There are varying definitions for unified communications (UC) and if you speak to just a handful of leaders from different industries, they will most likely have a different take on the topic. Put simply though, unified communications ties together the ways we communicate, allowing people to send a message on one device and receive the same communication on another.
Emerging in the 1980’s, UC quickly turned from a long-term trend to a key investment and opportunity, which played a role in the growth of enterprise. Over the past decade, CIOs and IT Directors have used UC to help companies improve efficiency and achieve growth. The need to communicate seamlessly across a variety of devices is paramount to surviving in today’s globalised economy. Now, according to a Frost and Sullivan report, more than 52% of employees surveyed used UC applications.
UC brings with it a number of benefits for companies and their employees. Connected information and teams allow for a collaborative working environment. Access to video on demand across mediums is simple and hassle free. Company productivity and output tends to increase as a result as mobile workers are always connected to the corporate network.
But what about the drawbacks to UC? This is where TEM plays a role. Although unified communications aims to ultimately improve productivity and increase efficiency, it can be costly to implement. This is identified as one of the main drawbacks – in fact 73% of companies, with more than 5,000 employees, cited cost as an obstacle to implementing UC.
One of the core challenges of unified communications is ‘cost displacement’. This occurs when calls are answered from an end point that is outside of the VoIP network. As a portion of the call must be established between the closest gateway on the network – this will ultimately be charged by the PSTN service provider and usually to the company implementing UC.
Today’s TEM solution’s addresses this challenge, complementing VoIP cost management by connecting to and collecting information from key network components. This information is then reconciled using smart algorithms, taking many complex factors into consideration and providing reports that visually represent the results. This solution provides many of our global clients with a clear graphical data visualisation and insight into where off-net calls are occurring across their VoIP network.
Although unified communications has been a key investment and opportunity for the past 10 years, the world and working environment is become increasingly mobile. Gartner is predicting that by 2018, more than 50% of users will use a mobile or tablet first for all online activities. Ultimately this means that although UC has received investment for more than a decade, it’s a constant work-in-progress.
What say you ?
Thanks to Ben Mendoza for the post !