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Businesses Adjust to New UC Landscape

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The transformative nature of unified communications continues to reverberate through the business world. With its promise of empowering workers with new ways of communicating and collaborating, UC is sending shock waves disrupting traditional business processes.

Companies are striving to accommodate the trends of mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and collaboration as workers gain flexibility to interact using the devices they own and love, such as iPhone and iPads, when they want and how they want.

These trends are unleashing increased productivity, but at the same time challenging managers to re-evaluate their organizational best practices.

Analysts at UCStrategies note these changes and are describing their impact. Blair Pleasant, president and principal analyst of COMMfusion and a co-founder of ucstrategies.com, wrote that UC is leading to a new phase of business communications, which she calls Optimized Communications.

With Optimized Communications, businesses adapt UC to fit their specific needs and to achieve their own organizational goals.

“Building on unified communications, Optimized Communications uses the same basic tools and technologies, including call control, conferencing/collaboration, mobility, and messaging, while expanding to include other tools such as social software (both public and private), and whatever else will come down the pike,” Pleasant wrote. “One key difference, however, is that Optimized Communications focuses not on the technologies, but on how people use the technology to achieve their desired goals and results, whether it’s attending a scheduled meeting, inviting business partners to a collaborative session, helping a customer with a support issue over video, or working with a geographically distributed development team.”

In addition, businesses need to take a step further and quantify how they will accommodate these changes, wrote UCStrategies Analyst Art Rosenberg.

“…it has become more difficult for organizations to quantify their operational interaction/communication needs (functionality, network capacities, etc.) for all their different end users, both inside and outside the organization,” Rosenberg wrote.

The BYOD user, inside and outside a business, presents organizational challenges and well as possibilities, Rosenberg wrote.

“While the industry is still developing the new tools for business interactions and looking for the right term to describe how both end users and automated business process applications will dynamically interact, business organizations of all sizes should start reviewing “who does what” in their high priority operations,” he wrote. “This perspective must now include mobile end users, who will also be multi-modal.”

These are early takes on the development of UC, with much more to come as the technology gains influence.