Cloud and Unified Communications (UC) are both terminologies that have come to market over recent years, but they have quickly picked up speed and developed in to “must have” tools for businesses everywhere. But could one be driving the other? With an increase in spend on Cloud amongst enterprises; this could in turn be driving the desire for UC too.
Of course the evolution of having a Cloud based infrastructure to the introduction of a UC system may seem a natural one. Having the platform already available to enable you to successfully introduce a communication tool across your business, means that the implementation is more likely to be successful. The capex/opex benefits are hard to ignore too as being massive benefits to taking your infrastructure in to the Cloud.
In the next 12 months 33% of IT leaders surveyed by CIO reported that they plan to increase UC spend. IT leaders are clearly realising the benefits and increased collaboration that UC offers.
What is Unified Communications?
Whilst we covered the question “what is Unified Communications” in a recent blog post, in brief UC is the combination of a variety of tools to enable you to provide a collaborative environment within the workplace. These tools range from IM to screen sharing, and voice calling to presence – the ability to see when somebody is offline/online/busy at all times.
Why the increase in UC?
CIO reported that enterprises stated collaboration (43%) and productivity (42%) as their primary reasons for investing in UC. Enabling their colleagues to quickly and easily get in touch with each other, through a variety of different means, allows them to work faster and get things done. Equally the added ability to host video conferences and screen share assists employees both internally and externally; it is much easier to discuss something when you can see the document or screen that the other person is looking at.
Unsurprisingly email remains the preference of communication within enterprises, at 92%, but IM and videoconferencing is hot on its heels with up to 67% of those surveyed saying that it is one of their preferential means of communication.
Within enterprises, where there are 1000 employees of more it is often the case that communication decreases due to the sheer size of the company, office or the fact that colleagues may be based in different locations. Having the ability to talk to them wherever they may be, across a variety of devices and even see them face to face enables employees to resolve issues and get things done far quicker than when sitting waiting for an email reply or call back.
The increase of enterprises looking to make use of Cloud based solutions, and the revitalisation of their infrastructure, is something that will undoubtedly continue to grow over the next few years – and with that companies will be investing more and more in to UC services to boost engagement and support their employees.