I was fortunate enough to see the quite interesting demonstration of BCSocial and BrowseTel collaborating at Enterprise Connect, which I thought really brought home the theme of collaborative systems. BCSocial is designed to make workflow visual to all team members, and in effect the integration of messaging adds notation to projects without the clutter in the documentation itself. BrowseTel’s integration takes the notation beyond the platform by supplying the ability to — don’t wait for it — communicate in real-time. As the next generation of socially interactive users continues to take the role of leadership, these social collaborative tools are certain to gain popularity.
Following up the demo, I asked BCSocial Product Director Andraz Bezek and BrowseTel CEO Matej Zvan to respond to a few questions.
1. BrowseTel and BC Social working together seems to indicate the technology is moving from replication to innovation. How do you think you two working together matches up to the need be connected via existing social networks?
Both BrowseTel's and BCSocial's target market are SMEs, and it is in this space that we see the most added value of our joint efforts.
Doing business is all about collaboration – with your project teammates, your boss, your colleagues, your partners and your customers. In addition, businesses have become mobile, dislocated and very dynamic. Efficient collaboration is becoming an ever-greater challenge, doing so seamlessly and on a single platform even more difficult.
BCSocial is the tool to provide SMEs with a modern virtual office: a social space, where you can work with documents, tasks, projects, business workflows, on top of your existing services integrated into the BCSocial environment. In essence, it provides a common UX layer above existing data sources, now additionally empowered with WebRTC.
2. A logical follow up question is whether you should be looking to make plugins for social environments like Google Plus and Facebook?
Both our products are designed to be integrate-able. BCSocial can be easily connected to an SME’s existing CRM, ERP, ticketing and other local or cloud services (e.g., Evernote, DropBox, Gdrive). BrowseTel is yet another example of interoperability at a more global, functional level where BCSocial seamlessly integrates a state-of-the-art WebRTC.
3. A good portion of your programs support collaboration. Does that make the use of your systems part of a team building exercise?
Team collaboration sits at the heart of BCSocial, supporting project, organizational, customer or any other teams an SME may have. Teams collaborate to achieve business goals and by providing a common space for knowledge exchange, a number of hard to obtain benefits are unlocked:
- Significantly shortened turnaround cycles - teams become FASTER
- Instant insight from a common knowledge base - teams become SMARTER
- Aggregation of business content from a number of sources allowing teams to focus on what is important without losing time for gathering data – teams become EFFICIENT
- Team-wide collaboration enables full transparency – teams and their members become ACCOUNTABLE.
WebRTC's data channel is getting a lot of attention these days…are you taking advantage of it?
The data channel is an interesting technology, enabling a great future for real-time collaboration in the Web. We are planning to use it in many different scenarios like file, screen, content and resource sharing.
Besides using the data channel in team collaboration we are seeing huge potential of using the data channel (co-browsing, shared white boards, etc) in SaaS environments, moving customer care service to totally new horizons.
5. What would you like to see happen in the industry next? Do you feel we are getting our message to the mainstream?
There is a growing understanding among SMEs that there are smarter and more efficient ways to handle traditional problems business management. Consumerization, collaboration, cloud services and interoperability are all setting an exciting stage for simple yet efficient business tools unlocking productivity gains in SME’s -- many have already embraced the need for change and it is only a question of time for the mainstream to follow.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey