View From The Boardroom – We’re All Remote, What’s Next?

Hey There!

My name is Robbie Vann-Adibé and I’m the Executive Chairman of Woobot.io.

My journey to this position was interesting. Prior to this role, I was the Executive Chairman of Traackr, the leading player in the Influencer Relationship Management (IRM) space.

At some point in 2017, Traackr, which is a big user of the Slack platform for internal collaboration and communication, began using Woobot as a tool to assist in the activities of its hard working Sales team. Leveraging Salesforce as their core CRM platform, Traackr found that the ability to view  and act on notifications driven by Woobot, while at the same time being able to perform record updates from within Slack was a compelling and powerful proposition for both their onsite and remote teams.

One thing led to another and by that summer I was sitting with the founders of Woobot, Brandon and Eric, to get a full download of their vision for the platform. First and foremost I found them to be, through numerous interactions (and references), super solid guys – capable, trustworthy and very hard working.

As I began to understand what it was they were trying to build, and more importantly, the integrity with which they were going about that process, I became convinced that these were guys that would be fun to work with and that the Woobot journey could be as exciting and fulfilling as the Traackr journey had also been.

For a number of years prior I made a variety of contributions to the Traackr blog around a View From The Boardroom theme. In those posts I highlighted how I saw the concept of IRM and its related benefits as they played out in typical boardrooms – that is, how from a board level perspective, IRM could/should be thought of, the various challenges the company had faced along the way, observations on how companies have used IRM to their advantage, and how IRM could be applied in the start-up world.

While I start another series here, I’m taking a similar approach to my previous series – this time dealing with the issues around collaboration and workflow related topics – namely the areas that Woobot play a key role in enabling these functions for newly established remote teams! This emerging market Woobot is leading is one that will be interesting, exciting and successful going forward.

Working Has Changed Forever

It’s safe to say that for the majority of people in G20 countries, the Covid-19 Pandemic has created a global  situation that few anticipated.

As a long standing technologist and global nomad myself, Google docs, Slack, Skype and Zoom have long been the tools that enabled my work day – allowing me to work from anywhere in the world where I had an internet connection, and was willing to either get up really early or stay up really late!

While solutions like Microsoft Teams and Zoom take hold of the eyeballs of remote workers everywhere, it’s also driving massive organizational changes across the globe.

Covid-19 and the lockdowns that accompanied its spread have forced practically everyone to have all or most of their staff to work remotely.

Welcome To The New Normal

The enabling technologies facilitating this transition consist of the various collaboration solutions that everyone is now using along with a remote-first approach where laptops and mobile phones now function as the primary devices for remote work.

All the major collaboration vendors have reported massive usage increases within their platforms.

While solutions like Microsoft Teams and Zoom take hold of the eyeballs of remote workers everywhere, it’s also driving massive organizational changes across the globe.

Organizational Structures Must Adapt

Prior to this sea change, it would be fair to say that many organizations had mixed views about the effectiveness of remote work.

Oh how times have changed!

Now, Parliament in the UK, Congress in the US, and even Saturday Night Live have embraced this new normal – having  accepted that working from home, although different, is doable and effective. While the majority of organizations are reeling from the impact of the lockdown, many CFO’s and COO’s are reevaluating their working from home policies.

In a recent Gartner survey of CFO’s, “17% of respondents said that 20% of those moved to work from home will remain as permanent remote workers after the crisis”.

As the whole world is currently learning, when you work remotely, collaboration platforms become the way that information across the organization is shared. You can’t yell across the desk anymore looking for answers to difficult issues!

I’ve also observed the same phenomenon of people working exclusively within these platforms – as much as 70% of their daily screen time in these is within these environments. The only time they would switch out of them would be to lookup or update information in some enterprise data store, or system of record as we call them here at Woobot.

And that time spent switching back and forth to these environments is fast becoming time wasted – both Slack and Microsoft have identified in recent reports that switching between system of record apps burns huge hours for workers – as much as 130 working hours per year! 

Woobot sees the future, as many users are now realizing – one that combines collaboration and data into a seamless experience, where updating these systems of record from inside the collaboration context is the next logical next step to a huge organization-wide productivity boost!

What’s Next?

It’s pretty simple.

We make working with enterprise data as easy as chatting in your favorite collaboration tool, because it just makes sense.

Now it’s your teams turn to experience the magic for Microsoft Teams and Slack for free.

Robbie Vann-Adibé

Hey there! I’m Robbie Vann-Adibé, Executive Chairman of Woobot. I started out as a programmer and have gone on to become CEO and Chairman of a variety of companies. I’ve been involved in numerous Technology, B2B, B2C, SaaS and Services organizations over the years as a global nomad with business interests in many parts of the world. II’m very excited by Woobot’s vision of a no-code SaaS systems integration and look forward to helping the team execute on their ambitions!