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UC Today – March 4, 2022

There Wouldn’t Be a Hybrid Workspace Without UC

Guest blog from Jeff Graham, Chief Strategy Officer, VOSS Solutions

In my opinion, there would not be a hybrid workspace without unified communications (UC). Imagine if Covid had hit during the late 90s and early 2000s. With only telephony available, I believe the global economy would have taken a much harder hit than it did. As workers, how would we have functioned? How many of our daily tasks could we have performed with just a landline and a dubious internet connection?

As I type this, I’m looking down at the open applications on my desktop. I have Zoom, Teams, Webex, Slack, Outlook, and Apple Messages open on my computer 24 hours a day. Plus, a raft of productivity tools that make my job easier. Each of these tools has a specific purpose, based on the person I’m communicating with or the function I’m carrying out.

This is my digital workplace. It’s customized to me, to ensure that I’m both productive and happy, and importantly, it allows me to work from any location.

The advancement of UC

The advances in UC are what have enabled today’s hybrid workspace. No matter your profession, the UC and collaboration tools are freeing you to work away from the office. Take, for example, virtual healthcare assessments that are available today. UC is the main reason telehealth has taken off and is a viable medical assessment today. And around the world, it has been crucial to keeping the healthcare system functional during the pandemic. So many industries have been positively impacted in similar ways. UC is at the center of it all!

Since 2019, Gartner has seen a 44% rise in workers using collaboration tools. According to Gartner’s Digital Worker Experience survey, 80% of workers use collaboration tools in 2021, up from just over half of employees in 2019. – Gartner Digital Worker Survey

Single vendor vs multi-vendor

As time progresses, we are seeing a trend back to the office; we are social souls after all, who enjoy collaboration face to face with our peers. But I don’t believe we will return to the 100% office-based scenario two years ago. Too much has changed. The hybrid workspace is here to stay, which will drive consolidation in the collaboration and productivity tool space. Think Salesforce acquiring Slack. Currently, organizations are amassing a suite of best-of-breed solutions but there is a growing demand for a single federated solution that has connectivity to all UC environments. So, you will have a tool of choice with channels into Teams, Webex, Slack, Bluejeans, Google Meet, whatever you need. This already somewhat exists with Slack channels, but we will see an increase in demand and capabilities in this area. Whether they are federated or utilized individually, these tools have become critical to keeping employees productive and thus the business running.

The ability to automate deployment, make changes easy, ensure that the network supporting those solutions is performing well, and ensure optimal user experience mirrors their criticality. As a result, automation and performance management tools will need to work in unison, which is critical to the success of hybrid working.

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