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HCL Roadmap Bolsters Connections

On March 30, 2021, HCL Technologies briefed Info-Tech on the roadmap for Connections. Acquired from IBM in 2019, Connections now forms a fundamental part of HCL’s collaboration suite, which also includes "SameTime" (chat and video conferencing) and "Notes" (email).

Connections’ capabilities focus on building a collaboration environment that enhances community interaction and information sharing. Its powerful search engine enables users to discover information quickly and efficiently, including files and local expertise. Its major functionalities include:

  • Creating flexible workspace pages for teams to collaborate in.
  • File sharing and editing.
  • Building wikis and enabling forums.
  • Task management with “Activities Plus.”
  • Efficient onboarding of new users through “Touchpoint.”

Connections has multi-deployment and platform options, giving organizations flexibility for implementation.

For 2021 and 2022, users can expect Connections to have seamless Microsoft 365 integrations, enhanced user experience frameworks, landing pages for user engagement (with tailored notifications and updates), and broader integrations with third-party applications.

Our Take

For organizations already leveraging HCL Technologies’ broader ecosystem, the continued development and functionality enhancements of Connections are a welcome addition to HCL’s collaboration portfolio. Keeping within the same ecosystem for messaging, video, file sharing, file editing, and task management is a boon to user satisfaction, preventing users from having to switch between applications. Moreover, with Connections’ search engine tool, users will save time and effort trying to find lost information or discovering if a fellow colleague has expertise to lend on a particular problem.

It makes sense that Connections has recently focused on integrating with Microsoft 365. Microsoft’s applications are a fundamental part of most organizations, and Connections must integrate with and enable the use of these apps in some way to ensure a unified user experience. However, if an organization already has a governance plan for Microsoft 365 (including the use of Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint Online, Planner, and so on), it is not immediately clear what additional benefit organizations will get from using Connections. Organizations not already tied into HCL’s ecosystem would not appear to gain a large value-add for also adopting HCL’s collaboration suite.

If your organization is struggling to form a governance plan for Microsoft 365, explore Info-Tech’s Govern Microsoft 365 blueprint to start building your strategy.

Source: Info-Tech Research Group’s Govern Microsoft 365. Accessed March 31, 2021.

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