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Celebrating a More Intelligent Enterprise

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As we wrap up 2016 and look to the future, let's take a moment to celebrate the more intelligent enterprise that has arrived. Technology-enabled enterprise, in which decision making is aided significantly by machines and computer analyses, is here to stay. Many of my company's communications and collaboration tools are central to this transformation toward enterprise that is aided and guided by useful tools which will continue to improve our working lives.

Through more intelligent enterprise tools, my everyday has changed, and it's likely that yours has, too. Gone are the days of a full-time assistant to tell me where to be and what to do each day. I share a part-time assistant with another executive now because there's less of a need for much help in managing my everyday. Now, an iPad on the conference table in my office, synched to my other mobile devices, tells me my daily schedule, often reflecting meetings that I've set myself while on the phone or via e-mail. From that same iPad, I can touch a single button to launch a video or phone meeting. When I have a visitor, no one calls or walks to my office to announce the guest; I receive a text and reply to the receptionist with further instructions. Not that long ago, I used to fear falling behind on work while stuck at an airport and would call my assistant to read me my e-mails, then I'd dictate replies. Needless to say, that doesn't happen anymore and hasn't since I had my first Blackberry. Sometimes I still choose to dictate replies to e-mails, but not to my assistant. Instead, I can speak right into my phone and have that speech translated into text at the push of a button. Frequently, I'm no longer using e-mail at all but, rather, am using messaging within Glip, our collaboration platform. Using this collaboration tool has streamlined our team communications in ways that have advanced our productivity and efficiency markedly. These are some of many examples of the ways in which our workplaces have modernized in recent memory.

Beyond the many personal benefits, smarter enterprise tools are helping my business to grow in directions that I couldn't have foreseen even a few years ago. While we've always had predictive tools for forecasting, the increase in data collection and dissemination has led to a new immediacy and heightened currency of information. Dashboards used to be the providence of cars, but now they're on our devices, offering us ways to view our data and allowing for quantification and calibration of everything from marketing metrics to turnaround times in warehouses and beyond. Real-time information about our businesses is being gathered seamlessly and analyzed transparently, allowing for proactive notifications and alerts that yield better outcomes. This data and related machinery helps us to run everything from our visitor logs to our sales pipelines. Whether we apply these pieces of data individually or in aggregate, the outcome is a more intelligent enterprise.

Today's more intelligent enterprise also reflects a cultural shift, a shift in the mindset of those seeking to leverage both technology's tools and its information to greater and greater potential year to year. We seek to do this not in the server rooms and cubicle offices of years past but from our mobile tools used from wherever we are. The flexibility that mobility offers alongside more and better information is astounding. The computer you hold in your hand, perhaps even to read this article, is more powerful than all of the computers of NASA when Apollo was launched. All of this technology stands to get much smarter and more powerful in the very near future, which makes me all the more excited about greeting another new year.