The importance of communication endpoints
In a world overwhelmed by software and cloud-based solutions, it’s easy to forget about the last component of the communication experience: the endpoints.
A fantastic CCaaS solution can help your teams to work from home when they can’t come into the office, but it won’t mean much if they don’t have the headsets and phones to deliver clear conversations with customers.
Leading collaboration tools can bring your team members face-to-face when they’re situated thousands of miles apart, but only if they have the webcams and microphones to allow for video conferencing. The endpoints of the communication landscape are an often overlooked and underappreciated part of the industry, but they’re an essential component, helping to hold your technology stack together.
In today’s landscape, where communication strategies are constantly evolving and improving, endpoints are becoming increasingly more advanced. Today, we don’t just have desk phones and computers to think about. Communication endpoints run the gamut from webcams to smart speakers, and mobile devices too.
An endpoint in the communication industry is any device that a business can use to facilitate the use of a unified communication, collaboration, or contact centre service. Usually hardware tools, like phones, conference phones, and room systems, these solutions have become increasingly advanced over the years. Today, there are even communication companies that offer full packages for huddle rooms and meeting rooms, complete with everything you need for video, content sharing, and audio.
Communication endpoints still include the traditional desk phone. However, the phones that we use to communicate today are often a lot more advanced to the options that we used to rely on. For instance, research company MZA say that the desk phone is just as “in-demand” as ever. However, these tools are now more likely to come with extra features built-in.
For instance, you can get desk phones with dedicated buttons that link your calls directly to your favourite collaboration tools, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. There are desk phones with video conferencing technology built-in and multi-media phones that can share content in seconds. You can even get desk phones with their own smart assistants built-in, which can take notes, transcribe calls, or set up calendar meetings for the employee using them.
Some common examples of endpoints in the current landscape include:
Clearly, communication endpoints still form an essential part of the conversational stack that we use today. Without them, video talks, calls, and other forms of connectivity would be impossible. However, the endpoints that we use today are far more evolved than the ones that we relied on a couple of decades ago. We’re seeing new trends changing the scope of the endpoint environment all of the time, such as:
There are tons of endpoint vendors on the market today, including companies that focus exclusively on business tools like desk phones and conference phones. However, there’s also more freedom for endpoints from other companies to appear in the office too. For instance, tools like Amazon Alexa and Google Home speakers can easily make the workplace more efficient, even though they weren’t originally designed for the enterprise.
When shopping for Endpoint vendors, today’s companies need to think carefully about what they want to accomplish with their communication stack. For instance, choosing an endpoint that’s software agnostic means that you can allow your employees to use any software that they choose for communication and collaboration purposes.
On the other hand, if you already have certain pieces of software in place, then choosing endpoints that are designed to work seamlessly with that software could boost performance. For instance, phones and headsets with dedicated Microsoft Teams buttons make collaborating easier and more natural than ever.
Check out some of our favourite vendors in the communication endpoint space by looking at our endpoint market guide for a complete directory of some of the top-performing companies. Or, if you’re looking for a behind-the-scenes evaluation of the most innovative companies on the market right now, check out our recent winner of the UC Awards for Endpoints!
Events in the communication, collaboration, and customer experience landscape are one of the best ways to stay ahead of the trends and make sure that you’re on the cutting edge of your industry. Events in the A/V space, as well as UCaaS, CCaaS, and collaboration, can all introduce new types of communication devices to explore.
By visiting some of the most reputable UC events in the industry, the team at UC Today can bring you insights into the tools that are enabling digital transformation for people all over the world. For instance, we can give you a Birdseye view of what the future office space might look like, with plug-and-play huddle room kits that allow people to jump into a meeting at a moment’s notice.
We can also use events as a chance to explore some of the solutions that vendors are introducing to common communication problems. For instance, leaders in the headset environment are constantly introducing new and improved ways to help employees stay productive in any landscape. With access to things like noise cancellation technology, your teams can stay focused, while delivering a better quality of conversation to your target audience.
Events are a chance to see the transformative technology in the endpoint environment in use. This includes everything from smart cameras that can recognise a person and launch a meeting for them as soon as they walk into a room. It could also include new intelligent tools that are designed specifically for the business landscape, like holographic meeting rooms, AR and VR in the business environment, and new tools for more engaging collaboration.
Check out some of the most exciting reports from the endpoint events we’ve visited today.
As new tools continue to emerge in the communication marketplace, claiming to make conversations more intuitive and efficient, it can be difficult to know which endpoints you actually need for your team. After all, not everyone is going to need a VR meeting room or a smart speaker assistant just because it’s available.
Our communication endpoint reviews at UC Today will give you a closer look at some of the top features and benefits of the leading endpoints on the market. More importantly, they’ll give you a chance to determine for yourself whether these new solutions are right for your team. While your purchasing decision will be based on a lot of factors unique to you, we recommend thinking about:
You may find that your choice of a crucial endpoint solution eventually comes down to two options. It’s important in this case to make sure that you’re comparing your solutions like-for-like. There’s a big difference between a multi-media room kit that offers video conferencing, and a video conferencing camera, for instance.
Here at UC Today, we conduct regular comparisons of some of the leading products in the endpoints environment, to help our readers make the best possible decisions. However, we also have some tips that could help you make the most of your own comparisons too. For instance:
In a world where communication strategies are continually changing, it’s easy to overlook the importance of the endpoint in your tech stack. However, remember that without the right cameras, headsets, speakers, and other crucial tools, your comms strategy would be limited to nothing but face-to-face conversations.
If you need extra help making the most out of your endpoints, check out our endpoints and accessories UC Today Smart guide. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about desk phones, headsets, conference phones, video conferencing products, and more.
Don’t underestimate the power of the endpoint.