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In order to be efficient, today’s businesses need to rely on new types of technology that focus heavily on efficiency and collaboration. Scaled-down versions of collaborative technology have been around for a few years, but they were never used to their full potential because the technology wasn’t ready. That is no longer the case.

The average business wastes valuable minutes at the beginning of every meeting just getting machinery to work. Even conference calls involve waiting for latecomers to join and ensuring everyone has the right software installed. Today’s teams require ‘plug and play’ technology that is reliable and simple, while still providing a stimulating experience.


With so many employees working remotely, static boardrooms have become a thing of the past. Many companies need to rely on alternative meeting styles. Visual collaboration is just one example of new technology that provides a shared dynamic workspace for an entire distributed team, enabling people to share multiple pieces of content at the same time. This means project changes are made in real-time with all team members either virtually or physically present. In addition, stakeholders can join in and make decisions from any location, which gives businesses an advantage when it comes to competing for clients.

Oblong has created a dynamic visual workspace called Mezzanine that enables concurrent multi-user interaction. Using gestural interaction, users can also place content from anywhere in the room to anywhere else in the room, and multi-screen workspaces provide a full immersive experience for everyone. Additional mezzanine rooms can be connected through Microsoft Exchange, Skype for Business and Mezz-In, their proprietary software.

The huddle rooms at Wainhouse research maintain the creative momentum of a group by enabling an equal sharing of data. Huddle-style meetings empower all participants, whether physically or virtually present, by enabling them to simultaneously share and interact with multiple sources of data using any of their devices. Chatter, Yammer and Jive are all examples of other virtual collaboration tools.

Crowdsourcing is the concept of dividing work to achieve faster results, and it has essentially turned social media into social productivity. Cloud technology makes it easier to research and store data from anywhere at any time, meaning businesses can be more agile and better equipped to make decisions. LiveOps’ Cloud is an example of a virtual, on-demand call center that combines crowdsourcing with cloud technology to maximize the outsourcing experience. Other popular crowdsourcing companies include AnswerHub and Spigit.

In the insurance industry, the Internet of Things (IoT) can deliver customer data to lower the cost of auto insurance for safer drivers, or lower health insurance premiums for healthier people. Users will also be allowed to bundle insurance in a customized way to meet their specific needs. Today’s robots can also enter customer claims. The advantage of having an AI inputting names, addresses and phone numbers is that there’s no room for human error. Data input is also done in seconds, as opposed to minutes.

In the fintech industry, robots can guide and encourage spending habits, as well as calculate the risks of lending. Automated programs are fed customer data and a precise history of spending trends, as well as texts and personal connections. They can then predict which customers will pay a loan back, and select specific due dates for each customer’s payment. For regular, mundane tasks like inputting and processing customer data, automated AI could really help banks save time and money.


Ryan Krutzig is a seasoned sales and operations professional based in Minnesota. Read more of his business advice or check out his Twitter!