What is Multi-Content Share Collaboration? And Why Should you Care?

Frank Geck

Multi-Content Share is the concept where multiple people can virtually share multiple pieces of information in a meeting all at the same time to work on a common problem, get the best view of the information, and make the best business decision. Multi-Content Share makes information a first tier participant in meetings.

We're constantly looking for better ways to collaborate with colleagues - even more so with the "new normal" we are all adjusting to. That "new normal" involves working from home with distractions - kids and schoolwork and FedEx deliveries. And, we're trying to do it from anyplace quiet in the home - from the kitchen table to a kid's bedroom.

Now, more than ever, it's critical to use the best tools to connect with colleagues. And, there are a lot of great tools out there - Cisco's Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. These tools have focused on making the virtual video call as good or better than in-person. They've focused on high definition video streams. They've added virtual backgrounds so other video attendees don't see your kids playing Legos behind you. And, they've added multiple ways to view the other members of the meeting - from a dedicated view of whoever is speaking to the Brady Bunch view of all participants.

Human beings are social creatures and seeing faces and eyeballs are critical for that human connection that makes work fulfilling.

But, faces and eyeballs are not the only way we connect with our colleagues. We connect on the problems we work on on a daily basis, on the goals of the company to drive more business, and on the mutual goal of growing a successful company. Solving complex problems in innovative ways that drives the business forward also makes work fulfilling. In other words, our connection isn't just about personal connections and eyeballs, it's about information and data and making better business decisions.

Multi-Content Share is the ability in a video meeting for multiple people to share multiple pieces of information at the same time to work on complex problems the same way you would if everyone was in the same room. There have been thousands of innovations on how to show faces and eyeballs but Multi-Content Share is the first major upgrade for information collaboration in over thirty years.

Multi-Content Share is...

Emotive: Multi-Content Share enables multiple people to share content at the same time where they can then collaborate more effectively on the problem. When they do that people are more engaged, more connected to the problem. People are working together instead of being lectured to. It changes how people see their colleagues and how they work together.

Smooth and Efficient: We've all been in meetings where the meeting is completely derailed when a new presenter attempts to take over the presentation. With a Multi-Content Share environment, people can easily get their content connected and ready to go at the same time. Meetings are more efficient.

Access to Information: How often have you been in a meeting and seen a slide that had some important information on it and you wanted to spend time considering the information but couldn't because the presentation moved on? Is that every meeting? Multi-Content Share enables you to grab that content and privately view it or annotate it for further conversation.

Linear Processing is Limited: On average, video calls have three or more presenters. There's no way that someone in an hour meeting can recall what the first presenter discussed on slide 5 of their presentation. For teams to work together and solve problems, linear presentation falls apart as data sets and complexity grow.

Who Needs Multi-Content Share?

You might say, "That's great, but my meetings are simple and don't need Multi-Content Share. It's overkill."

As a basic response, we could restate that on average video meetings have more than three presenters which means most meetings are collaborative working sessions that would benefit from Multi-Content Share.

It is useful to consider what may be thought of as a "simple" meeting - a project management meeting for a software team. A project manager will get the team together for a team meeting - all in a room, virtually on a video, or distributed across the globe with some people in conference rooms and some at their desk.

These meetings are typically round robin meetings where the project manager goes from person to person for status on the project. Each person lists the bugs or features they worked on and may pop up a quick demo for people to see. Pretty basic right? How could this benefit from Multi-Content Share?

Consistent Always Up Data Sources

First, there many data sources that would be useful to have visible to all attendees during the entire meeting.

An agenda. How often have we waited during a project management meeting when someone didn't realize they were next to present and it takes a few minutes to get their stuff up? Having an agenda always viewable during a virtual meeting keeps everything on track. Isn't that what we do for in person meetings by posting an agenda on the chalk board?

The project plan. Shouldn't everyone on the team be able to view the project plan that can be adjusted as information is learned during the meeting? As people discuss their status on a bug or feature it may affect the project plan. What better time to adjust the schedule or sprint than right at that moment of feedback? And, what better time with everyone to see the adjustment and comment if it makes sense?

The feature/bug tool (or both, like Jira). In these types of meetings as someone mentions a bug they fixed (and probably shows the fix) the feature/bug could be updated or closed. And, the entire team could see the update and have a chance to comment on it.

Log Trail. In project meetings when people are showing a feature update or bug fix it's not infrequent that something goes wrong - can you believe it? Typically the QA team will then log into the system and start pulling log information to see what was going on. What if the view of the logging was a live stream so that, if something goes wrong, you can see what the problem was? Would that make these meetings more efficient and effective?

Per Person Multiple Data Sources

Second, most presenters will want to share multiple pieces of content at one time.

Consider the UX designer in these meetings. The UX designer may want to share three different design options for a new page under construction so that the team can give feedback on which one is best.

Consider a developer. A developer may walk through their updates to the front end but also want a view into the database to show that updates are tracking correctly.

These are just some examples of roles in a project management meeting and the multiple pieces of content they would like to share.


Multi-Content Share offers the opportunity to improve the way your teams work together and help them make better business decisions. Multi-Content Share is the first innovation in collaboration in over thirty years that addresses how people collaborate on data and information. The "new normal" needs new capabilities to drive your business forward.

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