6 Unified Communications Trends to Look Out For in 2018
Say Goodbye to 2017 – and hello to 2018!
In 2017, Unified Communications emerged as one of the trending business terms. So what does 2018 hold for the future of the business communications sector? We have put together our thoughts on 6 business communications trends and how it will impact on businesses.
Related Article: What is Unified Communications
1) Increased Integration and Enhanced Unification
Contrary to the name Unified Communications, most of the self-proclaimed Unified Communications platforms out there are not fully integrated to help businesses.
In fact, most Unified Communications platforms claiming to provide UC services in the market fail to fulfil these promises. So, in 2018, we are expecting to see more improved integrated UC platforms.
In order to make the system simple and easy-to-use, it becomes increasingly important to push for more integrations among all the features.
Related Article: Unified Communications & Collaboration Between Organisations
2) Stop Emailing and Start Messaging
Let's face it, most companies still rely on email as the main mode of communication and are not likely to depart with it anytime soon. But some of the small and medium-sized businesses are starting to adopt Instant Messaging (IM) programs such as Skype for Business, to get them real time responses and thus increase their workers' productivity.
Some experts also support the use of IM to improve collaborations and create true efficiencies in the workplace. This is not to say that Email is going to be phased out completely, it still serves a significant use when it comes to external communications.
3) Unified Communications Move to Cloud
We have observed an increase in the adoption of cloud-based unified communication platforms among SMBs, which make sense as are more cost-effective than conventional platforms which require maintenance and deployment complexities of equipment.
Aside from saving you in the areas of CAPEX and OPEX, the user of cloud-based communications platforms are enjoying better functions than ever before. According to Gartner, they mentioned that "UCaaS capabilities now exceed those available from premises-based UC. The pace of UCaaS innovation is accelerating as vendors focus R&D resources on cloud delivery."
This functional advantage is only set to increase as cloud solutions providers start to add in more innovation and faster upgrades.
Soon, more businesses will be migrating their communication platforms to the cloud and replace the legacy on-premise system.
4) Increase Demand for Remote Communications
The rise of virtual workforce is growing significantly globally. And this growth call for an increased demand for tools for managers to keep their remote team members informed, empowered, and engaged, regardless of their location.
Nothing beats face time for team bonding, and creative collaboration. Remote teams can accomplish the same relationship building as in-person teams by adopting a video communications tool like Skype for Business.
Using the same calendar tool makes scheduling meetings immensely easier within a team. Using software such as Office 365 allows team members equal access to all calendars which can put a stop to endless email threads discussing schedules and time zones.
5) Unified Communications Going Mobile First
Device agnostic is the key.
Going mobile-first have been the priority of many companies especially with the vast adoption of smartphones globally. With the advancement in smartphones functions, we saw a move towards "native" implementations of mobile UC, embedding integrated UC apps on mobile devices. These apps can also leverage the native voice and video capabilities of mobile networks, contributing to a much better mobile UC user experience. And the benefit of native mobile integration is only set to increase with the introduction of 5G. This brings forth a lot of possibilities for the future of UC.
Related Article: Business Trends 2018: 3 Business Trends to Look Out For
6) Enterprise Business Voice Assistance
"Ok, Google. Consolidate all the slides from team members involved in Project X"
We all know by now that voice recognition technologyis nothing new to the consumer mobile devices sector, but the technology has been slower to emerge in business applications, as they pose unique system challenges. Accessing to enterprise data and deep learning of complex business context and processes are some of the key challenges. Basic command such as the example shown above are in fact quite complicated and highly variable between different industries, companies and even projects.
Despite these complexities, we can foresee that voice recognition technology will be part of the Unified Communication platform in future. It will be interesting to see how the technology can help businesses in increasing their workers' productivity.
Based on the Unified Communications trends, communication is the key to sustain the business regardless of its size. Every business requires a truly unified communication strategy.
The features of unified communication like instant messaging, video conference calls, real-time presence updates, and even integrated calendars can help small and medium businesses meet the demand of a dynamic and mobile workforce.
If you are looking for any unified communications solutions, contact our specialist today!
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