the typical example of real collaboration environments that Vmoso tries to make more efficient, and integration is an essential component of these environments, because it is often the context defined by business systems that will trigger the collaboration.
Do you see Vmoso as a collaborative solution – which is Broadvision’s historical playground – or do you think it plays in the identity management field as well. And in this case, how is Vmoso positioned in the face of solutions like Okta?
R. H: Vmoso is truly a communication and collaboration solution. I wouldn’t present it as an identity management solution. Obviously, there is indeed an overlap between collaboration and identity, but we would expect organizations to have an existing identity management system – like Active Directory. You can of course use Vmoso without a directory but even then I don’t see it as an identity management system.
What other challenges does Vmoso respond to?
R. H: So far I have talked about communication within the company, but Vmoso also helps improve the way organizations communicate with their customers and partners. Many new collaborative tools are dedicated internally but Vmoso tries to bridge the gap between internal and external communications.
As a consumer it can be really frustrating to communicate online with your telephone company, your electricity supplier or with large retailers. If you call them, you are automatically directed to a voice server; if you send them an email, you may wait 48 hours or more for a response; and customer service through social media is still too often a marketing facade to traditional customer service channels. Vmoso enables companies to offer their customers a single point of contact for interactions with customer service, a platform in which all conversation history is kept for both parties.
What benefits have already been measured for Vmoso customers?
R. H: Our claim is that Vmoso can save you an hour a day by communicating and collaborating more effectively. Of course the exact figure will depend on your profession. McKinsey published a report titled “The social economy: unlocking value and productivity through social technologies” on the time “knowledge workers” spend searching for information and communicating. They estimated that social technologies could increase productivity by 20-25%. The report dates back 4 years, but it is as relevant as it was in 2012. It is precisely the sources of inefficiency identified here – the time spent communicating and researching information – that Vmoso addresses .
Of course, one of the things that makes it difficult to measure the benefits is that no one (or almost) measures the time spent with their old inefficient tools. They know something is wrong, but they cannot measure it accurately. Thus, one of the steps of our methodology for implementing Vmoso is to start with an audit of the tools and processes used by the company and, from there, identify where the most significant improvements can be made. Then, as the project progresses, the results are measured and compared with the objectives defined at the start.
Article originally published on Notepad, Bertrand Duperrin’s blog.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.
He regularly deals with social media news on his blog.