Diverse working teams have often struggled to collaborate seamlessly over phone and email, which is why team collaboration apps have emerged as a solution to remote working and improved teamwork. These apps give workers the chance to share files, chat, and communicate in real-time.
Unfortunately, as team applications grow more popular, users may begin to feel overwhelmed by a range of app choices. Employees may need to use one app to chat with co-workers, while collaborating with people from outside networks on a completely different platform. The lack of interoperability between team applications on desktops and smartphones can present a serious problem, and has become a common complaint according to Nemertes Research.
According to analyst Irwin Lazar, the lack of interoperability is a growing issue which vendors simply aren’t addressing.
Creating Problems for Productivity
Statistics indicate that 42% of companies from various backgrounds are using team collaboration applications, and that number is likely to grow. As users thrive, the application interoperability challenges they face may become more complex.
The overall lack of interoperability between apps is frustrating for users who are already dealing with context switching, and information overload. Now, businesses face additional challenges managing the security of external teams, and administration for monitoring content.
The successful adoption of any collaboration app depends on the ability of the user to make that app their primary source of collaboration. If you need to deal with multiple tools, then you’re going to struggle to get anything done productively – and therein lies the problem.
Poor Collaboration Between Vendors
Moving communication applications into the cloud could make interoperability easier, however multiple cloud initiatives can also become an issue for interoperability. Cloud silos are emerging more frequently in today’s marketplace, and UC vendors don’t even want to address the concept of interoperability – because it’s not in their best interest to work alongside other competitors.
Some services have begun to emerge in an attempt to address issues with interoperability. For instance, Sameroom provides team collaboration unification, while Cloudpipes connects clouds for workflow automation.
UCaaS solution, 8×8 Inc. purchased Sameroom in March 2017, allowing 8×8 the opportunity to develop their own “bring-your-own-team-chat” portfolio offering. The service leverages APIs from collaboration vendors, and uses bots to create a bridge between rooms and channels for more than 30 team applications at a time. The interoperability level varies among APIs and their providers. However, the service allows users on a range of apps to share files and messages, while meeting compliance requirements.
Interoperability and the End User
Ultimately, the lack of vendor collaboration for team apps is having a negative impact on the end user. As individuals and companies continue to place increasing pressure on vendors for interoperability solutions, more providers may begin to open their platform to services that allow for easier usage, such as Sameroom and CloudPipes.
Right now, we can only wait and see whether vendors will really respond to the needs of their customers.