What Is Interoperability & Why Is It Essential for Effective Hybrid Workplaces?

Posted by ET Group on November 23, 2023

What Is Interoperability & Why Is It Essential for Effective Hybrid Workplaces?

Summary

Hybrid workplaces are quickly becoming the new normal for forward-thinking organizations—blending the flexibility of remote work with the stability of traditional office settings. But every effective hybrid workplace depends on a concept that’s crucial for efficiency and inclusivity: interoperability.

Interoperability is the governing principle we use at ET Group to integrate meeting room technology, desk-hoteling software, and more in our custom hybrid workplace solutions. Below, we explain everything you need to know about this concept when updating your workplace for the modern era.

Graphic representing interoperability with icons for cloud systems, video conferencing solutions, and other hybrid work technologies.

What Is Interoperability (& Why Does It Matter)?

Interoperability is the ability of different communication platforms to connect seamlessly with one another. In layman’s terms, it’s about ensuring data can flow directly between the technologies that connect your workplace.

The simplest way to think about interoperability is that it gives everyone the same experience, no matter what device they’re using. But interoperability is different from integration—which is a general way of ensuring that disparate technologies can all be used together in the same IT environment. For two communications platforms to achieve interoperability, they should be set up to exchange data directly and without the need for additional infrastructure.

Hybrid Technology Where Interoperability Is Imperative

Efficient, user-friendly hybrid workplaces require various technologies to keep in-person and remote team  members seamlessly connected. Among these, video conferencing platforms are the single most important technology for ensuring interoperability, since team members often use different software (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) to communicate in hybrid setups and must be able to connect them without technical challenges that hamper user experience.

Other technologies should also be integrated into hybrid workplaces to create a harmonious tech experience for users. These include:

Graphic of remote worker struggling with interoperability problems during hybrid work

The Perils of Poor Interoperability

Interoperability issues can cripple the efficiency of hybrid workplaces, turning what should be a streamlined operation into a clunky and disjointed process. Here are a few of the challenges that can occur:

Team member in hybrid environment using interoperable technology to collaborate with others.

The Collaborative Power of Interoperability

Conversely, when systems are interoperable, they empower all members of your hybrid workplace to collaborate easily. Here’s what interoperability brings to the table:

Fostering Inclusion Through Interoperable Systems

Focusing on interoperability when creating hybrid spaces is what makes it possible to create a cohesive environment out of potential chaos. For example, each hybrid setup we implement at ET Group is unique, but we always set out to achieve the following goals:

By prioritizing interoperability when we design digital work environments, we ensure that your digital tools and platforms enhance your productivity and the experience of your team rather than holding them back. Reach out to us and learn more about creating a hybrid environment that propels your business forward, and check the FAQ below to learn more about the solutions we use.

FAQ about Interoperability in Hybrid Workplaces

Will choosing interoperable systems limit my choice of workplace technologies?

Not likely. Interoperability is less about finding products that are designed to work with each other out of the box, and more about creating processes that make different technologies compatible. In the long-run, this usually broadens your technology options instead of limiting them.

How much maintenance is required to maintain interoperability in a hybrid workplace?

Every IT environment requires ongoing technical support to prevent technical errors, security gaps, and obsolescence. That’s why ET Group offers support services for hybrid environments that ensure the ongoing functionality of our solutions.

Can I make different video conferencing platforms (like Zoom and Teams) interoperable?

Yes—our connections solutions can help you architect a space capable of connecting to major meeting platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, Teams, Webex, and more.


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