- The “market sizing” of Coronavirus threat from a technology industry analyst perspective
- 5 key platforms and representative vendors for remote work usage
- Key recommendations for world-class virtual events and remote work, and
- A selection of vendors providing free applications and services in the Era of Corona.
Recent counts in heavily tested areas such as China and South Korea place the coronavirus fatality rate at around 0.6-0.7%
In today’s environment, the phrase “Too Big to Fail” has morphed into “Too Big to Proceed” in the event world.
Conferencing platforms are voice, web, and video conferencing tools used to hold group calls and chats. These can be both standalone tools such as WebEx, Zoom, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, Skype for Business, and Adobe Connect or embedded within larger platforms such as Slack, Google Hangouts, and Zoho Meeting. These platforms are useful for small group conversations fitting in the “Two Pizza” rule that Amazon has made famous as a meeting size. (For those of you who haven’t seen this before, Amazon has a theory that any meeting should be limited to people who can be fed by two pizzas. If two pizzas aren’t enough, there are too many people in the room.)
These platforms can also be used for large top-down meetings with managed question and answer sessions included, but need to be monitored to support “mute-all” capabilities by an active moderator.
Messaging platforms are asynchronous tools that allow teams to message each other both to formally chat about projects and informally discuss topics. Solutions in this category include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoho Cliq, and their smaller competitors such as Chanty, Fleep, Flock, Ryver, and Glip. There are also interesting hybrid solutions that include presence and virtual offices such as Sococo. These solutions are useful for providing space for less structured and spontaneous conversation. As companies put one of these platforms in place to support remote work, it is important to set up channels for each topic and for employees to maintain some level of rigor in separating conversations. Otherwise, it can be too easy for teams to pour all of their thoughts into a single stream of consciousness in a set of general channels, which becomes impossible to parse. Amalgam recommends a combination of topical channels and “water cooler” channels that allow for discussion of either informal or less structured topics.
File Sharing solutions provide a combination of storage, workflow management, project management, deal rooms, and collaboration to work both between teams and with current and potential clients. Your organization may have already invested in the likes of Microsoft Sharepoint and OneDrive, OpenText, Box, DropBox, Google Drive, Egnyte, or other similar vendors, but with the increased need for remote work and support, it may be time to reconsider your vendor or to increase either capacity or functionality to reflect the increased need to share files with other employees, partners, clients, potential customers, and the market at large.
Community Management solutions focus on creating a hub for customers to provide feedback and to engage both with each other and with clients. Key vendors in this space include Salesforce Community Cloud, Influitive, Khoros, Igloo, and Telligent. This platform is increasingly important at a time when direct client interaction is currently limited by corporate travel bans and event cancellations. For product managers, support engineers, sales and pre-sales professionals, and marketers to keep in touch with the pulse of their customers, some version of community management becomes even more important than before. Amalgam Insights also suggests looking at high-quality Learning Management Systems such as Skillsoft, CrossKnowledge, and Adobe Connect Learning as potential solutions to support immersive external education.
Virtual event platforms are different from conferencing platforms. Repeat, virtual event platforms are different from conferencing platforms. Not every conferencing solution is adequate for large-scale virtual events. Please do not make this mistake. Virtual events focus on providing a platform for mass internal or external communications, including spaces for keynote and educational presentations, question and answer sessions, informal networking, experiences, social media, and gamification. As businesses consider virtual event platforms to support or replace in-person events, consider both the previously mentioned functionalities as well as the number of people who can be involved and the level of control, configuration, and administration that exists for event managers to personalize the experience for attendees and sponsors. Key products in this space include On24, vFairs, 6Connex, INXPO, Workcast, GoToWebinar, and BrightTALK.
- Zoho ShowTime – Engagement and training tool
- Zoho Writer – Collaborative word processor
- Zoho Sheet – Collaborative spreadsheet application
- Zoho Cliq – Instant messaging/chat platform
- Zoho Show – Business presentation tool
- Zoho Meeting – Video conferencing tool
- Zoho Sprints – Agile project management software
- Zoho Lens (in the United States) and Assist – Remote support software
- Zoho WorkDrive – Document management tool
- Zoho Projects – Comprehensive project management tool