Guest Post: The Digital Workplace - More Than Just Social Collaboration

Patrick Püntener
Sales Director Colygon

Plan three steps ahead and then take one. Agile and fast. This is how any organization today must act to stay competitive tomorrow. Cultural transformation, disruptive business models and technological revolution are the three most important challenges the current workplace faces. For some, digital transformation, for others nothing less than the 4th industrial revolution: these challenges are, compared to any previous experience, large – very large.

Communication and collaboration merge together

"Work like a network" is the recommendation of Jared Spataro, General Manager Enterprise Social at Microsoft.

My 15 years of experience in the field of information management confirms this. I have furthermore noticed something that established large organizations have yet to learn, but startups have long since recognized themselves: Instead of climbing up the hierarchy ladders, young companies organize themselves in loose networks, thereby initiating a fundamental change in the way they work and communicate. New tools must be considered. Specifically, the two separate disciplines - communication and collaboration - emerge from their silos and merge into a single platform, the digital workplace or digital workstation.

Beyond physical desk and organizational boundaries

The digital workplace is where the virtual exchange of information and work takes place and thus it becomes the heart of digital transformation - it is the place where people work in the digital world. In my opinion, the digital workplace can and must go far beyond the physical, the desk. It manages to connect people and knowledge with the help of stationary and mobile devices across organizational and company boundaries. Not just employees with colleagues, but also with customers and networked business partners.

Relevant content right when you need it

Colygon’s patented approach, which I developed, connects information from both social and traditional communication with collaborative work results and documented knowledge from manuals and wikis, as well as the underlying processes in global platforms and it optimizes this new content with the use of user profiles. It brings a fundamental new factor into play: semantics.

Information is no longer located based on its content, but also based on its importance: their connection with business relevant contexts, such as customers, products or projects.

The answer to questions like "Show me all the contracts to all customers in Europe who have used a particular product in a project half a year ago," is suddenly a few clicks away. And all thanks to semantics.

Provide access to tacit knowledge

What if we could connect this enormous reservoir of information with the tacit knowledge that is in the minds of the employees?

That's exactly what I thought when I experienced Starmind for the first time.

And now we have further enriched the index of our Digital Workplace platform "MatchPoint Snow" with Starmind.

The result is a combination of our semantic engine and neural technology, with which companies connect the explicit knowledge (documents, websites, news, social posts, wikis, etc.) as well as the tacit knowledge (questions and answers from Starmind) with related topics or relevant experts. All a mouse click away.  

The potential is tremendous, as we have now created the last missing link between the topics arising from official communication and electronic collaboration, with current informal issues.  

Biography Patrick Püntener

Patrick Püntener is co-founder and member of the management board at Colygon AG, a Swiss digital workplace software pioneer.
He holds a Master Degree in Science and has 15 years of experience in the field of digital information processing. 
As board member, speaker, columnist and author of specialist articles, he is one of the most renowned experts in Switzerland in this field. 
He helps large organizations and medium-sized enterprises by consulting on their digital transformations.

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