Clouds - Aug 13, 2020

Collaboration tools and their invisible compliance pitfalls and the benefits of Pickit.

Collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex have come out on top, but there is a dark side—an increased compliance risk. And that doesn’t only mean in terms of the right licensing ...

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Which compliance risks do collaboration tools pose?

I should first allay the fears of licensing managers and SAM admins. By way of exception, collaboration software licences do not present a direct issue. IT leads can also relax as there are no bugs or gaps in security.

Instead, I want to mention something more trivial. Have you ever thought about who is responsible for image, GIF and video licensing in the company? I asked this very question of decision makers and got a variety of answers back:

  • “Marketing. They work with images.”
  • “Sales. They probably buy and licence the images for the PowerPoints.”
  • “The IT department. The deal with everything digital.”

By far, the most frequent answer was “I don’t know”. Even the Phone a Friend joker didn’t deliver a satisfactory answer. In a lot of companies, risk management has nothing to do with the topic, but the use of images really should be covered by compliance polices.

The problem is the crisis is driving the use of illegal images.

Up until now, this hasn’t really been an issue as only marketing were posting GIFs on Facebook or photos on the website. And now? Everything has changed over the last few months. Every employee with a PC sends photos, uses background images and sends memes  without even thinking about it.

Collaboration tools and online collaboration platforms are driving this trend because it is much quicker to send a picture or a video. In the past, we sent time-consuming text messages and e-mails whereas today, we just have to click send in the video conference system’s chat.

It’s so easy! We don’t have to install anything, and we don’t need admin rights. All we have to do is browse the internet, click a few times, download, a few more clicks and the colleague is smiling back at you in a web conference. In other words, you can use what you find.

Enter new collaboration solutions.

The tools these solutions provide to aid web collaboration are a nightmare for compliance management. Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and Co. have fantastic ideas of how to make our lives easier, but these simultaneously cause compliance issues. New features, such as virtual backgrounds, are incredibly popular—particularly when working from home—but people also like to use them in web conferences.

There are even competitions to find the who has the most unusual background. I admit that I am not entirely innocent here, Even though, as Cologne born and bred, I tend to take a more classic image of Cologne Cathedral in Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex. But where do we get these images from? The answer: the internet. It’s a very small number of employees who use backgrounds provided by the company and that’s where the issue lies.

How do we tackle compliance risks?

Some of you might be thinking of simply doing without social collaboration tools all together because that’s the only way to avoid such problems. It’s certainly an idea, but people will always find a way around such steps.

That’s why I think businesses simply need to supply appropriate content themselves, ideally adding it directly to the tools. These solutions are called Digital Asset Management or Media Asset Management.

We have the solution: Pickit.

I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend one vendor my colleagues and I regularly use at Bechtle: Pickit—the company that has created the most frequently used add-ins for Microsoft Office applications. By integrating the solution into Microsoft Teams, PowerPoint, etc., employees have direct access to managed, legal content that is provisioned for the company by Pickit.



As Pickit is a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution, it offers businesses a variety of other benefits, such as:

  • Simplified management: Available content is managed centrally. This ensures that no unlicensed images or out-of-date or unauthorised graphics can be used or shared outside of the company.
  • Time saving: Everyone at the company knows which content they can use without having to spend hours looking for it.
  • Legal conformity: Avoid or at least reduce copyright law violations.
  • Brand consistency: Employees can only use approved content (key visuals, logos, corporate photos) so you have a consistent brand image.
  • Always up-to-date: Assets are easy to update using the DAM meaning everyone is on the same page. Saving the same file in two different locations can be avoided.

A summary of compliance risks in collaboration tools.

Images, GIFs, graphics and videos are a crucial component of communication—not only in social networks, but also in an enterprise context. We need to keep an eye on the situation because companies are exposing themselves every day to the risks of unlicensed content that pop up as video backgrounds, in in-house conferences and external chats. It’s important to identify compliance risks before copyright laws are violated.

In my opinion, there’s more than one solution to the issue. Business need to make appropriate material available to their employees plus they’ll benefit from protecting themselves against court cases and creating a uniform corporate image. Pickit is the tool you need. The user-based pricing model means it’s child’s play for IT departments and licensing managers to handle.

Get in touch or access the add-in in the Bechtle Clouds Marketplace.

Bechtle expands cloud portfolio with Pickit.

Bechtle is extending its multi-cloud portfolio through its collaboration with Pickit—the company that makes the world’s most popular add-in for Microsoft Office applications. Pickit’s management solutions for digital assets enable organisations to easily share images, templates and documents plus gives them access to the Pickit library with over a million royalty-free images.


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Published on Aug 13, 2020.