In a very short time, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every aspect of daily life, forcing most businesses to make rapid—even drastic—shifts to the way they operate. Companies that have made incremental investments in their digital transformation over the years are likely experiencing a smoother transition than those who remain fully premises-based, though even the most agile among us are facing new challenges in this time that is anything but business as usual.
Cloud-based collaboration tools that combine productivity applications like email and chat with voice and video capability, presence and file sharing are keeping employees in sync, informed and engaged. Obviously, a paradigm shift of this size and scope requires tight orchestration and coordination.
Unified communications (UC) is helping make this happen.
Telework has been gaining steam for years, leading to a rise in UCaaS adoption
As businesses around the world gain footing with new teleworking conditions, the right technology can make or break their users’ experience. UC gives employees more freedom and flexibility to stay connected to the people, the tools and the information they need to deliver on promises, deadlines and results—whether they’re across town or on the other side of the world—all from a single application or platform.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide noted that “the UC market is making a fundamental shift from premises-based UC to cloud UCaaS” and predicts that “by 2021, 90% of IT leaders will not purchase new premises-based infrastructure—up from 50% today—because future cloud UC offerings will be far ahead in terms of features, functions, portals, analytics and dashboards.”1 Additionally, the rise of the IoT (Internet of Things) and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) means that the number of connected devices will only continue to grow. Before UC, enterprises had to own, maintain and update the equipment and licensing needed to provide UC services. This is why more and more enterprises have been shifting to a model that offers unified communications as a service. Known as UCaaS, this cloud-based approach provides greater flexibility and scalability, as well as the enhanced protection of redundant and secure data storage. UCaaS can be delivered via two types of cloud models—multi-tenant, in which users share a common software license, or multi-instance, where each user receives their own license. While both delivery models provide access, the multi-instance model is more secure, allowing for greater flexibility, customization and control. And because it’s based on individual as opposed to group licenses, it is often more cost-effective.
The trend toward telework has been on the incline over the past decade as social, mobile and cloud technologies converged with IT consumerization and BYOD initiatives. Whether we knew it or not, we have been steadily preparing for this new work-from-anywhere paradigm we find ourselves in today and have a plethora of collaboration tools at the ready to support our efforts if we only embrace them.
UCaaS: Unifying today’s remote workforce
While none of us can predict how long this crisis will keep businesses working virtually, we can be sure of one thing: Remote does not have to mean removed. Traditionally, organizations that have explored cloud-based communications have been fundamentally seeking ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Now more than ever, UCaaS offers companies that may not yet be operating in the cloud a secure, reliable and affordable way to get there. We are fortunate to live in a time where we can leverage communications technology to create truly connected and highly collaborative experiences, allowing business as near-usual to march on during these unsettled times.
At Frontier, we believe meaningful work is all about what you do, not where you do it. Now more than ever, we need connection to feel engaged. We’re here with you and for you, during the COVID-19 pandemic and far beyond. Reach out to us today so your business can still make a difference, even from a distance.
Source: 1. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, Daniel O'Connell et al., 10 October 2018 #G00383772