Unified Communications (UC) is changing the way that companies are working, and it is proving to be useful for SMEs that often need more flexibility.
Flexibility is something that helps smaller companies to compete with larger firms. Staff can take advantage of remote working and have improved mobility. Smaller firms can then reduce their costs, work out of smaller offices and make use of freelance workers to supplement the permanent workforce.
One of the latest trends is BYOA – bring your own application. Many employees tend to be self-organising and will find the right apps for the work that they need to do. The apps will often be those that can boost productivity, and companies are working out how to achieve the same kind of intuitive experience with the help of UC.
The next stage of Unified Communications is the mobile app market as well as improved connectivity. SMEs are a great market for this type of technology and are therefore showing faster adoption rates than among larger companies.
UC apps can be used easily through a mobile, and many developers and vendors are now producing them. Features such as screen sharing, white boarding and single-reach number are now common in UC.
However, connectivity is still an issue for this type of system as office-based Wi-Fi as well as the signals for 3G and 4G are not always as reliable as needed. This is also an issue for those who are working outside of the main office. Poor signals could lead to problems such as dropped calls, and this can be very frustrating for the user.
The UK Government has promised more investment in connectivity. The Government is determined to provide superfast broadband for 95% of the population by 2017. Companies will be able to work more smoothly once the issues with connectivity have been resolved.
With the ISDN Switch-Off pending, many SMEs will be looking to a UC solution to future-proof their communication strategy.