Charles Darwin once said that in the history of humankind, it is those who have learned to collaborate most effectively that have prevailed. How apt, then, that as the communications landscape changes in line with technological evolution, the landscape for ‘business buzzwords’ is shifting in a similar vein.

For years, all the talk has been of ‘innovation’ – but now, as business practices adapt to accommodate mobile working, and customers become increasingly global, a new buzzword has emerged: collaboration.

Maintaining communication with a mobile workforce and a global customer-base is increasingly challenging. As the trend towards home and remote working grows, and digital channels enable marketing messages to reach the four corners of the globe, businesses require new tools to help them communicate quickly, effectively and reliably.

The development of real-time collaboration tools that offer secure communication across all media formats, and all devices, is transforming business. These tools, which are being integrated into a unified communications mix that encompasses telephony, email, messaging and video, are helping companies ensure their staff remain productive and their clients remain engaged.

Moreover, they are allowing real-time connectivity across a sprawling market-place, as well as meaningful – and ongoing – collaboration amongst all stakeholder groups that influence commercial growth. The most effective collaboration tools can significantly bolster business performance – providing managers with greater visibility of employee availability and activity.

This enhanced visibility – known as Presence – is not only helping to inform workforce and resourcing decisions, it’s bringing significant benefits to clients and driving customer service. With leading-edge collaboration tools, companies are able to improve their agility and speed of response – enabling them to handle customer queries and resolve issues in real time.

And, as remote and mobile working is tipped to reach 50% of the global workforce in the next few years, collaboration tools are helping businesses adapt their policies and cultures in line with employees’ increasing demands for work/life balance. They’re keeping staff engaged, productive and within reach, wherever they are – and they’re helping companies collaborate with all their internal and external stakeholders.

Forget Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, welcome to the evolution of theory. It’s no longer enough just to innovate; to progress, you must collaborate. The question is, do you have the tools? Like your customers and your employees, they really are easily within reach.