By: Arun Shetty, Director of Collaboration Solutions, Avaya
Unified communications solutions have failed to deliver on the promise of the name: enterprises struggle to break down the barriers between disparate systems, and workers struggle to make themselves heard because of disjointed processes.
Much like Mark Twain, reports of the death of the unified communications (UC) market have been greatly exaggerated: Gartner is predicting that the UC market will grow from$40.2 bn in 2016 to $42.4 bn by 2019, as companies continue to invest in digital transformation initiatives.
True, the bulky hardware solutions that have sat in offices – often in disparate systems with little or no connectivity to each other, a video conferencing system here, a telephony system there – are disappearing, as enterprises look for ways of adapting to new technology trends. In a recent survey of IT managers, business owners, employees and users, Avaya found that the ideal UC experience should include many capabilities necessary to support next-generation business.
A key issue was the need to integrate UC functionality into existing collaboration tools and third-party apps – and ideally, directly within a browser for easier use and greater interoperability. Another desire was for greater compatibility: users are looking for “360-degree” mobility, independent from the device used. Finally, people were looking for a quick response capacity across the organization– the capability to make informed decisions that accelerate operations and positively impact customer experience.
The problem with too many existing UC systems is that they fail to deliver on the unified part – as long as companies struggle to break the barriers between non-heterogeneous systems, the UC experience will remain unfortunately a dream. While the goal is to maximize productivity, if employees aren’t able to complete their work where, when and how they want, UC solutions will fail to deliver. The multitude of real-time and non-real-time communications methods used by workers typically require disruptive processes, with workers forced to leave business applications to communicate.
Avaya has realized that the UC experience will never be what a company expects, if it doesn’t meet these human needs – the individuals that are ultimately at the heart of the digital transformation process. The true UC experience adapts to how people work; it doesn’t make them change how they work.
The Avaya Equinox solution, now already available, answers all these questions. A platform that includes all the functionality of voice communications, video conferencing, and collaboration into a single platform that can also enclose and add third-party systems and platforms, we believe Equinox is finally fulfilling the long-sought promise of UC.
Equinox not only delivers greater autonomy to companies – it gives their workers the freedom to decide how to work better. The result is not just a new UC platform – it puts the person at the center of digital transformation.