As the market for real-time communication and collaboration services emerged more than a decade ago, there was a heavy focus placed on the technology that powered each platform. Everyone was always talking about what this vendor was doing or what that vendor was up to.

But that’s all changing, according to David Mario Smith, research director at Aragorn Research.

The shift, Smith says, is one towards end users asking themselves what precisely collaboration can do for them. For example, how can the salesperson increase his or her efficiency with collaboration? Or how can the marketing staffer use collaboration to streamline his or her day-to-day?

Instead of simply being wowed by the latest technologies, Smith says, folks are starting to think about the actual business outcomes that collaboration technologies can achieve.

“We’re seeing business needs and business requirements drive technology adoption more than just technology and geeking out over the new hottest thing,” Smith explains in a recent video. Today, collaboration is “all about supporting the business and arriving at key specific business outcomes.”

In that vein, a lot of purchasing power is being transferred over to lines of business managers and away from IT, Smith says. Technology purchases are increasingly originating in the marketing, sales, design, product development, engineering, and HR departments, with IT coming in after the fact—or increasingly not at all.

This makes perfect sense. Technology is becoming easier than ever to use, and employees feel empowered to find the platforms that help them the most.

Outcome-based collaboration for sales professionals

In today’s fast-paced, hypercompetitive business environment where everyone deals with ever-increasing quarterly quotas, most sales executives are required to be in constant contact with their customers and their internal sales operations and support teams. However, communications tools such as email or text messaging seem very inefficient and time-consuming, and CRM applications do not offer presence-based communications.

Achieving seamless real-time connectivity without constant intervention from IT requires a service with a wide reach—one that can help sales executives connect with their customers regardless of their customers’ real-time communication and collaboration services (e.g., Microsoft Skype for Business and Office 365; Cisco Jabber; Broadsoft UC One; and many others solutions that are deployed in today’s enterprises).

That wide reach can be found in a universally open collaboration service that enables sales executives to communicate with their customers in real time, all the time, simply by adding them to their contact lists. Once connected, these sales folks will be able to see their customers’ online statuses, exchange chat messages with them, share files, initiate and participate in group conversations, and even hop on voice and video calls—all without requiring all involved parties to be on the same platform.

For these reasons, it’s essential that these sales executives use collaboration tools that have built-in connectivity to other enterprise message services. But that, by itself, does not solve the entire collaboration problem.

In addition to having built-in connectivity to other platforms, the sales executives also need a collaboration service that provides access to a directory of thousands of companies that are already configured as federation-ready. With that access, the sales executives will be able to quickly and easily identify which of their customers are ready to communicate in real time and send requests to them—all without requiring an intervention from the IT team.

Good news for businesses: All this functionality is available in nCore, a new web-based real-time collaboration service engineered by NextPlane. Quite simply, thanks to its built-in federation capabilities, nCore allows sales executives—and any other users, for that matter—to communicate with their peers in real time from anywhere at any time, regardless of which platforms those folks are using.

With nCore, all of a sudden, meeting those quarterly quotas becomes incredibly easier.

If you’re interested in hearing more of Smith’s thoughts on collaboration, you can watch the full video here.