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There have been some big names making big noise in the enterprise collaboration arena lately. Despite all of the excitement surrounding recent announcements by Facebook introducing its new Workplace platform and Microsoft debuting the new Office 365-based Teams chat app, do they really address the riddle they purport to solve; namely getting employees to work better together?


Like self-described status quo-disruptor Slack before them, chat-based apps such as Workplace and Teams do bring important conversations into their respective platforms, but they may ultimately miss the mark. That's because it's the last part of that equation that may be the most important indicator of future success: to their respective platforms. Our research shows that employees want more, not fewer tools and that collaboration suffers when people are forced into a single vendor's stack. That's true for document-centric approaches like Microsoft's Office 365 and SharePoint as well.


In my latest article for ITProPortal, I discuss what's happening in the space today and argue that the key to achieving optimal levels of collaboration within an organization is to give employees choice. By placing an interactive intranet at the centre of your collaborative universe, your workers not only have the freedom to use the tools that work best for them via integrations, they can also reach across borders to work with others outside of the enterprise as well; including contractors, freelancers, partners, vendors and customers.


Perhaps the biggest advantage of the collaboration hub-approach, though, is that, rather than introducing more silos the way chat-based apps have a tendency to do, an interactive intranet collects and stores your company's data, making it visible, searchable and memorable across the enterprise. By adding an all-important corporate memory element, a collaboration hub means that crucial knowledge isn't lost when employees move on or retire. And when you're innovating at the speed of light, having easy access to knowledge may be the biggest competitive advantage you have.


To find out more, read my piece, The state of collaboration in the digital workplace at ITProPortal.