Project collaboration in practice: CONNECT to boost Irish ICT innovations

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The CONNECT Centre for Future Networks has been founded to drive telecom innovations in Ireland. To enable efficient cross-organizational teamwork with all participating members, including top institutions like Trinity College, Dublin City University and Dublin Institute of Technology, CONNECT has created a shared online workspace in Projectplace.

Together with 37 industry partners, CONNECT will be a foundation in Irish research and innovation in telecommunications networks, boosting the development of wireless, cellular, 5G and IoT technologies.

Due to the large number of organizations involved in the project, and the need to secure sensitive information, collaboration was identified as a key challenge.

“Without the use of an effective communications platform, we ran the risk of ending up with disparate teams, working independently without any type of cross collaboration between institutions,” said Dr. Frank Smyth, Executive Director, CONNECT. “Our operations are quite unique with so many organizations involved in different projects. We needed one platform that would bring all elements of the projects together, and that can be used by the entire CONNECT organization from the research team, through to operations and HR.”

CONNECT selected Projectplace after carrying out extensive research into the different collaboration and project management tools.

“We’re phasing out mailing lists and moving all communications onto Projectplace,” said Smyth. “We have very quickly come to realize that Projectplace serves the most value when everyone uses it, as it enables everyone working on a project to have complete visibility over who is doing what and when. The biggest benefits it offers are that it helps teams work seamlessly together and makes everyone feel like they’re under the same roof.”

Online meeting rooms now enable teams to come together in a virtual environment, further facilitating cross country project collaboration, planning and execution amongst CONNECT’s expected 300 Projectplace users.

Another issue CONNECT needed to address was how to manage and collaborate on documents in a secure way. “It can get extremely messy when you have 30 or 40 people updating the same document, leading to chaos,” said Smyth.

By storing documents in the cloud, all members and partners can easily manage projects and securely share and edit documents in Projectplace’s top rated encrypted environment without the need to interlink their organization’s IT systems.

“Projectplace’s clean and simple design allows us to effortlessly share and collaborate on documents, without having to worry about version control. In addition, it ensures that every partner organization we work with has a safe and highly secure location where they can share their documents and files with relevant team members, without running the risk of them being viewed by unauthorized users.”

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