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Why do we care about collaboration?

The founding team at Stockpress started working together 12 years ago across continents and time zones – well before remote work and the talent cloud had become the norm. We could never have imagined that the remote model we had adopted would emerge to be the dominant working model.

The importance of this way of working formed the bedrock for our outlook on collaboration, especially as we battled early mornings and late nights to make sure projects were delivered on time. As the business grew and the client base itself became more distributed, the pain points of this operating model, started to emerge. The realization that talent was bound less by geography, and more by the tools available to collaborate, became a fixation and one that would lead to where they are today with Stockpress.

It’s amazing how far daily frustrations can push you. As a remote team, with collaborators working simultaneously on projects all around the world, we needed a way to get all of our files, and all of our team members, into one place. At the time we had marketing teams working with web-based files like google docs and slides, designers working with desktop applications such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and photographers and videographers producing high-resolution photos and videos that were pushing tens of hundreds of GB in size! The main problem? We had nowhere to put everything! We ended up using a combination of platforms and soon found the efforts of the team becoming fragmented and more annoyingly – duplicated.

In 2016, the team had the opportunity to work with a large sports media organization on an open-source Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform customization. It was during that development that we had the lightbulb moment that would help shape Stockpress and end up solving our collaboration challenges, and eventually the challenges of others.

Working on this open-source DAM opened our eyes to the capabilities of DAM as an enterprise technology and its potential for wider collaboration. At the same time, it also highlighted its complexities and inaccessibility to small and medium size businesses. We realized that DAM features were what was missing from the file management platforms we were using, but the cost of switching was out of reach.

Stockpress was built out of necessity. What started as an internal tool for our team was soon adopted by our clients, their clients, and now companies all around the world. It has been amazing to play a role in streamlining collaboration and helping teams spend more time doing the things they love, rather than searching for files.

Why does better collaboration matter in the modern workplace?

It’s easy to think that the pandemic caused the recent changes in collaboration, but in reality – it only accelerated them. Even before the pandemic, teams were becoming more distributed as communication tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom made it easy for people to work together in real time. Plus, project management tools like Asana and Monday smoothed out the process of delivery. Similarly, the makeup of the workforce started to shift as companies embraced the agility of agencies and freelancers to run projects leaner and quicker. Today, hybrid and outsourced models are increasingly common, especially for the brand, marketing, and creative functions of a business.

Both of these shifts have bought significant collaboration challenges. While we are still learning about the impact of some of them, some of the more obvious ones are being overcome with simple and smart technology. Others are still emerging and highlighting new possibilities for how teams of the future can work together.

As a team, Stockpress is inquisitive. We are passionate about collaboration and we ask questions (lots of questions), test assumptions, build solutions, and iterate. When we spoke to brand, marketing, and creative teams early on we found a few core themes emerging and often starting with the limitations of per-user licenses. The costs associated with a per-user license model, coupled with the new remote way of working, made it hard for teams to integrate freelancers and agencies into their tools. This challenge seemed to spark a domino effect that subsequently made it hard for new team members to inherit work easily, be quickly on-boarded into projects, and collaborate on projects requiring the culmination of different assets in one place.

What does collaboration mean to us now?

In short, EVERYTHING! In those moments of self-reflection, the founding team at Stockpress all agree on two things. First, the value of being a team. We come from different places, have different experiences, and excel in different disciplines, but it is these differences that bind us and make us a great team. Second, a great team can be even better if they can work effectively together. Simply having a solid way of working, that ensures everyone is on the same page regardless of time and place makes all the difference as to how a team delivers.

From a technological point of view, we’re not pretending to reinvent the wheel. We are focused on simplicity and solving for our customers. How can our technology be best used to make people’s lives easier? How can our technology be used to bring people together so they can achieve more? We will always remain focused on asking the questions that matter, to the people and teams we are trying to help.

What are we doing to promote better collaboration?

Collaboration isn’t just about tools, it’s about people and processes too. We strongly believe that good tools should be affordable so you can invest in people and processes! You can have the best tool in the world, but if the team doesn’t use it and operates outside of it, you won’t be any better off!

Like all the fundamentals of running a business, collaboration is a shared experience. There are commonalities across different industries and roles, but we aren’t always that great at identifying them for the greater good. This is where the 2023 State of Collaboration survey comes in.

We don’t profess to know everything about collaboration, but we know one thing for sure – the best way to get things wrong is by making assumptions. It’s always best to ask questions, gain consensus, and work towards the problems of the many rather than work in isolation on the experiences of the few. The 2023 State of Collaboration survey is our way of giving a broad spectrum of people from different roles and industries a voice at the collaboration table. From there, we can share our experiences and learn together about the things that can improve our day-to-day lives. The 2023 State of Collaboration survey is an opportunity for us to benchmark collaboration and share the results so we can all work better – together.

Benchmarking where we are as a workforce has the power to change the tools we use, and the processes we implement – all for the benefit of the future of work. Our survey benchmarks the tools teams are using, the challenges they are experiencing, and what’s working and not working in current collaboration processes. You can help us by taking part and sharing your experiences! The survey takes just a few minutes but has the power to enact a big change.

State of Collaboration Survey Report