#eWEEKchat April 8: Trends in Collaboration Tools

#eWEEKchat No. 85: Business collaboration tools have never been more important to enterprises than they are today, due to the worldwide COVID-19 pneumonia pandemic. Let's discuss how efficient these tools are, which new ones we see coming into the market, and how we're going to be working differently when the pandemic is over.

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On Wednesday, April 8, at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. GMT, @eWEEKNews will host its 85th monthly #eWEEKChat. The topic will be "Trends in Collaboration Tools." It will be moderated by Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK's editor in chief.

Some quick facts:

Topic: #eWEEKchat April 8: "Trends in Collaboration Tools"

Date/time: Wednesday, April 8, 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. GMT

Tweetchat handle: You can use #eWEEKchat to follow/participate via Twitter itself, but it's easier and more efficient to use the real-time chat room link at CrowdChat. Instructions are on that page; log in at the top right, use your Twitter handle to register, and the chat begins promptly at 11 a.m. PT. The page will come alive at that time with the real-time discussion. You can join in or simply watch the discussion as it is created. Special thanks to John Furrier of SiliconAngle.com for developing the CrowdChat app.

Our in-chat experts will include: Andrew Filev, CEO of Wrike; Peter Burris, IT industry analyst; Dan Lahl, Vice President of Product Marketing at SAP; Kurt Schrader, CEO of Clubhouse; David Mario Smith, founder and principal analyst at InFlow Analysis and strategist for digital workplace; Erik Jost, CTO of Dynamic Workplace Services, NTT Data; Tom Randall, research specialist at infotechRG; Mike Jumper, CEO of Glyptodon and PMC chair of Apache Guacamole; Molly Presley, Global Product Marketing at Qumulo; Jose Pastor, RingCentral Senior Vice President of Product Management; Barry Russell, Senior Vice President of Cloud, Qumulo; Sean Broderick, Senior Manager/Product Marketing at Upland Altify; and Seth A. Elliott, Chief Marketing Officer at Gtmhub.

Chat room real-time link: Use https://www.crowdchat.net/eweekchat. Sign in with your Twitter handle and use #eweekchat for the identifier. 

Collaboration Tools Discussion is Also on Radio

You can learn even more about this topic by listening in to DM (Data Management) Radio's hourlong show Thursday, April 9 at noon Pacific and 3 p.m. Eastern, with host Eric Kavanagh and co-host Chris Preimesberger of eWEEK. Title of the show: "WFH! Collaboration in the Post-COVID World." Guest experts will include Peter Burris, longtime IT analyst  and formerly with Meta Group, Forrester and Wikibon.

The DM Radio network is carried live in 20 markets nationally and on internet radio at the link above.

'Trends in Collaboration Tools'

Business collaboration tools have never been more important to enterprises than they are today, due to the worldwide COVID-19 pneumonia pandemic, which to date has infected nearly 1 million people and killed 55,000 in a span of about three months. Workers have been forced to operate from home, and many who have never had to do this are required to learn how to schedule and create videoconferences, send workloads via various channels to corporate storage locations, and collaborate on internal social network-like tools, such as Slack, Zoom, Teams, Box and others.

As analyst and eWEEK contributor Zeus Kerravala wrote: "This shift presents new challenges for IT departments, such as connecting a distributed, remote workforce to business apps and services both in data centers and in the cloud. All employees and their home networks are now treated as remote branches that IT must support with existing resources. At the same time, IT must ensure that those connections are secure and dependable. Historically, for most people, remote access was something used once in a while. Now it needs to be as available and reliable as the company network, because people are working from home for an indefinite period of time."

Pandemic or no pandemic, you are probably using some sort of business collaboration tool, even right now. Our #eWEEKchat app, CrowdChat.net, is one of those great, interactive collab tools that we're all using more and more. Likewise, if you utilize Slack, Box, Wrike, Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, Google Docs, Cisco Webex, Salesforce Chatter, Skype, Outlook, SharePoint or any of the other myriad brands out there, then you are using enterprise collaboration tools.

More and more functionalties are being packed into cloud services like those noted above, so that users can meet up online and make decisions, offer opinions, delegate work and get things done. Location isn't a factor, unless there's a connectivity issue—THEN there is a problem!

In parallel to this are audio and video meetups, the genres of which are changing rapidly and the quality of which is improving all the time. Services such as Zoom, Teams and Webex, which are experiencing a huge upsurge in usage here in 2020, are leading the way in videoconferencing. On the other hand, old-school phone conference calls are still the mainstay of remote meetings among three or more people—largely because it is the main default way to do this.

Seed questions for April 8

Talking points in our April 8 eWEEKchat will include the following questions:

Q1: Which online collab tools are you and your employees using now? Are you satisfied with them?

Q2: Can collaboration tools be used offline? How workable are these?

Q3: What new collaboration tools are you seeing that appear useful for your business case?

Q4: Are you concerned about the security of the online collab tools you use daily? Why or why not?

Q5: If you could add a feature to your key online collab tool, what would it be?

Q6: Looking ahead, when we're out of the pandemic, how will our workplaces be changed?

Join us Wednesday, April 8, at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern for this, the 85th monthly #eWEEKchat. Go here for CrowdChat information.

#eWEEKchat Tentative Schedule for 2020*

Jan. 8: Trends in New-Gen Data Security
Feb. 12: Batch Goes Out the Window: The Dawn of Data Orchestration
March 11: New Trends and Products in New-Gen Health Care IT
April 8: Trends in Collaboration Tools
May 13: Trends in New-Gen Mobile Apps, Devices
June 10: Storage and Data Protection Trends
July  8: New Advances in Networking
Aug. 12: TBA
Sept. 9: DataOps: The Data Management Platform of the Future?
Oct. 14: IBM, Dell, Oracle, Cisco, both HPs: How Legacy Companies Are Still Innovating
Nov. 11: Hot New Tech for 2021
Dec. 9: Predictions and Wild Guesses for IT in 2021

*all topics subjects to change

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...