As mentioned in our blog post about the UniConnect update to HCL Connections version 7.0; not only did we update to Connections Version 7 but we also expanded our collaboration platform with the integration of various tools from Belsoft. The Belsoft Community Manager is already being used productively as new users of UniConnect are now being automatically added to the “UniConnect Community” when they register. This community is used to communciate important information to our users (e.g., planned maintenance work and updates). In the past, following registration to UniConnect users had to be manually added one by one to this community by our admins; this is now being handled automatically. Further, for over ten years, without extensive analysis of our databases we had no practical way to verify that everyone was (still) a member of this community. Thanks to the Belsoft Community Manager, we can now easily ensure that all users automatically become and stay members of the community and remain informed. In addition, the tool is saving a lot of time as invitations to join the community no longer have to be sent manually.

We thank our friends from Belsoft for their generous support. As soon as we have gained practical experience with the Belsoft Notifier, we will provide a further update. We believe the Belsoft Notifier will also help us improve our communication with users and improve knowledge sharing on UniConnect.

The need for digital alternatives for training and development workshops has increased due to digital transformation, advances in digital workplaces, and the increasing number of people working from home or in distributed teams. This demand proved to be even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, when physical workshops were not possible, and digital solutions had to be found to provide remote access to business meetings as well as for delivering engaging and interactive workshops. Since working with a whiteboard is an essential part of most workshops and in the daily work of many employees, there is a need for a deeper investigation of visual collaboration tools that can be described as digital whiteboards. These tools offer graphical elements to visualise ideas and methods for facilitating collaborative work on a shared canvas or workspace enabling multiple collaborators to work together synchronously or asynchronously. This research is part of the DFG-funded project 2C-NOW (Collaboration and Coordination in Networks of Work) and the overarching CEIR research program. In the scope of 2C-NOW, the CEIR team is investigating transformations to work processes and practices in large-scale, heterogeneous enterprise collaboration platforms to obtain a deeper theoretical and practical understanding of how collaborative work takes place within the digital workplace in organisations.

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