Unified Communications: Mobility is Key When It Comes to UC

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Windstream is at the forefront as mobile technology shapes Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration (UC & C) as a top communications technology trend in 2014.

Looks like we have a consensus. Thought leaders, analysts, consultants, experts, IT bloggers and industry soothsayers all agree that mobile technology is a key driver in shaping Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration as a top technology trend. As businesses seek new and better solutions to improve communications, productivity and efficiency – UC is quickly moving to the top of the communications wishlist.

So count me in. Mobility is indeed one of the most exciting technologies converging in the enterprise. Those who learn how best to integrate mobility into their overall UC strategy find a more efficient, collaborative work environment, raising the productivity bar.

The idea of UC is to integrate all of the various real-time (voice and video) and near real-time (text, email and fax)options into an integrated solution that not only makes communications more efficient, but provides more value to users by integrating corporate directories, user presence status and context. Businesses are finding UC capabilities even more valuable to mobile workers who rely on smartphones and tablets to boost their productivity remotely.

This is getting to be a pretty big party. Research firm Gartner predicts that 40% of employees in the U.S. workforce will be mobile by 2016. In an earlier International Data Corporation (IDC) cited by Reuters, IDC pegged the “worldwide mobile worker population” at 1.3 billion by 2015, or 37.2% of global workforce.

Among key findings and observations cited in a Cisco-commissioned study, Collaboration Services: Deployment Options for the Enterprise conducted by Forrester, “Information workers will proactively adopt collaboration services on multiple devices… like smartphones, tablets, PCs, and laptops. Often, these employees are using their own devices to access services; they add capabilities by installing new software on whatever device is at hand.” The study goes on to report “This distributed employee body—driven to innovate—is more likely, and more able, to adopt personal cloud services to achieve its ambitious objectives. Business networking services; file storage, sharing, and backup services; voice and video over IP services; and web conferencing are just the tip of the iceberg.”

One of the most significant developments in the mobility world has been consumerization of IT, known by most as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), allowing employees to use their personal smartphones and tablets for corporate purposes. A survey of IT professionals conducted by InformationWeek found that 68% of those surveyed allowed the use of personally-owned devices in some way, with another 20% developing such a policy. From a planning standpoint, that means IT organizations should start considering mobile UC plans for BYOD environments.

The key is finding a UC services provider with the widest range of solutions available and the ability to scale from SMBs to the largest of enterprise businesses with a remote and distributed workforce across the country. Even more important is choosing a partner that takes the time to understand your business, how your business processes work and identifies use cases unique to your organization. That’s where Windstream can help. We provide data, voice, network and cloud solutions to over 400 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than 450,000 businesses nationwide including many with Unified Communications needs. We’ve pretty much seen it all. 

For more insight into Unified Communication and the role of mobile technology contact a Windstream advisor to learn more about integrating mobile into your Unified Communications and Collaboration strategy. 

More and more businesses are realizing the value of UC and mobility. Is it time to count you in?