This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Gary Gluzman, Executive Director of Product Development, MetTel, and is the second of two parts.
In Part 1 of the series, we discussed the emergence of Unified Communications (UC) and the overwhelming desire to always be one step closer to making conversations as close to in-person as possible, without actually being in-person.
This desire is what’s pushed the communications industry to become what it is today, and what will continue to push innovations moving forward. The most recent trend of UC is looking to shake up how we communicate, from both personal and business perspectives.
What’s Already Happening
The world of UC is already upon us, and rapidly becoming a part of the daily lives of many. For example, Facebook’s Messenger app and Google’s Gchat are both examples of UC. The platforms don’t stop at the consumer level, though. Microsoft’s Skype for Business and Cisco’s Jabber both provide enterprise-level employees the ability to communicate, including presence, desktop sharing and video conferencing, all in real-time. Acquisitions such as WhatsApp by Facebook only further solidify the trend towards increased use and effectiveness of UC platforms.
New companies in the UC space are constantly emerging, offering software platforms with the only intent to provide a new experience. For example, companies like Glip or Slack are looking to combine collaboration solutions alongside built-in productivity tools. These applications can change the way development teams operate, providing consistent and functional collaboration for all involved.
From designating work for a groups, sharing files, assigning tasks and coordinating schedules, these platforms allow users to do some from a single, holistic environment often bypassing use of email and the lengthy threads that come with it. With connected APIs, these platforms can also adapt and integrate with third party applications to report errors or successes, making them truly a one stop shop for communication.
These new solutions are appealing to startups and SMBs that are young and innovative, typically with very small budgets, and don’t’ have the user base or name recognition to take full advantage of the more established UC systems. However, if a company is looking for scalability, existing enterprise-grade solutions are the best bet.
The Future of UC
Businesses will continue to look for ways to improve their internal communications, even those with the latest and greatest cutting edge technology. As people incorporate more devices into their arsenal, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, it’s important that UC solutions provide a seamless transition between these devices. It’s also important that businesses look to enterprise-focused UC solutions, because while often successful in personal communication, consumer UC offerings don’t translate seamlessly into a workplace setting.
Some businesses have made the transition from communicating through email to UC, as it provides instantaneous results, rapid responses and constant availability, which is not always the case when it comes to email. Whether or not this is possible for your business depends on the communication infrastructure you have in place and company culture but no matter what there is no denying that UC is here and ready to mix up the world of communication.