No doubt you recall the personal computing (PC) era? Well, unified communications has changed the way we think about that era, transforming “PC” into the personal cloud era. To show just how large this transformation is, a recent report from industry analyst firm Heavy Reading is eye opening:
“According to some estimates, the annual revenue for service providers from cloud UC has grown to more than $2 billion. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of those figures is that UCaaS is thought to be growing twice as fast as UC.”
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise also did some research on the growth of UC and according to the recent survey of over 1000 IT influencers and decision makers, 78.5% believe that to be successful, they need to provide users with real-time collaboration.
This is also supported by a Grand View Research, Inc. study that determined the global unified communication market is expected to reach USD 75.81 billion by 2020.
Influenced by the explosion of video and social networks, our work styles are rapidly changing. Can you even imagine the past before we had mobility? Picture this – rows of desks, typewriters and bulky desk phones – yikes!
With today’s mobility, many employees are no longer confined to the work campus where they use a single, trusted device on the network. They are mobile and they (albeit selfishly) use the device most convenient for them – at home and at work – including personal devices.
On the other hand, multiple devices make mobile employees available 24/7 to their employer, resulting in a very long workday. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that employees expect the same high quality communications experience they have in the office wherever they may be.
For a company to provide world class UC, a user’s communication experience must be the same from any device, location or network. IT must provide an environment that supports all of the users’ devices and delivers seamless transfers between media and devices during a conversation, regardless of the underlying infrastructure. In essence, the infrastructure needs to be a network that is capable of delivering access across wired and wireless devices. It has to be a unified network.
With the expected growth of the personal cloud and UCaaS, your IT team needs a unified communications solution that offers applications to solve specific communications pain points in the enterprise and be a flexible, consumption-based model.
The workplace has already seen big changes in mobility under the personal cloud era. It’s not the “tied to the desk,” immobile office any longer. The workplace will see many more changes that are coming even faster. This makes having a single user environment that extends across devices and geographies a necessity to meet the changing demands of today’s mobile workforce.
Now ask yourself, can you remember life before mobility?
This commentary was originally written for and published here on the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise blog. Many thanks to ALE for their interest in my thoughts, and the ability to contribute my voice to their blog.