Unified communications (UC) and the cloud tend to mingle with each other quite a bit in the communications landscape, but is UC in a state of transformation because of advancements of mobile and cloud technologies? According to experts at the UC Summit at Enterprise Connect 2016, the answer is, “Maybe.”
It comes down to what’s the driving force behind UC: mobile, apps, or the cloud?
Enterprises are saying collaboration and productivity are their primary reasons for investing in UC. Enabling their colleagues to quickly and easily get in touch with each other, through a variety of different means, allows them to work faster and get things done.
According to analysts at Infonetics Research, a survey of 162 large and midsize organizations found that by next year, more than 50 percent will be running at least some of their UC applications—such as voice, email and instant messaging—on a private or public cloud.
Consider that employees are using a wider range of devices during the workday and are looking for the same ability to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers that their co-workers in offices have. They want to be able to collaborate from anywhere, at any time and from any device. Cloud-based apps allow for this to happen, ergo, UC apps in the cloud make it easier for businesses to meet these demands.
Of course, that means mobile has its hands on the wheel of the bus, too. People are used to being able to do whatever they want with their smartphones (talk, chat, browse the Web, send e-mail, shop) regardless of where they happen to be. UC supports this model of anytime, anywhere productivity by extending a common set of communications capabilities to smartphones.
50 percent of employees will be required to use their personal smart device on the job by 2017, as predicted by Gartner. And with more business processes being mobile-enabled, as opposed to being overseen by people, this helps to accelerate productivity and save on costs.
How we work and communicate is in a constant state of flux, but at the center of change is UC.