The next generation workforce is all about working in a structure that maximizes collaboration, both between teams and customers. Employees, policies, and business verticals all put their shoulder to the wheel to deliver something exceptional. And the glue that binds them together is effective communication. In the era of the 21st Century Enterprise (or 21CE), we expect workplace communication to be instantaneous, media-rich and interactive.
The “always connected” and “always mobile” workforce, to be efficient, needs constant access to smart applications that allow flexibility. Businesses are undergoing a BYOx revolution and it is imperative for organizations to allow employees to stay connected even at remote locations. Unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) solutions have come a long way in enabling enterprises to use integrated video, voice and data in one supported product, whatever the device. This is leading towards a new generation of user experience and increased productivity.
UC&C has become particularly popular for workplace communication, and this trend is spreading to the world of video conferencing as well. Though vendors like Polycom, Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft have made strong footprints in providing video solutions to businesses, vendor-specific solutions have made video strategy more rigid and silo-ed. For example, enterprises who made huge investments in room-based video conferencing platforms have found that there are challenges in interoperability with their desktop video solution if provided by a different vendor.
Can something be done to defy these vendor restricted impositions? If done, this would surely be a win-win for all. Also, managing multiple network is complex. Not only do the management systems need to support a plethora of devices and manage users, they also need to have the capability to set the policies centrally in a software defined way and automatically correlate network events with user experience in real time. No doubt UC&C brings with it the massive benefits of effortless communication, but it requires carefully crafted architecture and sound vendor strategy to gain full benefits. By choosing an experienced UC integrator, a 21CEs can develop a competitive edge—setting the ground for a better response time, reduced travel, shorter sales cycle, and optimized operational cost.
Another vendor and platform agnostic solution taking the communication industry by storm is WebRTC. WebRTC gives consumers, businesses and clients an interactive interface allowing them to communicate directly over web browsers irrespective of the supported vendor, platform or application. Industry leaders have come forward to unanimously hail WebRTC as the next step in enterprise communication. Another trend disruptor, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is fascinating because businesses of every size can deploy UC for a fraction of the cost of legacy on premise PBX systems. Available at a monthly subscription with a flexibility of pay-as-you-grow model, the service just needs connectivity to the Internet. By having voice applications on PCs and the same applications also present on smartphones, the two devices can be used interchangeably. This helps the smaller companies to skip a generation of UC and directly move to cloud based UC solution without burning much on CapEx.
The UC&C offering is proving to be a game changer. When clubbed together with futuristic management and interoperable solution, it unleashes great potential and plays pivotal role in shaping the future of 21st Century Enterprises. Strain is reduced for IT budgets and employees alike, increasing productivity, avoiding close gardens and enabling consistent user experience in voice and video communication.
Isn’t this a logical preparation for a next generation technology?