Last week I hosted a webinar featuring Principal Analyst at Forrester, Cheryl McKinnon, who covers trends challenges and recommended practices for managing enterprise content, to discuss what the move from content management to content collaboration really means for those in accounting and consulting.

It likely comes as no surprise that knowledge workers, particularly in accounting and consulting professions rely on timely access to documents and data, as well as the ability to work collaboratively with clients and colleagues. In fact, as organizations are becoming increasingly borderless, it’s more important than ever that we’re able to collaborate easily with these people whether they are inside or outside of our organization’s firewall. And yet, as we gain access to more and more tools for creating and sharing documents, these tools usually don’t work together, creating audit and security issues.

Forrester calls this period as the age of the customer. In tracking what this shift means, Forrester has identified four key marketing imperatives organizations are using to meet this shift: a transformation of the customer experience, an acceleration to a more digital business, an embracing of the mobile mind shift, and a utilization of the insights gleaned from big data.

Their global survey of almost 15,000 decision makers found that their top business priorities over the next year were to:

  1. improve the customer experience
  2. improve products and services
  3. address rising customer expectations

“Today,” Cheryl said on the webinar, “across all sectors, but especially in knowledge rich sectors, companies are starting to adjust their practices to meet the needs of this increasingly educated buyer.” One way they’re achieving this is shifting their technology investments.

As we move into this more digital way of working with customers and prospects we’re rethinking what we mean by enterprise. Traditionally, we have thought of the enterprise as the colleagues we work with either within our four walls or within our virtual organization. However, more and more we are thinking about the enterprise in broader terms.

Today, we need to engage with our customers, partners and suppliers (and citizens in the public sector) in the same kind of auditable, compliance-oriented approaches that we do with our own enterprise content. As we make this move and realize the limitations of relying on just email for this type of collaboration, we need to look to engage these external partners from within our own secure content systems.

This is why another Forrester survey  found that three quarters of software buyers view collaboration technologies as a priority.

 

Huddle meets this need, providing a secure, cloud-based platform from which organizations can collaborate with their extended organization. By improving collaboration both internally and externally organizations can meet the top imperatives, meeting customer expectations and improving their experience without putting corporate or customer data at risk.

 

 

 

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