Last week, we looked at the Collaborative Business Environment (CBE) model. A true CBE can be a portal that meets the three tenets we outlined, but a portal is not the only platform. The Lotus Notes client, for example, can be configured to provide true CBE functionality for the knowledge worker.
One of the greatest challenges of this decade will be facilitating how knowledge workers can work together when situated in different cities and countries.
Collaborative Business Environments can provide the infrastructure for cross-border enterprise-wide communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Deploying a Collaborative Business Environment will: 1.) Improve collaboration 2.) Help facilitate enterprise-wide productivity gains 3.) Streamline the flow of information
An excellent example of how this works in practice is a team of consultants, one in San Francisco, one in Tokyo and several at a client site in Budapest. During the course of the engagement, despite the difference in time zones, they use a Collaborative Business Environment to prepare documents relating to the engagement, working in a coordinated but asynchronous manner. They can also meet synchronously in the CBE from time to time, and all participants in the meeting have access to the same resources. The CBE allows the consultants to focus on their client while tapping expertise from consultants on other continents.
Of course, CBEs are not limited to getting small groups of people to work together; they provide the infrastructure that enables different areas of a company - as well as the company's customers and partners - to work together.
Today, in most companies, despite great technological advances, the flow of information is oftentimes one-way, and of limited value. With current systems, valuable information and knowledge are all too often lost, or frequently go unrecognized and unused.
In order for companies to take advantage of expanded borders, they need to find the optimal path to enterprise-wide Collaborative Business Environments (CBEs) - the nexus between knowledge sharing, collaboration, and the business itself. Companies that build solid and well-structured CBEs will leverage their people and knowledge - across time zones and borders-while creating environments that facilitate the ability of people to work more effectively.
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