Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Putting people at the heart of your collaboration strategy

February 8, 2016

All too often barriers of distance and time get in the way of business. Supply chains are getting longer and more complex to manage. Not just the piece from manufacturing to fulfilment, but also external interactions with partners and suppliers.

So, how do you speed decision-making and unlock new efficiencies? And engage the workforce to maximize the opportunity and successfully embed change management?

Almirall is a great example of a firm that’s got it right. Headquartered in Barcelona, the pharma company came up with a collaboration strategy to bring together globally-dispersed teams. And they took care to involve HR early on in choice of vendor.

How refreshing. Sure, the new technology needed to be right. But Almirall knew ultimate success would come down to user adoption. That’s why they focused heavily on training and insuring the right support network was in place for smooth migration.

They also created super-user groups: early adopters who would champion the new technology in other parts of the business. So, the rollout quickly gathered momentum and was not seen as the latest IT-led initiative.

The change has been spectacular. Using presence people check colleagues’ real-time availability and their preferred contact method. Video’s everywhere. Calls can be set up on the fly on IP video phones, mobile devices, and high-quality video conferencing suites. If people step out of the office the video call is simply transferred to a smartphone or tablet and they work on the go.

What does this all mean? Well, less emails for a start as more issues get resolved on the spot. Video communication feels more intimate: putting a face to a name makes it easier to build relationships faster.

Although it’s early days, Almirall looks set to reap the rewards. Travel savings and a productive, satisfied workforce are some of the headline gains. Tools like Jabber and Instant Messaging are enabling faster, better informed decision-making. So, M&A teams are able to hold better negotiations with partners. Sales training is easier to arrange and takes place more regularly with WebEx. And the company’s R&D centers are working more closely together using TelePresence.

When you evaluate technology, it clearly pays to put your people at the heart of your collaboration strategy.

Click here to learn more about Almirall’s experience.

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