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The future of collaboration: Building efficient, intelligent and immersive experiences through unified communications

07 Jan 2022
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Daniel Bobu

Head of Unified Communications Portfolio, Vodafone Business

It’s been impossible to escape the world of virtual meetings over the past 19 months. The “Am I on mute?” and “Can you see my screen?” moments have become a regular occurrence. And while video calls existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the past year or so has exposed the challenges of remote and hybrid working. 

The foundation of every organisation is run on communication and collaboration. But getting it right isn’t easy. It’s more than video calls and instant messaging. It’s about supporting employees to do their jobs effectively.

Many businesses adopted various tools and technologies to fulfil the rapid shift to remote working. In some cases this meant tacking new tools onto older ones, the result was a patchwork of communications technologies that could do the job “for now” but not “forever”.

So, what does the future of unified communications, and its place in organisations’ broader digital journeys, look like?  

Marginal gains: building efficiencies

It’s clear that the future for many businesses sits in a hybrid world. Therefore, we need to create an environment where employees have a seamless and secure experience, whether they’re in the physical office, at home, or working on the go.

This starts with standardising and centralising communication and collaboration tools in the cloud. A crucial first step in supporting more agile ways of working, that engages employees and puts organisations in the best place for adapting to the future.

From this solid collaboration foundation, organisations can then focus on how to use effective unified communications (UC) to build efficiencies through the business.

By integrating UC into different workflows, whether that’s sales and CRM platforms or HR technologies, employees can work in a more effective and efficient way.

If employees have access to all the tools they need, directly where they collaborate and communicate, in one place, their experience will be a seamless one. Ultimately, employees can get more done with fewer frustrations.

Our platform, with RingCentral, offers cloud integrations that deliver new ways of working and increased agility for IT teams with instant scalability – using an orchestrated global strategy across mobility, 5G, network, and cloud communications.

It integrates easily with organisations’ current infrastructure – and provides access to thousands of APIs, a larger developer community, and hundreds of out-of-the-box integrations to mainstream cloud applications.

In fact, Frost & Sullivan recently positioned us as the strongest telco for UC services in the Frost Radar™: European UCaaS Market, 2021, and RingCentral as an over-all market leader, saying,

In a dynamic and intensely competitive industry, Vodafone has held a leading share of the European UCaaS market for 10 consecutive years

Robert Arnold, Principal Analyst at Connected Work

By moving to a single platform, accessible from anywhere, we can bring all an organisation’s preferred communication apps into a single intuitive experience built with mobile in mind. No more switching between tools that don’t talk to each other, and more reliability when working remotely or on the move.

Creating intelligent and immersive collaboration

Moving forward, collaboration and communication should be fit for the future.

Organisations need intelligent unified comms platforms that bring AI and automation into business applications. We’re already seeing AI-powered meeting transcriptions, translations and noise suppression, as well as the integration of UC into smart speakers and IoT devices.

And these more intelligent and intuitive functionalities aren’t just technology for technology’s sake. Autonomous functions mean that employees won’t need to think about what tools to use to contact teammates, share files, or translate documents – leading to more productivity and a happier workforce.

This approach also plays a huge part in making collaboration and communication more accessible.

Beyond driving productivity, the use of AI and automation improves access to data and information and the speed that it can be retrieved. Ultimately improving the decisions that the business and employee can make.

The final frontier is creating immersive experiences through unified comms. Combining technologies like IoT, 5G and mixed reality to create an immersive experience wherever you are – whether it’s home, the office or the other side of the world.

Seamless integration will be critical when adopting these technologies. Tools should all feed into one collaboration system that can flex to the needs of the business and scale with ease as the organisation continues to grow.

We’ve seen many organisations already begin to create uniformity across their business, but there’s still a long way to go.

Discover how you can unify your communications for the future, now

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