Mobile Collaboration vs Collaboration Mobility: what’s the difference?

Dan Stephens, UC Practice Manager
02/25/13 at 04:41 am

What is the difference between these two phrases, Mobile Collaboration and Collaboration Mobility?  I would suggest that the difference is in the connotation, technicalcapability versus defining a business challenge.

Mobile Collaboration is a marketing term that describes the technology of making applications that allow people to collaborate, mobile.  Some types of mobile applications are for voice, presence, video, conferencing, virtualization and file access.  Applications like Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Lync for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices make Instant Messaging and Enterprise voice available on your mobile device.  VMWare view can even make virtual desktops available anywhere and anytime.

Collaboration Mobility on the other hand is a term that describes the business drivers around why the mobile collaboration applications are important.  First, Collaboration is a process whereby we can reduce the “mean time to decision”.  Another way that I define Collaboration is “inserting the correct technology into an existing business process to improve efficiency without disrupting the corporate culture.” So Collaboration Mobility would be the taking of an existing or new business process and inserting the correctmobile collaboration applications as to improve the process without impacting the corporate culture.

The key drivers for Collaboration Mobility are and should be 1.) what is the problem we are trying to solve?  2.) will including mobility in the process make the process more efficient? 3.) Is it worth the cost, will the improvements save money, or make someone’s job satisfaction increase?  There are many other drivers that can be thrown into this list, but I am suggesting that BEFORE you rush in to build Mobile Collaboration you shouldreview your requirements for Collaboration Mobility.  Many customers will find investments that have already been made which can be recycled into a larger Collaboration Strategy that includes mobility.

The final thought I will leave you with is as you build Collaboration Mobility and you allow for employees to BYOD (Bring your own device) you must begin a balancing act between privacy and security.  While some Mobile Collaboration apps will include security, a Collaboration Mobility strategy will require it more holistically.  Enter the Mobile Device Manager or MDM.   MDMs are a critical component of your new architecture because they can help keep corporate data secure and allow for device governance policies to be applied.

By understanding your Collaboration Mobility requirements, governing your data and reducing your mean time to decision you will create a successful collaboration improvement strategy.