The Future of Unified Communications

The dark horse in the UC race are the new companies that are springing up with a sole focus on providing a new UC experience.

What’s Next?

It has become increasingly clear that business users are going to gravitate towards a solution that is cloud-based, provides a seamless transition between devices (smart phone, tablet, PC, Mac, etc.) and displays presence with integrated email and desk phones. Consumer UC services will always be utilized by some users in a business environment, but ultimately they don’t translate cleanly into a workplace setting. Consumer-facing services aren’t able to integrate with email or Active Directory, which are essential features for corporate efficiency.

To give you a visual, when you receive an email within an integrated UC platform, you can see if the person is currently sitting at their desk based on their chat status. If you know they’re sitting at their desk, you’re more inclined to shoot a quick question over via UC chat. Or, if you see they’re in a meeting, you might chose to respond to the email chain instead. Knowing where UC is headed, we’ll most likely see a rise in video and desk phone chat integration as well—eliminating unnecessary email-chains and pushing internal communication towards real-time responsiveness.

All of these trends point towards existing software platforms sweeping the future of UC with their integrated messaging solutions. However, no matter how your business chooses to approach UC, it’s important to get on board. Remember what email did for internal communication? This is the new frontier. As we’ve seen through the Internet of Things, we are entering an age of connectivity. People expect instantaneous results, rapid responses and constant availability. Email no longer provides the immediacy a chat or video response can provide. Some executives claim that UC has fully replaced their email. That might not be the case for all users, but it may be where the workplace is headed.  

By introducing presence into the mix—UC connects employees across locations, or even from across the hall. Knowing if your colleague is on the phone, in a meeting, out of the office, or simply away from their desk is becoming the norm, facilitating the most efficient real-time dialogue among employees instead of generating lengthy email threads. Additionally, graduating chat conversation into a voice or video call with desktop sharing capabilities will enhance productivity and connect our increasingly globalized workforce. The age of UC is here—there’s no denying it. And it’s clear that no matter where it’s headed, internal communication, office productivity and workplace expansion will never be the same.


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