How Technology Reshapes Work & Collaboration - InformationWeek
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3/27/2015
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How Technology Reshapes Work & Collaboration

Collaboration tools and new connectivity options mean work isn't about where you are, but what you're doing.

David Danto, Principal Consultant for Dimension Data and an Interop speaker, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice and Interop Las Vegas Expert Interview Series.

The series, hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology issues through conversations with industry leaders.

Danto joined Buckner to discuss collaboration, workspaces of the future, project management, and why attending conferences is so valuable.

Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation:

TA: Please tell me a little about yourself and Dimension Data.

David: Dimension Data is one of the largest information and communications technology (ICT) services provider in the world. We’re in 58 countries and have 26,000 employees. I’m just one of Dimension Data’s expert consultants.

My specialties cover AV, multimedia, unified communication, video and audio visual collaboration. I’ve been with Dimension Data for a little over three years.

TA: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen over your career regarding how work gets done?

David: We used to think of "going to work" in a traditional sense that involved a commute, an office building, and an assigned desk. One of the big tenets of our concept workspaces for tomorrow, is to switch that mindset to "work is what you do, not where you go."

As a knowledge-based worker--which many of us are--I can work from anywhere as long as I have the right tools to be productive. My physical location doesn’t matter.

It means that we can work when we need to. It means that we’re no longer bound to 9-to-5 and can have better work-life balance. This results-only and flexible work environment enables you to really focus on what needs to be done in order to accommodate the actual needs of the business.

TA: How does this align with the advice you give clients when they are looking for and researching different technology?

David: Picking out the right technology involves a series of steps.

Step 1: Understand what the actual business needs are, because you can’t assume it’s the same as other organizations, even if they are in the same industry. Who are you serving? What are you doing? What are your needs? What outcomes are you are trying to achieve? It always varies, depending upon what the mission is, who the people are, what their style of working is.

Step 2: Lay out an onboarding plan for the technology that says, "This is what we need today. This is what we need tomorrow." With a roadmap you can then make intelligent, creative decisions. It’s very empowering to create a phased plan knowing what the last step is, so you can see how each step you take gets you closer to your goal.

Step 3: Do your research. The whole concept around picking technology really gets down to doing a lot of research first on what your options are based on your specific needs.

Only after we’re able to really understand what a specific organization’s needs and objectives are can we help develop something that can help moving forward. Any firm not taking the time to discover objectives is just trying to sell something.

TA: You’ve been attending Interop for almost 15 years. What are you looking forward to the most about the conference this year? How do you explain the value proposition of the conference experience?

David: Getting out see the people who drive the IT industry--meeting colleagues and potential clients/business partners--is exceptionally valuable. Networking is powerful.

I’m a big advocate for collaboration technology and not travelling when you can use the technology to meet with people, but, you can’t use technology to replace the experience you get attending a conference, talking with peers, comparing technology side by side, really understanding what the buzz is.

You’re getting information that you could not possibly get any other way and really providing a value to the organization that you work for.

To join David at Interop Las Vegas, go to www.interop.com/lasvegas and enter his speaker’s discount code SPEAKERVIP for 25% off the price of the Total Access, 3 Day Conference or 2 Day Workshop passes.

One attendee who attends David’s Room Video Systems session on May 1 and tweets about it will win a Conference Cam Connect courtesy of Logitech.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, download the show to listen later. This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.

Clark Buckner is a content marketer and new media strategist podcasting about technology and entrepreneurship at TechnologyAdvice.com. He enjoys the tech conference scene and discovering innovative ways to create new opportunities from emerging technologies. View Full Bio

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