We live and work in a world of constantly shifting jargon. Someone's always trying to coin the next "it" phrase, the next "BYOD" or "Internet of Things" or other trend that will light the internet ablaze.\nAs such, even commonplace terms can get a little muddy after years of misuse, changing definitions and evolving technology. Take "collaboration," for example. How would you define it? What does it mean to you?\nDepending on industry, role or department, you\u2019re likely going to have a unique spin on what that word means. There may be some commonalities, such as teamwork or technology, but there are a lot of ways to approach what it means to collaborate with others.\nThe trouble with a word like \u201ccollaboration,\u201d particularly in the business sense, is that it means different things depending on who you\u2019re talking to. An IT audience leaps to terms like SaaS and UC&C, while the marketers in the room think more of working with agencies and collaborating on documents and project files.\nTechnology vs. Value\nIn today\u2019s hyper-connected workplace, collaboration is increasingly defined by technology. Whether it's unified communications, web and audio conferencing or shared team workspaces, working together in today's environment is often primarily a virtual endeavor.\nHowever, while it might be a tough pill to swallow, particularly for IT and other decision-makers, most people in your organization couldn't care less about the new software you just deployed. People don\u2019t care about technology, they care about value. They don\u2019t care what it is or how it works, all they want is to get their work done in the most effective way possible. If your new collaboration software enables that in an intuitive, unobtrusive and easy-to-learn way, great! They\u2019ll fold it into their workflow.\nIf it doesn\u2019t provide that value? It won't matter how shiny the new user interface is, how efficient the codecs are or how many \u201c-aaS\u201d acronyms it has\u2014those tools will end up abandoned for whatever truly works for your employees\u2019 needs. And you'll be stuck with a less-than-stellar ROI.\nCollaboration is About People\nEven with all the latest and greatest software and hardware, people are the heart of collaboration. All of the technology, best practices, cultural initiatives and methodologies are worthless if you can't make them appeal to the people on the other end.\nYour employees are core to collaboration in your organization. They\u2019re the ones that benefit the most from it and they\u2019re the ones that suffer when it\u2019s absent or not effectively encouraged. The human element should always be the first consideration when making a new technology purchase or beginning a new cultural initiative.\nThat\u2019s why I\u2019ve been chasing my own collaboration definition for so long: I love helping people connect. And no matter where the technology takes us, there will always be a human being to connect with on the other side.\nFor more insights on the changing nature of business collaboration, download \u201cThe Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition\u201d today.