Are team collaboration apps the new UI for UC?
In recent years, there’s been a significant shift in the way that people work. Today’s teams are no longer operating in siloed environments. Instead, even in the age of remote and mobile working, we’re looking for new ways to stay connected wherever we go. The rise of globalisation and the fact that work is now something that we “do” rather than a place we go to has changed the way that we see the tools required for day-to-day productivity.
For today’s dispersed and diverse employees to remain productive and efficient in any environment, they need more than just VoIP systems and email. Every employee can benefit from access to a single-pane-of-glass solution that brings everything they need for project management, teamwork, and better performance into the same space. This is particularly true in a world where we’re managing twice as many teams today than we were five years ago.
The rise of collaboration tools and “Teams” apps has introduced the modern workplace to the truth of what a productive digital environment can look like. Business leaders are beginning to realise that if they want their teams to succeed, they need to empower them with a virtual toolbelt that features everything from content sharing to video conferencing. The Teams app is taking over the environment.
One of the reasons why Teams apps are appearing as the new essential UI for UC is that they offer staff members the opportunity to access various modes of communication in one single environment. We’re living in a world where there are five different generations in the workplace, all struggling to respond to the rising demands of customers and perform at a more agile level. Team collaboration apps ensure that employees don’t have to jump from one app to another when they’re connecting to different members of their group.
Instead of wasting time on switching from one interaction to the next, companies can use Teams apps to give employees an environment where they can seamlessly move from instant messaging to sharing and collaborating and documents in real-time. If annotating that document isn’t enough, then your users can just click a button to start a video or voice conference, using additional features to share their screens, and presence to check who’s online for better support. In other words, Teams tools create a fully immersive and UC&C-driven work hub where people can get everything done in the same place.
As business leaders continue to strive towards better and faster outcomes, Teams tools are leading the way to a more efficient and agile environment for workers. Even in a situation where voice is still key, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that today’s teams need more than just voice to get the most out of their workdays. According to Aragon’s Research Globe, by the year 2025, team collaboration will be the primary way that businesspeople communicate, driven by this demand for greater performance and agility.
As Teams apps continue to introduce new offerings in the forms of advanced integrations and APIs, it’s becoming even easier to turn these environments into the central space where work gets done. Already, companies can use integrations with CRM systems to access critical customer information when working on projects. They can use links with the contact centre to bring back-end collaboration with colleagues into front-end conversations with customers.
With access to APIs, integration, and endless options for extensibility, the future of UC is sure to be defined by a fully integrated offering that brings collaboration and communication together with more seamlessly. This will include not just conversation in the back-end between team members and office workers. Team apps will also help to ensure that the doors remain open between various parts of a team, allowing for cross-departmental discussions to thrive.
At the same time, by combining the back and front end communication environment, businesses will finally be able to give agents in the contact the support and context they need to provide genuinely differentiating experiences to customers. After all, two-thirds of a company’s competitive edge comes down to their ability to offer better customer experiences.
It’s not just customers that benefit from the use of Teams applications as the central UI for a UC environment either. The convergence of various forms of content, from consumer discussions to workplace file sharing in the same situation, will create a more secure and compliant space for businesses too. It’s much easier to audit and keep track of information when everything is located in the same space, rather than dispersed across multiple apps and tools.
The Teams app at the centre of collaboration and communication will help to enhance team experiences by making sure that the workforce can get access to the information that they need to solve problems quickly. However, it will also ensure that business experiences begin to evolve, by allowing companies to align their organisations more effectively, enhancing security, reducing the strain on IT teams, and driving the best ROI from every implementation.
Now that manufacturers are focusing more aggressively on their offerings in the collaborative space, it’s becoming increasingly easy for businesses to even access the latest disruptive technology through Teams apps. For instance, leading companies can use artificial intelligence and virtual assistants to deliver helpful insights to agents and employees in real time. Companies can even enhance the communication and collaboration experience by automating time-consuming tasks with their Teams UI, with things like automatic transcription and note-taking in meetings.
As the communication world becomes increasingly fast-paced and complex, employees need more support than ever before to thrive. Now that remote working is continuing to evolve, and companies are taking advantage of more disruptive technology, no organisation can afford to overlook the importance of Team Collaboration tools to truly unify their company. It would be fair to argue that without collaboration and Team applications, a truly unified communication environment can’t exist.
The Aragon Research Globe study found that the age of collaboration is a sure sign that companies are beginning to put people at the centre of their UC&C environments. That doesn’t just mean focusing on customers – but the users that are responsible for driving real change and success in your organisations. Teams based tools are starting to focus on not just providing all of the applications that today’s companies need to support their customers but creating an environment for those tools that empowers the workforce too.
With a focus on people-centric collaboration, Teams tools combine all aspects of the communication environment, from project management to training, agent support to contact centre development and beyond, to provide what’s truly the next-level of Unified Communication.