Over the past decade the business landscape has become increasingly more digital. The evolution of mobile technology and cloud software has been driving forward this digital transformation, leading to businesses reacting quicker and enterprises moving at breakneck speed to adopt the latest technologies that would enable them to remain agile, adaptive and profitable. As a result, this fast-paced, technology-centric world has led to a surge in competition amongst businesses with spectators and critics looking to see who would be the first to stumble. Yet, whilst competition has increased, opportunities have grown tenfold with more and more organisations now able to operate on a global level; a feat that was previously only achievable by few.
Effective communication has been placed at the heart of every growing business and the rapid advancements in intelligent communication systems have kickstarted globalisation across many industries. In order for businesses to effectively scale globally, decision makers must ensure they have the tools in place to unify their networks and enable rapid and productive interactions with customers, partners, colleagues and prospects. This has led to many businesses investing heavily in sophisticated Unified Communications (UC) solutions to streamline information sharing, video conferencing, collaboration and drive company-wide productivity across large,increasingly scattered and mobile workforces.
In the past, businesses would rely on a handful of communication solutions that would allow them to host conference calls and video chats. However, the development of cloud technology and faster internet speeds now means that organisations are able to bridge the gaps between web conferencing solutions to create one frictionless network.
Uniting a global workforce
In order for organisations to effectively operate in today’s fast-moving environment, the demand for seamless connection is greater than ever. The world has evolved in such a way that people are used to ongoing connectivity and this also applies for a business that is trying to operate across multiple time zones and split teams.
What’s more, without the correct provisions in place, managing a global workforce can also be both daunting and challenging at times. However, UC solutions are able to help businesses overcome these struggles, securely bringing employees together and helping to drive communication and collaboration regardless of geographies.
Flexible hours and remote working has become commonplace for today’s businesses, with more employees choosing to work for companies that offer these options. One challenge for these remote workers is often feeling alienated or removed from being part of the overall company culture. Yet, with solutions aimed at connecting employees globally, businesses can reassure that all staff feel integral to the organisation no matter their location.
Enabling rapid communications
One of the main challenges for global businesses is the ability to remain connected in order to provide faster responses to customer queries or collaborate on projects with colleagues remotely and securely. Due to the fast acting nature of business, the ability to respond to a customer email more efficiently or provide feedback quicker may well be the difference between profits earned or profits lost.
Modern businesses rely on constant communication to succeed. Whether this be communication with customers, employees or line managers, the digital nature of business has meant that all staff need to be armed with an array of tools that can allow rapid communications across multiple devices and channels.
For example, one web conference can be arranged for a strategic executive meeting whilst an online planner can be used to book the meeting space with your attendance confirmed via an instant message. In short, businesses should utilise various communication channels to ensure they remain as efficient as possible.
In the past, companies were often reliant on expensive hardware to enable access to these channels, but now cost-efficient, web-based solutions remove the need to roll out these devices and instead make the most of existing devices currently used to enable a constant cycle of communication at scale.
Productive staff are happy staff
A successful business is the result of productive and happy staff. This rings true no matter the region a company operates within, but can present a challenge for businesses operating globally and those having to combat timezones that might cause unnecessary delays. For example, if working on a project with a scattered or mobile workforce that requires each member to contribute could be problematic.
However, with UC, employees are able to collaborate effectively no matter their location or time zone; leading to teamwork being a much smoother collaboration process. As a result, having the tools to access, edit and share files whilst also providing feedback means that employees no longer feel restricted to working from one location or having their calendars inundated with face-to-face team meetings to discuss ongoing projects.
In addition to enabling staff to work remotely, being able to communicate and collaborate via multiple channels means that checking emails out of office hours can be kept to a minimum or completely eradicated. Being able to send quick updates or share files via mobile or instant message means that employees no longer need to be sat in front of their desktop when home with their families, facilitating that much needed enhanced work/life balance.
Enhanced connectivity leading to a new era of UC
Unified communications has evolved exponentially over the years with new tools and functionalities constantly added to drive business performance, boost employee productivity and provide a better working experience for staff members at all levels of an organisation.
Its ability to kickstart business growth on a global scale has inevitably caused UC to experience significant growth, with the number of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) users now surpassing 43 million and is tipped to grow by 23% each year until 2023.
As the technology continues to establish itself within the business world, we will undoubtedly start seeing it implemented with an organisation’s legacy systems, such as ERPs, CRMs and supply chain management tools. In addition, artificial intelligence will continue driving forward team collaboration and enable seamless communication across an organisation.
What’s more, with 5G technology on the horizon, we can expect mobile technology to play an even larger role in the field of UC. With faster mobile connectivity, we can expect better unified communication for remote and mobile users. For example, mobile video is largely dependent on a cellular connection when not in range of WiFi. However, with some locations still receiving poor signals, this should be less problematic once 5G is available; leading to better connectivity and communication no matter how remote the location may be.
With enterprise technology constantly evolving, businesses need to adapt to this change and implement solutions and tools that enable them to remain competitive and scale globally. The key to this is giving employees the ability to remain connected, communicate efficiently and work on projects seamlessly by removing geographical limitations. In today’s digital environment, the ability to work anytime, anywhere is no longer seen as optional but instead a necessity for any business looking to grow at scale and maintain a fulfilled workforce.