UC&C: The Past, Present, and Future

Rob Scott

Let’s explore the world of Unified Communications & Collaboration

UC&C: The Past, Present, and Future

The communication world has changed.

In the past, the biggest challenge that most organisations faced was finding the cash to pay for a business telephone system and a host of desk phones. Now, there are applications available that allow employees to connect and communicate wherever they are, through any device, using a single pane of glass. Not only are Vendors and Service Providers transforming voice communications with simpler pricing methods and reliable uptime, but they’re also delivering new modes of communication, in the form of instant messaging, video conferencing, and so much more.

With the market for UC&C predicted to triple in value to $96 billion over the next five years, we thought we’d review the UC market, exploring some of the biggest trends in the technology, how the workplace is changing, and what you need to do to take advantage of this digitally transforming environment.

UC&C and the Digital Workforce

Today’s communication vendors have finally come to terms with the fact that voice is no longer the be-all and end-all of communication. We’re moving away from the ‘on-premises’ legacy environment, into a cloud-based world where almost anything is possible. From virtual reality meeting rooms to Artificial Intelligence in contact centres where machines can learn how your customers feel in real-time and can act accordingly before it’s too late.

In a digital workforce, agility is at the heart of success, there’s no need to take risks with capital expenditure. Instead, a business can simply evolve and adapt according to its ever-changing needs. What’s more, many UC&C solutions actually give employees the chance to optimise and customise their experiences too. At its heart, UC&C is about moving away from the siloed workforce and delivering community on an over-arching level. What’s more, you don’t have to be in the same office to share this new technology – people can achieve the same experiences regardless of where they are.

Whether you’re investing in Cisco Spark (now Webex Teams), Circuit, Glip, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or any of the dozens of UC&C platforms available, it’s finally possible to overcome the communication and collaboration issues that held us back in the past.

Agility and the Rise of Cloud

As more companies struggle to attract digital nomads to their offices, remote working has helped to push the adoption of UC&C technologies too. Now that 2018 is well underway, we’re sure to see more focus on the agility and scalability that the Cloud can bring.

The shift to solutions like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), and even Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) strategies isn’t just about reducing cost in the workplace, it’s about giving companies the flexibility they need to take advantage of emerging opportunities for communication. The Cloud offers the adaptability and constant growth that today’s businesses need in this world where customer experience is the key to success.

It’s not just the UC&C technology on the market that’s advancing, but the rate of growth within this area that’s accelerating too. The companies that fall behind could be the ones that miss out on the chance for real, memorable customer experiences. Since most analysts predict that CX will be the ultimate differentiator in the years to come, you can’t afford to be behind the curve.

The Future is Here: It’s Time to Embrace It

While it’s tempting to see things like UC&C and Cloud Communications as something situated firmly in the future, the truth is that the revolution has already begun. Digital transformation is here, and many businesses are already taking advantages of the opportunities in everything from machine learning to cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.

In the past, choosing the best PBX system was all about evaluating what your people needed to interact more productively with your customers. That, at least, hasn’t changed. The only difference today is that there are more options to work with.

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