5 Leading Trends in Unified Communications and Collaboration
The process of choosing communication and collaboration solutions is fundamentally changing. Now, instead of reviewing requirements and picking singular solutions in areas like messaging or video conferencing, businesses are seeing offerings in unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) designed to bring everything together. Additionally, these solutions are positioned to work seamlessly with other applications and operating systems, increasing efficiency while lowering costs.
To help you see what developments are on the horizon, here are five leading trends in UC&C to keep an eye on.
1. UC&C in Digital Workspaces
Companies are becoming more open to mobility in their workforce. This leads to increased demand for UC&C tools that integrate seamlessly into other digital workspace technologies. In response, UC&C providers are changing how they see the current tech landscape; turning away from stand-alone applications and towards those offering integration and open federation with other systems.
Solutions are being designed to reside in the background functionally. However, the features are brought forward into the digital workspace, connecting the two together.
2. In-App Solutions
Similarly, more companies are adding UC&C functionality directly into critical applications. Instead of workers having to switch between a CRM and a messenger, new solutions simply reside in the apps. Popular software suites like Microsoft Office and Google’s G Suite include in-app collaboration, and many UC&C providers offer products that integrate with modern solutions like Salesforce and SAP.
The trend of being able to add UC&C to other applications will continue as more businesses look to simplify how their workers complete their duties. With the increased availability of suitable APIs, the ability to add new functions is practically unlimited to tailor fit any workflow.
3. Expanding Functionality
Some UC&C service providers have taken an opposite approach from those mentioned above. Instead of integrating into other systems, they look to become a suitable digital workspace on their own. Companies like Slack and Symphony are growing beyond basic collaboration solutions, connecting more deeply with workflows. Even the largest social network in the world, Facebook, has launched its own internal collaboration suite, “Workplace,” which allows you to update your Groups, share files, and communicate via text and video chats. As the use of UC&C solutions continue to rise, the ability to stage operations through such programs will expand whenever new features become available.
4. Increased Agility
Many businesses are looking for UC&C solutions that aren’t just economical, but agile. The need to support an increasingly mobile workforce demands more of companies regarding the speed at which new systems must be embraced, and cloud UC&C providers intend to make this easier. Since staying on the forefront of technology is a priority for organizations, suppliers are going to focus on delivery systems designed to make it all possible.
However, improvements in agility require companies to embrace cloud solutions to support mobility. Failing to do so leaves businesses vulnerable as new offerings that by and large focus on cloud-based delivery over other implementations.
5. Artificial Intelligence
The use of chatbots continues to rise throughout the business world and UC&C have taken notice. Other AI solutions are also in the works to increase workflow outputs, assist in employee decision-making processes, and create new features to better improve enterprise communications. IBM’s “Watson” being marketed towards increasing business efficiency comes to mind. While many of these technologies are considered in their infancy, growth potential is high. New technologies could fundamentally change how business is done, making it critical for company leadership to keep upcoming developments on their radar.
Before taking the dive into any one of these to improve your business, consider consulting with the experts at VocalPoint. You can email me at Nathan@VocalPointConsulting.com or call us directly at (888) 800-1022. For more articles like this, subscribe to the monthly VPC newsletter!