The world of Unified Communications is growing more complex as technology and software continue to revamp traditional processes and structure. Organizations are having to adapt to the changes that are coming in if they are to stay competitive and efficient. There are several key factors that are set to impact the way vendors will provide solutions and end-users will operate in the coming years.
A Hybrid Model
The future of both product development and direction will be moved toward a cloud-based system. Though many vendors are continually increasing the new products or technologies offered to consumers, not all organizations will be able to shift their existing UC operations to the cloud. Too many companies have an on-premise set up that has taken a significant investment to get going, and moving away from that base could raise eyebrows over the lost resources. Installing new systems and hardware will take additional funds, as will the cost of implementing a new system across the company. User training and security also become concerns for companies that will have to make the choice to a totally cloud-based operation. These considerations have many organizations looking for a hybrid UC environment that takes advantage of the benefits from both systems.
Businesses can’t afford to miss the opportunities that new tech is bringing to the industry, but the fast-paced changed being released make it difficult for a company (from a hardware perspective) to keep up. Cloud systems offer the flexibility needed to continually adapt to the new tech, but an on-premise system still has the edge on security and stability. The primary negative of a hybrid operation is that users have to manage both systems at the same time. Even still, if your company can handle the challenge, working off the cloud and through an existing UC structure can bring you a competitive advantage.
An Interest in Data
Every IT department is tasked with handling the challenges and opportunities that come from evolving tech in the workplace. The most efficient way to take charge is through a data-related skill set that understands where data is housed, how it is managed, how it is absorbed, and how it can be utilized for company success. The digital world has been revolutionized by the increased access to data, even though organizations have been collecting, sharing, and storing it for decades. With data models, companies are able to take informed action based on data analytics. UC operations will take into account data sets for future business needs and expanding certain areas of use.
A New Work Hub
Emails have been the go-to standard in workplace collaboration, but there have been too many delayed responses, overloaded inboxes, accidental exclusion of team members, and missing information of data for the communication source to remain the most efficient option. The developments in UC have companies moving toward systems that offer app integration, video conferencing, and call or file sharing. Teams must be able to collaborate both privately and socially, as it allows them to brainstorm more easily, complete projects more efficiently, and get information out more quickly and accurately.
A Move Toward AI
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are in the early stages of development with UC, but both are showing tremendous promise in the areas that streamline operation. AI can be used to provide speech-to-text capabilities, improving collaboration, and employee productivity. Chatbots and virtual assistants can replace the use of remote controls and direct a meeting using voice commands. AI is also being incorporated into video equipment and smart cameras to enhance workplace communication.
There is a lot to look forward to in the area of UC. Making full use of the tech that will be available leads to better communication in the workplace and better customer experiences.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!