2016 was a year of paradigm shift in communications technology adoption. The year saw business communications shift from traditional, on-premise devices, such as PBX phone systems and codec-based videoconferencing systems, to desktop and mobile devices. Connectivity and convergence between devices and platforms became simpler and more seamless in 2016. Also, the move to, and acceptance of, web-based (cloud) communication services has helped simplify and encourage people to use video communications in their day-to-day work. Allowing people to communicate anywhere, anytime, on any device through any corporate, public or cellular network truly offers individuals a new way of “connected” life. This allows employees to attend, and participate in, a conversation, meeting or training in high resolution video with quality audio from any device.
With Unified Communications becoming “the norm” in the workplace today, email and the desk phone are no longer the quickest and most effective way to communicate. In 2016, we saw some clients do away with office phones altogether, in favor of Microsoft Skype for Business and/or Cisco Spark, which can run on a desktop, laptop and/or mobile device…simultaneously!
Connected Living in Your Organization
“Connected Living” describes how consumers use various devices to experience entertainment services integrating video, voice and/or data anytime from anywhere. Last year, it found its way into the office. Furthermore, several consumer-focused manufacturers have started adapting their products to better suit commercial markets. These economies of scale make technology more affordable.
Another reason for Unified Communications’ growth and acceptance in the workplace has to do with companies’ desire to attract and hire new, young, talented employees. That group (20 – 30 years old) known as millennials, grew up with smart phones, virtual reality video games and extremely powerful networked computers, and are very comfortable using these technologies. They have a strong attachment to certain technologies at home. They want to communicate that way and expect employers to provide those tools in the workplace.
BYOD/BYOT (Bring Your Own Device/Technology)
Research indicates that there will be 80 billion connected devices by 2020, an average of 10 devices per household…many finding their way to the workplace. The Consumerization of IT and BYOD has created a challenge for corporate IT departments. As a result, they are now required to prepare and partition networks to handle these additional devices. Many IT departments, after reviewing their security, compliance and control challenges associated with the additional BYOD/BYOT devices, have had to create formal BYOD policies. Fortunately, network hardware and software suppliers have prepared and evolved their products to address the growing number of wireless devices in the workplace.
The Future of Unified Communications
The outlook for 2017 to 2020 reflects rapid growth and the continued acceptance of additional Unified Communications devices. Increased interoperability amongst those devices and platforms will ease the integration concerns and accelerate their adoption even faster. What Apple Facetime, Google Hangouts and Snap Chat have done for consumer social communications, products like Skype for Business, Blue Jeans, Zoom and Spark will do for workplace communications in the coming years. Finally, you can connect, communicate and collaborate anywhere, anytime, anyhow!
Ask us how, and we will help integrate a solution that best fits your organization’s needs.