Realise the benefits, perils of UCC
UCC it isn’t just about the technology – it is as much about the people using it.
Digital transformation is driving a fundamental change in the way we work – and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) is playing a vital part in providing the tools for employees to do their jobs.
Enterprises need to consider the key trends that will influence and future-proof their UCC strategies:
New business requirements such as supporting mobile workers and employees increasingly using their own technology in the workplace are driving IT investment. At the same time growing customer demand for social networking and visual collaboration is also influencing the way IT budgets are spent.
Enterprises are also increasingly looking to utilise UCC to improve agility – as a way of enabling business processes and reducing decision-making latency.
With so many different devices and equipment components forming part of unified communications systems, interoperability is always a key requirement for enterprises. UC covers a wide range of standards and technologies, all of which need to be tested for interoperability to ensure that all elements work together as expected even through upgrades and changes.
The move to cloud is being pushed by major cost savings and quick access to UCC apps. The use of expensive, in-room conferencing, for example, is declining as enterprises look to mobile and desktop cloud-based systems that are in-budget, robust and can connect with on-premises systems if required.
But as market research company Gartner points out, enterprises will still have to “face difficult choices” moving forward between a long-term roadmap based around an on-premises approach versus a cloud strategy. This will have a major impact on planning long term strategies in selecting both vendors and solutions.
We are seeing an increase in UC vendors adding social features such as activity streams to enable employees to collaborate on yet another level. IBM, Jive Software and Microsoft all have products out there – and as demand grows, so does innovation.
Social add-ons to UCC solutions provide a more complete platform for employees to collaborate on projects. UC vendors have taken their lead from social media applications such as Facebook, which enable groups to set up and organize an event, for example.
Putting it all together
Mobility and employees bringing their own devices to use in the workplace have reignited the UCC market. Employees are increasingly working in teams around the globe. Empowering employees with mobile collaboration tools through smart devices, cloud sharing and mobile apps really is a smart move in any organization, both in terms of innovation and retaining a competitive edge.