Bring Your Action Figure to Work Day

650

 
All work and no play makes us dull guys and gals. Here to help is AFWD, or Action Figure Work Day, a newly-spawned Internet tradition that hopes to make life in the office less tedious.

Geeks don’t have a hall of fame like Hollywood stars do, but if they did, Randal Ham would probably top that list. Ham, who is based in Odessa, Texas, unintentionally created Action Figure Work Day when he decided to bring his White Raven action figure to the office one day. He placed her in various positions – eating a giant sandwich, holding a book, or drinking lemon-flavored vodka – and snapped photos of her for his Instagram followers.

By the end of the day, a seemingly childish idea had become an Internet phenomenon, with people all the way to Thailand and Singapore using the #AFWD hashtag to spread the fun.

Ham officially proclaimed March 7 as Action Figure Work Day, but since today is Friday (March 6), we’re celebrating AFWD one day early. To join the festivity, all you need to do is bring your favorite action figure or doll to the office (yes, Barbie counts too), take a photo of it, and whisk it away to any social media channel with the hashtag #AFWD2015.

Short on inspiration? Not to worry, the Interwebs have you covered with hundreds of ideas on how to put your action figure in the coolest scenarios possible. Check out this Pinterest page, or visit the Action Figure Work Day community on Facebook. Oh and, don’t forget to give Ham a thumbs up on his Instagram for making today less boring for everyone.

Happy AFWD!

Unified Communications Doesn’t Seem All That Unified

You’d think that a simple enunciation like “Unified Communications” is pretty straightforward, right? After taking my first plunge into the subject, my answer was “I beg to differ.” While UC is certainly alive and kicking, it strikes me as still in its early fledging stages. Strictly from a technical standpoint, it was doable a decade ago. So why is it so fragmented?

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it (emphasis mine):

Unified communications (UC) is the integration of real-time, enterprise, communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice (including IP telephony), mobility features (including extension mobility and single number reach), audio, web & video conferencing, fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), desktop sharing, data sharing (including web connected electronic interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user-interface and user-experience across multiple devices and media-types.

First off, this huge bulk of text is a clear indication that UC is far from unified. Anything that’s supposed to be in one piece doesn’t need line after line of fancy jargon to be explained. Secondly, the highlight at the end says it in plain English. Anyway you look at it, UC – by definition – is far from where it should be today.

The problem doesn’t lie with the vendor, the vision, or the technologies that converge to create this paradigm. It all has to do with politics, monopoly, and a vastly fragmented ecosystem.

Cross-platform headaches

The biggest problem with UC today lies at an infrastructure level. Outdated hardware versus forward-thinking software, OS, market-share, licensing, drivers, etc. All these are just hurdles that UC providers have to slalom through to get the word out.

bridge-634392_640

 
But it’s not all bad. The reality is it’s already happening. Slowly, but surely. UC is driving itself to the top of the food chain. Think about it. iOS and Android are already doing a lot of the legwork. Would you buy a smartphone today that doesn’t do the holy trinity of communication: voice, video, and data? Didn’t think so.

Whether you work from an office or at home, society today is completely reliant on collaboration at a distance. This implies a rock-solid framework that lets you focus less on understanding the system, and more on doing the actual work. After all, that’s why the GUI (graphical user interface) was invented, right?

Not a question of if, but when

Much like electric cars promise to take over when the oil under the Earth’s crust runs dry, Unified Communications will inevitably become the status-quo whether telcos like it or not. For the big players like Microsoft and Apple, this type of convergence has become a vital requirement to stay relevant. Imagine the iPhone without IM (instant messaging) apps today. Or Windows without Office 360. By all accounts, they would be crippled solutions.

In fact, UC will become so mainstream that those born today won’t believe voice, video, and data were once three separate things on devices specialized for each task in part. Show the rotary dial to a teen, see what they make of it.

This is where the UC industry is just dying to have its say. These guys know it’s all about the software. The sad truth is they’re working with one hand tied behind their backs in a marketplace flooded with tons of different devices and frameworks. The kicker? It still falls on them to find a way to unshackle and show the big boys what “seamless” is all about. But their relentless nature is a good sign of things to come.

What’s Most Important In Sales?

It started with a tweet…

Most people try to sell to anyone with a pulse. Big mistake. Selling to no-targets costs a lot & is usually non-repetitive. Focus!

This made me think of something all companies, big or small, older or younger face every day. The combination of finding the right customers and creating replicable selling scenarios makes all the difference.

Before Starting To Sell, Do Your Homework

To be able to sell any product or service (not only IT), first you need to answer some basic questions:

  • Who are my customers? At first glance, this one seems easy. But it’s a matter of precision – you must identify them really well. They are not just a target group, they are not statistics. They are human beings, even if they purchase on behalf of their company, NGO or a governmental institution. You must know everything about them.
  • Where can I find them? That’s where you can meet them. It can be online on your website, on community pages and social networks or offline, at trade shows or industry events. If you know them really well, it’s usually not a problem to answer this question.
  • What do they need? Actually, stop thinking need-oriented. People buy driven by need, but selling based on need becomes harder and harder as people move up on Maslow’s pyramid. It’s about what these guys want. Your service might be very useful, but that’s not enough – it must fulfill a desire. If the desire is not there, you can still make the sale, but you must create it during the sales process.

The world is huge, for every service there are many customers. And even more important, there are customers even for services that are not so great, but this requires someone to work harder on their homework.

Optimization Stage

Let’s assume you did your homework and were able to find good customers for your services. Good for you! Now, calculate the cost for the entire selling process. Next, compare this cost with the potential revenue they will maybe/hopefully bring in the next year. Are you still smiling?!

Vince Vaughn isn't smiling! #StarStock

 
After finding the first five customers, you will have to repeat the process with the next leads. If you are not able to lower the costs and increase the success rate during the acquisition of the next batch, that’s a sign of trouble. Maybe, it’s time to go back to your desk and check your homework, as this is usually an issue of customer identification rather than some flaw of execution.

Better Late Than Never

In all these years serving communication in the cloud, we’ve seen a lot of scenarios. Our partners target various business types and niches, serving all kind of verticals and horizontals, and offering a wide range of communication services. There are no universal success stories – it works only with the right targeting. However, things have a funny way to unfold. The idea to help our partners focus on sales that matter was only one tweet away. You gotta love social networks :)

So, we’re kicking off a new series of articles on how to target various markets and improve your sales process along the way. We hope that you will find them useful. Enjoy!

P.S.: In this viral #StarStock photo, Vince Vaughn frowns only at those who don’t do it right ;)

The Sad Truth About Crypto Currencies

There is a lot of debate regarding crypto currency – some think it is the future of money, others strongly disagree, and the debate does not seem to come to an end. I personally have a fundamental problem with them. I was tempted a couple of times to try to solve the problem myself, but I doubt that I will have the time and focus to do it. Maybe someone can pick it up from here.

While I love most of the advantages of the digital currencies, I think that the current model is conceptually flawed, anti-revolutionary, and self-destructive.

The Gold Rush

About two hundred years ago, a period of fervent migration started. The reason was pretty simple – gold deposits were found in various regions of the world and people were moving there hoping to find gold (and a better life).

Since ages, gold has been valuable. Even many civilizations that didn’t use it as currency were ready to kill for it. On the other hand, the practical value of gold was quite low. Technically, gold only started to become important for manufacturing in the last century.

In the process of rushing after gold, a lot of good and bad things happened:

  • people spent enormous resources, even lives in order to extract metal
  • many areas together with their native inhabitants were devastated
  • industries evolved in order to make the mining process more efficient
  • towns were founded to host miners and started to evolve

The list can go on, but it’s quite clear that, as a civilization, we were fortunate that the mining process had many side effects, because the mining itself offered very negligible return. Back then, gold was important mostly for financial reasons.

The Crypto Rush

Sorry for the long introduction, but I only wanted to remind everyone about the gold rush, because what happens with crypto currencies today is actually worse.

Photo source: www.old-picture.com

 
Crypto currencies are obtained through a process called mining, a process which mimics the gold mining pretty well. During the mining process, computers execute an algorithm to reach certain stages that are rewarded with crypto currency. Crypto currency is no gold, it’s just a sequence of bits. The mining algorithm is specifically designed to take advantage of raw computing power – the more powerful the computer, the more currency you are rewarded with. There are shortcuts, of course. For example, some processors are more efficient than others in executing the algorithm, and it’s even possible to create specialized hardware to speed it up.

The mining process is collective/distributed and designed to self-adjust the reward – once technology progresses and the algorithm is executed faster – it takes more and more computing power to get currency. Once again, we have a good analogy with gold mining: at first, it was possible to find gold nuggets in the river, but shortly after it became much harder to get several grams.

Unfortunately, this analogy makes the process heavily broken:

  • The execution of the algorithm does not produce value, just some bits – the currency. Even in the 19th century, gold had a higher practical value.
  • Resources are spent to execute the algorithm. Computers are manufactured, electricity is consumed, some people need to take care of them.
  • The potential for self-destruction is huge. Gold miners left sites that didn’t offer enough gold, but in this case everyone knows what to expect from retrieving the currency. Getting more computing power is very tempting as long as the currency can be exchanged for regular currency at a price that is higher than the mining cost.

So, as a civilization, we already spend scarce resources to create no value, just some sequences of bits that can be converted to US$ or maybe goods/services. I am sorry to say this, but gold mining offered better and more lasting value.

Can This Be Fixed?

I strongly believe so. Humanity needs computing power and there are lots of power-hungry algorithms that produce amazing value – from predicting weather to discovering cures for diseases, and even finding signs of extraterrestrial life. Instead of building mining sites that consume MWh of electricity to produce no value for our civilization, perhaps currency could be generated for contributing to solving problems that are really important to us. Of course, this is technically harder than hashing, but it can be done.

Currently, the future does not look bright – we might spend more and more resources to generate some bits that gain value just because we invested a lot of resources to obtain them. We should learn better from the past.

PS: I am fully aware that it takes a lot of resources even to print money. But this is because we have to do it – this is how our economy works and theoretically governments keep resource spending under control.
I also know that people spend a lot of computing power on useless stuff, but eventually this is self-regulated.

Mining can also have good side effects, for example we built machines able to hash faster, but I doubt that crypto mining will give us a boost to discover better ways to produce energy.

My Shameless Plug For VoipNow Mobile

This is a video we’ve shot two weeks ago about VoipNow Mobile. Please excuse my performance :) VoipNow Mobile is at the beginning of its life, there is still much to do and we know it. But at the end of the day, we want our partners to be able to deploy their infrastructure on over 90% BYOD.

Why? Traditionally, BYOD is associated with high risks, poor compliance and so on. Considering the problems our customers face with business desktop IP phones, we believe that properly done BYOD can provide a better experience not only for end-users, but also for specialized IT personnel. While we do not know precisely how many support cases are associated with client issues on the service provider’s end, we know that about 20% of our support tickets contain various phone client problems, starting with provisioning and ending with illegal equipment usage. It’s a big opportunity to hunt these down.

YouTube Preview Image

To keep things short – VoipNow provides the standard SIP protocol and will remain forever open and standards compliant. We are investing a lot of effort to make our mobile clients deliver the best experience for end-users and control for service providers. We built VoipNow Mobile because we want to reduce operational costs for our partners and speed up their service go-to-market. The video should explain better.

I know that we already have partners running VoipNow Mobile in production. Thank you for your trust and support!

The Capital 3 Mistakes In Product Management

Apparently a lot of software engineers fail to understand the importance of product management and most product managers are well aware about this. Unfortunately, most of the time, they blame the engineers’ education for the lack of vision, while in fact there is a much simpler explanation – engineers have witnessed product management failures once too many times.

Truth be told, relatively few businesses value product management, even if they hire one product manager for every three engineers.

Why Product Management Fails?

When product management fails, there are tens of pages of explanations, starting with market condition, technology changes, competition, investments and so on. But in most cases it’s much more simple. Most products I’ve witnessed failing did it due to at least one of the below reasons.

The Power User Myth

Relatively few products are targeted to power users. Especially on the consumer market, people need straightforward, accessible solutions. Still, many times products focus on corner cases and complicated usage scenarios to satisfy the most demanding (potential) customers. Truth is that a product does not have to satisfy everyone and listening to isolated and different criticism is very damaging. A product is not designed for a single person, it’s made for a lot of people. A product manager must be able to say no very often.

Good software engineers love constraints and complicated problems, therefore they tend to focus on corner cases as well. It’s the product manager’s job to see the most users waiting for a product to solve their problems. Satisfying a few users means sacrificing the product market. Remember that most potential customers out there do not even use a competitive product – because they cannot.

The Hidden Secret

Other product managers have learned the power user lesson and therefore they want to push products that are very easy to use, the kind of products that solve the problem for 90% of the users. Unfortunately, in their quest, many forget that their product must do at least one thing exceptionally and at least 5 times better than any competitor. Without this ingredient, the power of keeping things simple is weak.

Not relying on a secret is highly dangerous for small companies, but even larger companies are vulnerable.

Take a look at mobile apps – most of them solve basic problems, are simple and easy to use, but there are many others doing the same thing. Being the first app that does something maybe helps to gain users, but unless there is a secret, followers will copy fast and they might even learn from your mistakes.

The Huge Market

Many companies start a product with a multi-billion market in mind. I’ve seen startups going after $500B market and hoping to grow quickly. :) It’s true that sometimes the potential market can be huge, but this is not an advantage, it’s a stressful problem waiting to be addressed immediately. The solution is to artificially limit the market. The product must satisfy very well the demands of a small market. Sounds simple in theory, but in practice it can be extremely difficult because it’s very hard to identify that right segment and then focus on it.

Sometimes, the first choice might be wrong. That’s why every product manager must be open to repositioning, but this does not mean that they must give up fast. It’s easy to be distracted – sales will always come with amazing deals that require only a couple of changes in the product. Again, it’s the power to say no.

Do We Need Product Management?

Product management is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Many startups do not begin with a professional product manager, but somehow someone ends up taking this role. This approach is not wrong; in fact, many founders get quite good at this.

power_blog

 
Product managers are the ultimate authority over the product, the product’s CEO. They may not be the ultimate technical authority, but they still need to get their hands dirty. Good product managers understand technical details and are able to work together with engineering teams to find solutions. Working with engineers and gaining their respect leads to a mutual learning process. In this process, even the most skeptical software developers start to value product management, because they realize how important it is for them to find solutions to the right problems.

Engineers not caring about the product and product managers overlooking technical issues translate into unsuccessful products. Of course that following these three basic rules does not lead to success, but not following them guarantees failure. Now, change your PM or give him a raise :)

Tennis-as-a-Passion

In a previous article, we told you about our monthly meetups called Labors of Hercules. Last December, our guest was top tennis player Raluca Olaru and our questions to her, limitless :)

Who Is Raluca Olaru?

Raluca Olaru is a Romanian tennis player, currently ranked #54 by WTA (Women’s Tennis Association). She is one of the first tennis players sprouting from the ’90s generation to make headlines world-wide. Raluca holds 9 singles titles and 6 doubles titles won in various ITF (International Tennis Federation) circuits. She further holds 4 doubles titles at the WTA circuits.

Raluca told us about her passion for tennis like few can. Behind the glory and prizes, the life of a top tennis player is known for being though. Hours of dedication from a very early age, fierce competition, inevitable injuries, the high pressure on the body and the mind, traveling and time away from home, all these put players to the test.

FullSizeRender

 
What is it then that drives Raluca to international competition grounds every year? How’s it like to play tennis at this level?

Insights from a Pro

Preparing for a Match

How do you prepare before a match? we asked Raluca. Tennis is, after all, a very competitive game, and each time different. There are 3 angles through which Raluca analyzes an upcoming match before hitting the ground. One is deciding what strategies and tactics would work best for that scenario, something she learns through practice. Another angle concerns the mental training – Raluca looks into herself but also reaches out to her coach in order to get mentally prepared for the upcoming game. Last, but not least, there’s the subjective angle. This mostly has to do with the other player’s style – the tennis world is small and Raluca knows her opponents well. Yet the subjective angle also has to do with little things, like the weather or the surface (she prefers clay over hard ground or grass). Each match has a myriad of factors that need to be considered, she concluded.

Improving the Game

How do you improve your game? was another question we asked her. Raluca answered that she’s in the habit of rewinding every match after it’s finished, in order to learn and improve her level. This is not merely an intrinsic analysis. Tennis players have access to video tapes of each confrontation they have at a big slam. She carefully watches these tapes and thus observes herself from the outside. She can then analyze her mistakes, missed opportunities, and where she needs to improve. Coupled with counseling with the coach and intense practice, she paves her way to the top.

Singles vs. Doubles

Raluca has played both in single matches as well as in doubles. What’s the difference between the two? Raluca explains that single matches can take up to 3 hours, which gives players more time to adapt their strategies. Even if the first set is lost, a player can recover in the 2nd and then win in the 3rd. Doubles last half the time but are much more intense. Teamwork is essential and players need to communicate all the time, not just during the breaks. Encouragement is also important: if one is feeling down, the other must encourage her.

An Inspiring Mentor

Our guest was only 6 years old when she first started playing. It was not love at first sight, because her first coach did not invest time and effort into her. Luckily, Raluca changed coaches soon after. The new coach inspired her and Raluca started playing with enthusiasm. Looking back, she thinks it’s very important to have a good coach, but the latter are hard to find. In her opinion, not only do they need to master tennis with all its strategies and developments, but they also need to inspire, to adapt to the player’s style and personality, to support them mentally, to encourage whenever necessary. Not so different from a mentor in any other industry.

Challenges and… Opportunities

To play tennis at its highest level is tremendously hard, Raluca admits. Tennis today is much faster and dynamic than 20 years ago. It requires quick decisions and the ability to adapt along the way. While talent is necessary, success never stirs from it alone. It’s a matter of intense practice and continuous improvement.

Here’s where we stepped in with scenarios of new technologies that could help athletes monitor their physical health and improve their techniques. It’s been done for F1, but can it be done for tennis – both a strategic and a technical sport?

How do you manage not to give up when it becomes extremely tough? What do you do when you come to ask yourself this question: should I give up? You must always go back to your passion and you will find the answer within yourself!

Life after Tennis

Becoming a coach is the most foreseeable career for top players after they retreat from tournaments. Surprisingly though, Raluca is not much passionate about the idea. She explained how living in the competitive world of tennis has left her with little time to explore other opportunities. It’s much like living in a bubble, not knowing what else is unfolding in other industries. Curious and open minded, Raluca fancies the idea of becoming an events manager. She also finds time for writing and would like to pursue this ability as well. While it’s great to have that one, big passion, it’s nice to keep the mind fresh with others as well.

Playing tennis and building products for the cloud might look like completely different worlds, but we’ve learned that they are governed by similar rules. We identified with Raluca’s imperative for practice and strategies, the need to cultivate team work abilities, as well as the importance of being inspired. 2015 will definitely bring even more inspiring people to share their passion with us, so stayed tuned if you want a piece of that for yourself!

The Company To Join In Order To Get Rich Fast

Recently, a friend asked me to talk to his son who will soon be a fresh IT graduate. His son received tempting job offers from three companies and he was kind of puzzled as to what company to choose at the start of his career.

After discussing with the young man for about ten minutes, I was a little puzzled myself, because he was not actually looking for advice, but for valid reasons not to join any of those companies.

Getting Closer To The Best Company

The first question to ask is – what do you want from life? A regular job where you do your work, get paid and that’s it?!?

In this case, the logical choice seems to be a large company. It’s easy to get “lost” and “choose” your level of involvement. It’s also reasonably safe if you do your homework. Obviously, it’s not bulletproof, even public companies can fail in several hours, but most of such events are usually exceptions. Do not expect to get rich either.

Let’s assume that you are extremely action-oriented. You want to matter, to bring a significant contribution to the company output.

In this case, a startup is a much better choice. Fewer people, more responsibilities, working directly with founders, maybe even becoming ridiculously rich or changing the world. Nothing is guaranteed, but it might just happen.

Is Public Image Important?

Company notoriety/public image is not so important as it might seem. This is good in estimating how efficient their marketing is, but most of the times it does not carry valuable information for you. Better invest your time on checking what they do. Try their products. Understand their market. Remember that even fast-growing companies become notorious after their first boom.

For example, there are many outsourcing companies in IT, providing services to lots of organizations. They range from startups to large public companies. Their customers might be startups as well, banks, utility companies, even governments. In IT outsourcing industry, it does not matter if you choose a large company or a startup – except maybe for job security, there is no fundamental difference between the two. Do not expect to get rich being the fifth joining an outsourcing startup. This will never happen.

Some industries are on their sunset, while others are in kindergarten. Pick an industry that extracts value from the market in an accelerated way. That’s why the most important thing you can do is to understand what the company does. There is no good or bad company – as long as you control the experience, you will learn in any situation. In fact, you may learn more things from a poorly managed business. While getting paid.

Outsourcing might work forever as a business (this is actually debatable), but it’s very cost sensitive and pretty bad in extracting value from the market.

board

 

On Top Or Over The Top

My friend’s son didn’t want to join any company because he promised to his best friend that they would follow an idea. Yes, he wanted to start a new venture. We didn’t discuss much about their idea; instead, I wanted to scare him, explaining the type of sacrifices he would have to make, especially if the startup would be successful. He didn’t seem to be too impressed, which in fact shows just the type of character one needs for such an adventure.

The industry is even more important when you start your own company, as it will influence your success to a great extent. Markets are everywhere and some are easier to access than others. But this is another fairly complex topic.

My best piece of advice for those starting out is to never pick their future employer by name. Pick an exponentially growing industry that can teach you how to rapidly capture value. And if you want to grow at a rapid pace, smaller companies are usually in better shape for a fast run. Remember that you are your most valuable investment, so this is the only guaranteed way to get rich.

Make the Most of UC, Train Your Employees!

Workers today have more communication tools to choose from than ever. That includes Unified Communications, which integrates voice, video, instant messaging, conferencing, faxing, and more – all on one platform. However, employees often receive little or no training to reap the benefits of using these innovative tools. Many organizations end up removing training from their budgets when making such large technology shifts – believing that people should inherently know how to use and why they should use these tools. But this decision to remove training and consulting can be a costly choice for enterprises, as the technology won’t be used to its fullest potential. This could increase the total implementation cost ten folds.

In fact, almost 80% of employees say they have not been consulted before the technology was implemented, according to the findings of a survey of 250 IT managers and 750 line-of-business employees. Meanwhile, more than half (58%) said they were not consulted on a Unified Communications tool or on its usefulness after it was implemented. The bottom line is that there is little awareness of UC’s availability. And that’s not it:

  • One-third of employees said they don’t receive any training from IT leaders and, of those who do, half said they get trained for less than 30 minutes.
  • Almost 40% said they have access to communications tools that they don’t know how to use and thus don’t feel comfortable using.
Photo credits www.pixabay.com

 
So, how will your company turn these numbers around? What should the plan of action be for involving and training your employees in the Unified Communications adoption process? Let’s explore further:

  • Gather employee input – It should go without saying that when your workers are not involved in a major decision affecting their day-to-day operations, they will not be pleased. According to the survey above, employees who are not actively consulted on communications tool roll-outs are twice as likely to be dissatisfied at work – as well as three times as likely to see their companies as temporary places of work. When your employees are consulted about your UC rollout, they will most likely feel confident in the tools they have been given to do their best work. As a result, they will be satisfied in their current positions, thinking of the job as a permanent or long-term career opportunity.
  • Invest in training programs that incorporate real-life, day-to-day applications – IT needs to extend its vision past the initial UC roll-out. Investing in programs that take training to new levels – that incorporate real-life, day-to-day scenarios for technology use – enable the solution to be more seamlessly integrated into an employee’s workflow, ensuring a greater level of overall usage and adoption. In addition, let your employees know about the opportunities UC will bring to their day-to-day lives such as time savings through increased productivity, more-timely interactions, and even BYOD if the company was able to save the security riddle.
  • Continue to measure the adoption rate – If your company fails to measure the adoption rate, all effort will amount to naught. By measuring the rate periodically, you will be able to identify “pockets of resistance” and help employees directly overcome whatever obstacles they have in using the new technology.

Has your business determined which Unified Communications solution best suits its needs? With VoipNow, you can have all the tools needed to offer business PBX features, conferencing, instant messaging, mobility, and more.

4 Ways In Which 2014 Changed The UC Industry

Now that 2015 has just started, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how Unified Communications evolved in 2014. And, as our co-founder put it, there are a lot of things to look back and even more to look for in the new year.

For one, Unified Communications is no longer considered an emerging technology. Throughout 2014, an increasing number of businesses, enterprises, and industries adopted such solutions. After all, UC simplifies business communication and collaboration by integrating voice, instant messaging, conferencing, fax, and so many advanced communication capabilities into a single, user-friendly interface. As a result, users can keep all their communications in one central location, which is essential as they go about their day, moving from one place to another.

Courtesy of pixabay.com

No Longer Avant-garde

The statistics evidence the fact that UC is no longer an avant-garde technology. Market research firm Infonetics Research reports that Hosted PBX and Unified Communications services are on track to grow 13% by the end of the year. What’s more, a majority of cloud providers have reported double-digit growth of their IP telephony and UC portfolios for this year, while premise-based systems’ growth remains in the single digits. While end-users better leverage the benefits delivered by mobility and even BYOD, IT teams become more and more aware that they need to simplify the deployment process for higher efficiency and cost reduction. They all need an easy to deploy, user-friendly replacement for the business desktop phones.

Proven to Strengthen Communication & Collaboration

Last year, by giving their employees the ability to stay always connected by using the UC tools, business owners no longer had to worry about hampered collaboration and productivity. UC provides a myriad of advantages that enable real-time communication which helps companies increase sales and improve their customer experience with every interaction. Unified Communications truly creates an environment where information is available instantly between all parties that have access to the technology.

Favorited by Millennials

Last year Unified Communications also played a pivotal role in supporting the emerging remote workforce – a trend that is not waning any time soon, especially with a millennial workforce steadily taking over the corporate world. Whether via instant messages on their smartphones or audio conferencing from a caffé, the next generation expects to be able to connect at anytime, anywhere. Companies that fail to adopt a UC solution are likely to fall behind in attracting highly desirable talent to their enterprises, which hurts their bottom line into the future.

Increased Awareness of Benefits

Moreover, 2014 saw a heightened level of awareness among adopters and implementers of UC tools. More and more businesses became aware that deciding to replace legacy communication with UC technology is just not enough. In addition to choosing to deploy the tools, you also have to assess your network to ensure that you have enough bandwidth to accommodate increasing traffic. You also need to make sure you have the proper security processes in place. After all, your communications are one of your most valuable assets. Finally, you have to make sure that your employees know how to leverage the power of the technology. That way, you’re able to get the most utility out of the new tools.

With the UC market expected to reach $75 billion by 2020, up from $22 billion last year, the no cloud can be the limit for Unified Communications as we head into 2015. Is your enterprise ready to adopt a UC solution in the coming year? Tell us your thoughts about the technology in the comments section below.

Older Posts →

© Copyrights 2014 4PSA.