By: Arun Shetty, Director of Collaboration Solutions, Avaya
Today’s workplaces are transforming significantly with the advent of digital technologies and changing needs of knowledge workers. We are in a digital transformation Era where customers, employees and partners expect a user-driven communications experience that is contextual, consistent, and relevant to their needs. For example more and more number of employees today are looking at options for working out of remote locations and even expecting a rich experience across their mobile devices. Realizing the importance and benefit of this even the Indian government allowed employees of IT SEZs to work from home. According to a recent survey, 9 in 10 employees also feel that working-from-home option makes life easier for them.
Historically collaboration technologies like Unified Communications (UC) was supposed to be all about driving employee productivity, with the IT team providing communications to the enterprise, making capabilities available on the desktop. We then moved into the mobile Era, with mobility and bring your own devices trend compelling enterprises to leverage the power of employees’ devices, the employees in turn expecting to be able to access enterprise services with the same simplicity as consumer apps.
In today’s Transformation Era, UC needs to fit into how business leaders want to work – not limit how they can work. Organizations today need to evolve digitally to meet rapidly-changing customer expectations or they risk being left behind by more agile competitors.
Current Limitations of Unified Communications/collaboration solutions
The experiences we receive as employees and customers from current unified communications solutions are often disjointed, and can often be a “stop-start” process, requiring users to hop from applications or devices to other solutions. These unsatisfactory experiences are often extremely frustrating for the end-users – which pretty much means all of us – and crimp productivity, as companies are unable to move fast enough to meet their customers’ expectations. For enterprises it is extremely important to provide experiences that users demand – experiences that empower employees and help them make better informed decisions that positively impact the customer lifecycle. They want employees to be able to work where they want, when they want, and in the way that suits them best. Technologies need to be an enabler rather than a limiting factor in their efficiency and productivity.
Addressing today’s limitations requires an outcomes-driven approach and relevant ecosystem partnerships
Achieving seamless communications across devices requires a shift away from a product-focused, IT-centric approach, to an outcomes-driven strategy. An outcome driven strategy revolves around a hardware plus software approach to enable customized solutions as per customer’s needs. For example, Enterprises need to have the ability to embed advanced communications capabilities into applications, making it possible to optimize business processes and create contextual user experiences.
What will also be important to deliver a holistic experience to customers is relevant ecosystem partnerships. The role of service providers also become critical here since they already have the wherewithal to deliver such experiences. With the changing business landscape there exist a million opportunities for both business and service providers. By capitalizing on these properly and driving individual user experiences based on specific preferences and desired business outcomes, enterprises will maximize productivity – meeting the promise of Unified communications.