Sramana Mitra: What is also becoming very popular is virtual collaboration. I run a virtual company. My team is spread all around the world. There’s pretty much no friction. We have a very seamless organization. It’s a small organization, but I know of much larger organizations that are operating in this mode as well. Clearly, a good solid collaboration system has a lot to offer in the frame.
Right now, there is a lot of fragmentation even beyond just the video and audio web conferencing. There’re also lots of opportunities to create more of the interfaces of other collaboration capabilities like that of Slack and
messaging collaboration. We discussed the work flow tie-ins. It seems that it’s still at its infancy.
Shan Sinha: That’s right. It’s something that is always evolving with the world. It you start to think about why that’s the case, new technologies are always getting invented and that’s creating new ways of people working together and new types of knowledge that become available to them.
If you go look at the range of tools that’s available today, now you have people who are able to gain insights into the data inside their businesses. Sales have gone from an art to a quantitative function. Marketing is transitioning from becoming a very creative-driven function to being one that is not only creative and artistic but being quantitatively-driven. You think about that and that creates different demands on the technology that people use to work with each other. Collaboration is one of these things where it’s always evolving.
People need to be able to talk to each other in different mediums and formats. A part of solving the challenge of giving people the tools that they need to work together is fitting all these different puzzle pieces together. What are the different category of tools that I need to bring in? How well do they work together?
Sramana Mitra: I think the decoding part and the availability of stored transcripts is a very interesting opportunity given how much AI is in the conversation right now. To take the example of sales acceleration and intelligent sales acceleration, that’s an opportunity. There’re all kinds of intelligence that can be packed up into that category. I think that speech-to-text technology is not there yet, which is a bit of a surprise to me.
Shan Sinha: That’s right. We agree that there’re a lot of big opportunities there that remain untapped. The second piece that I would add to that is just ubiquitous access to that kind of technology across your entire organization. The fact that you can instrument every wall with a TV screen. You can instrument every wall with some microphones and speakers. It means that you can turn your physical spaces into very smart devices that have the power to hear you and intelligently respond to what you need.
If I’m sitting next to a printer that needs some servicing from my IT desk, I should be able to walk up near that and get in touch, very quickly, with the person who’s responsible on the IT team and have that intelligently handled. Sometimes that might need to be automated. Sometimes that might need some form of access. You see the combination of both hardware and software coming together to make spaces smarter and to make meetings smarter. There’re a lot of opportunities to just build a more intelligent workplace.
Sramana Mitra: Very good discussion. Thank you for your time.