CEIR evolves with HCL at ENGAGE 2020


“We have to evolve to avoid being disrupted” was the message Richard Jefts (General Manager at HCL Digital Solutions) delivered at the opening session of Engage 2020 – a two-day conference on collaboration technologies that took place in the Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands. Through 86 sessions more than 100 speakers and 400 attendees shared recent topics and insights into how to evolve collaboration in companies and how to leverage with the latest technologies and trends.

This was an unmissable event for CEIR, represented at Engage 2020 by Petra, Sue and Julian, who gave a presentation entitled “Looking under the hood of Connections“. In this session, the team gave insights into the usage of our self-hosted academic collaboration platform UniConnect, showing how it has evolved from the beginning in 2013 to today. By analysing the platform’s content structure, collaboration between researchers and practitioners was visualised and analysed. One of the main results showed how the amount of cross-organisation collaboration on UniConnect has been increasing. In more than 6% of all content on the platform (which is a high amount), at least two users from different organisations are working together. This cross-organisational collaboration can occur in different forms when two users from different organisations work together jointly editing content (e.g. a wiki page) or contributing comments, attachments, tags and recommendations. The relevance of these results for industry was illustrated by addressing some of 314 in-depth questions about the use of collaboration platforms gathered from our IndustryConnect partners. The CEIR team presented a new methodology that is based on a holistic scorecard that guides stakeholders and business analysts through the complex process of posing the right questions, identifying the relevant measures and applying suitable algorithms to calculate KPIs. The scorecard then assists the organisation to improve their performance by proposing appropriate actions to improve or maintain these KPIs at a desired level.

In addition to presenting recent research results, the CEIR team met with partners from industry and from HCL Digital Solutions. The CEIR team was pleased to catch up with Bernd Gewehr (Vössing Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH), Jörg Rafflenbeul (Heitkamp & Thumann KG) and some potential new IndustryConnect partners. It was also a great pleasure to meet up with Richard Jefts, Danielle Baptiste, Andre Hagemeier, Tim Clark, Peter Schütt and Ingo Karge and to discuss our upcoming cooperative project with HCL. Stay tuned for more news about this in the near future, there will be some exciting developments ahead.

From left to right: Julian Mosen, Prof. Dr. Susan Williams, Richard Jefts, Prof. Dr. Petra Schubert