Less than half of organizations believe their UC efforts are successful.
Today, when line-of-business managers and end users need to connect with their external business partners, they use an assortment of different tools, some more ill-suited than others. This communication involves a lot of ad hoc emails and mailing lists. Some people on the team might use Hangouts, others might use text messaging. We see folks that use Skype, WhatsApp, and even private Facebook groups and Messenger. For document collaboration, end users rely on their personal Box and Dropbox accounts to get around email attachment restrictions.
Increasingly companies are relying on contractors and consultants to reduce costs and bring in specialized skill sets, among many other reasons.
While the trend helps, in order to get the most out of the cost benefits, companies need to provide contractors and consultants with access to their internal networks. Organizations then need to equip these workers with communications and collaboration tools, like UC clients, so they can do their jobs just as though they were regular employees.
Many of today’s knowledge workers find themselves collaborating with their external business partners on a regular basis. In fact, some of these folks work with their partners more frequently than they do their own coworkers.
For these kinds of workers to be successful, it is essential that they’re equipped with modern communication tools that enable them to collaborate with their external business partners in real time via chat, presence, group chat, and voice and video calling.
To succeed in today’s fast-paced business world, organizations need to share information in real-time across internal and external teams.
However, despite their well-documented benefits, surprisingly 55 percent of organizations have yet to deploy any real-time collaboration tools. So right off the bat, because these companies lack UC platforms, organizations that have already deployed UC solutions aren’t able to federate with them.
Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a browser-based open source project that intends to allow real-time communication via voice and video—as well as document sharing—without users having to download software or plugins. In other words, the technology enables peer-to-peer video, audio and data communication between two WebRTC-compatible browsers.
Because WebRTC is entirely peer-to-peer, users don’t bear bandwidth fees or the need for additional servers or infrastructure in order to send data over a channel. A browser-to-browser solution, WebRTC offers end users the highest performance and lowest latency possible. Because of this, the potential business applications for the standard are almost limitless as every notebook, desktop and mobile device user could conceivably use WebRTC from a number of devices in the near future.
The telephone has evolved drastically in the roughly 140 years since Alexander Graham Bell filed the first patent for the transformative communications device. The goal of Bell’s invention was to transmit sounds telegraphically, and over the years, the technology evolved to the point where it displaced the telegraph altogether.
The telephone certainly marks a critical milestone in the evolution of communications technology in the business world. But over the past 20-so years, we’ve gradually seen the phone displaced by email. In fact, recent research indicates that employees send and receive roughly 120 emails each day, or one every four minutes.
Computers have been around for quite some time, but it wasn't until 1984 that Irene Greif and Paul Cashman coined the term "computer supported cooperative work" (CSCW). In essence, the CSCW postulated about how collaboration could be enhanced through computing.
In 1988, taking the idea a step further, sociologist Robert Johansen created the CSCW matrix to conceptualize the term. The four-square matrix addresses the four possible aspects of collaboration: individuals working together from the same location or remotely, and whether that work is occurring in real time or is asynchronous.
Enterprise collaboration is more than just sending emails to peers. It’s about sharing documents, chatting in real time while in different locations, connecting teams via video conferences and sharing screens to remain on the same page, among other things.
Truly effective enterprise collaboration applications represent one of the most promising opportunities for cloud computing. During the last few years, several software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies have emerged with the promise of improving team and workplace collaboration. These include Quip, Biba, Zulip, Thinking Phones, Glip, Hall and Slack, among many others.
For the majority of business owners, the terms “hosted” and anything delivered as-a-Service (like Software-as-a-Service) are synonymous. After all, both imply outsourcing network infrastructure to a remote, privately managed environment. In the B2B UC collaboration space, however, the two have completely different meanings.
An easy way to visualize the difference between hosted UC and Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) is to compare a stay in a hotel versus a stay in a hostel. A hosted infrastructure environment is a lot like having a private room at a hotel due to the fact that your company will be provided with a separate space with its own network capacity and network infrastructure for running UC apps. Utilizing this type of solution involves transferring your own UC equipment into a private facility where it will be maintained and optimized by someone else.