As enterprise employees spend more time working outside their offices, their employers are introducing more flexible work environments—virtual workspaces that offer seamless access to the full suite of workplace tools and apps. This trend drives innovation in the unified communications (UC) space, especially cloud-based UCaaS. Here’s what we’re seeing three months into 2020.
Millennials continue to find new uses for UC
Today it’s common to see younger employees working on their own mobile devices. Since UC can function on multiple devices (unlike other work-related platforms), most companies are adopting a liberal BYOD policy and encourage the use of work-related UC apps on personal hardware. Collaboration apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Assistant can integrate with a company’s primary unified communications services via API to create a seamless in-app experience. End users can start a chat that seamlessly transitions to a group video meeting or phone call. With millennials continuing to invent new ways to leverage these communications, the use cases get more interesting every day.
The line between on-site and remote collaboration is even blurrier Audio, video and web conferencing are becoming more immersive, which means remote workers face fewer technical hurdles to perform at the same level as an office-based employee. Some examples:
AI is mimicking your communication habits
As UC platforms incorporate artificial intelligence, we’re seeing the rise of behavior-based AI. For example, users who regularly forward their business calls or set “do not disturb” during certain times can now leverage Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to manage those routines. UC is also closing in on predictive AI that recommends and performs these routines for users based on their behavioral patterns—with their permission, of course.
Organizations see who’s using what—and how
Companies that have invested heavily in unified communications tools and applications have access to wide-ranging analytics capabilities within those platforms. UC solutions can generate useful end-user insights on usage and engagement, offering employers greater visibility and control.
Expect more unified everything
Between UC’s ability to easily incorporate new apps and the continuing trend towards virtual workspaces, audio, video and web conferencing tools will see a spike this year—along with investments in workplace collaboration tools. And as the impacts of political upheaval and the coronavirus outbreak ripple throughout the globe, now more than ever, office-based and remote workers alike will turn to other methods to get their work done.
Scott Yelton is head of product management for OfficeSuite UC® at Windstream Enterprise, where he is responsible for management of growth and lifecycle for the company’s leading UCaaS solution. He has over 21 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to Windstream, Scott was the Director of Product Development and Strategy for both Earthlink and Deltacom, where he had also led sales Engineering. He began his career in telecom in sales and sales management roles for Sprint and BTI Communications. Scott is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in marketing and management.
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