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Unified Communications and Collaboration

Today’s UCC Solutions & Services

The UCC market is growing rapidly; a forecasted total of $75.81 billion will be spent on UCC solutions annually by 2020. But where do you start on capturing this opportunity? Check out these assets below that can help you on your journey.

UCC Overview for End Users

UCC Overview for End Users

Infographic: Next Level of Enterprise Communication

UCC solutions are desiegned to provide flexible ways of delivering, managing, and supporting all of the various types of IP communications that an organization requires in both horizontal and vertical industry business process and applications.See what’s changed, expected growth, and how to prepare.

IDG Report: Unified Communications and Collaboration Survey Results

Companies are preparing to take greater advantage of cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) solutions, according to a 2015 survey of IDG Enterprise customers.Among 653 business and IT decision-makers whose organizations’ are currently running or planning to implement or upgrade their UC&C solutions and who have input into their companies’ UC&C investment decisions, 71% said cloud computing has influenced their plans. Almost one-third (30%) reported that cloud has made a significant impact.UC&C deployment models appear poised to change dramatically as enterprises shift to hybrid (a mix of on-premise and cloud solutions) or cloud-only solutions within the next 2 years. Nearly half (49%) of companies use premises-based solutions exclusively today, compared with 51% in a similar survey in 2012. Within two years, however, only 18% of UC&C deployments will be completely premises based; hybrid models will be the most common.

Is Investing in Remote Collaboration Worthwhile?

Many organizations are realizing the benefits of having staff work remotely, including reduced office expenses, along with the ability to hire the best employees from a large talent pool. Time normally spent by workers commuting is often given back to the company in working hours, making the remote worker more productive; in fact, 53 percent of telecommuters work more than 40 hours per week. Work–life balance improvements for remote employees encourage greater output levels and company loyalty, especially important for the fastest-growing group in the workforce, the Millennials. Statistics show that 3.3 million full-time U.S. professionals, not including unpaid volunteers and self-employed workers, utilize their home as their primary place of work. In addition, telecommuting programs can help businesses save about $2,000 per year per employee and reduce employee turnover by 50 percent. Despite these benefits, how worthwhile is it for corporations to invest in remote collaboration? The answer is: It depends.It really comes down to corporate commitment to telecommuting. Some companies simply expect employees to take their laptop and mobile device home and work from their kitchen table a few days a week. With stronger commitment to the work-from-home experience, organizations offer higher-quality tools such as softphones, allowing remote staff to place calls on their laptops using a corporate directory. The most dedicated level of investment is to provide high-quality video and audio, along with a computer camera or dedicated video device and integrated collaboration apps, allowing users to fully participate in point-to-point or multipoint meetings and share content with coworkers. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and the more a company invests in the concept of telecommuting, the better return it will receive.Step One: Make the DecisionThe first step is to make the decision as a company whether to allow employees to work from home or not and at what level. Statistics show that half the U.S. workforce has jobs that are compatible with telecommuting. Once the decision is made to allow remote working at the most productive level, IT needs to be involved to help implement the right broadband connections to provide a high-quality video experience without jitters and delays. Next, the appropriate equipment investment needs to be evaluated. Items like advanced-level headsets and speakers should be considered to improve audio quality. Management must determine how remote employees will work, collaborate, and communicate. Team-based instant messaging apps incorporate voice, video, presence, and knowledge-sharing tools to emulate the ability to stop by a coworker’s desk to ask quick questions and help reduce email chains. Plans should be developed on how to manage remote workers, how to build a remote-worker team, and how to create a remote-worker culture. Implementing an effective remote workforce requires planning and strategy and should not be taken lightly.Step Two: Measuring SuccessOnce all of these decisions and plans are made, companies should determine how they will measure success. Performance measurements like work quality, quantity, cost-effectiveness, timeliness, retention rates, and employee satisfaction can be tracked to determine the ROI of work-at-home programs. Other things to prove remote-worker ROI include tracking the cost savings on office overhead, improvements in productivity, flexibility during emergencies like snowstorms, and the impact on the environment. Once implemented, strategies should be evaluated periodically to ensure they are meeting corporate goals.Bottom line: The more involved a remote worker feels with the in-office team through the use of technology and careful planning, the more successful a remote-worker program will be for a corporation. Value-added resellers (VARs) are in the best position to educate customers on how to plan, implement, and measure these programs. This segment of the market continues to grow, making it a profitable one for VARs to engage in.Does your company have a strategy to help customers build a remote-worker policy? Please comment below.

Seven Expected Remote Collaboration Trends in 2017

Collaboration is transforming businesses at an astounding rate, allowing people to communicate and solve problems regardless of time or space. Effective collaboration makes companies profitable and productive, and the challenge of providing the appropriate tools to employees is an ongoing issue. In 2016, collaboration tools that made headlines included enterprise social media and wearable technology, but what are the expected remote collaboration trends for 2017? Let’s take a look at what is expected: 1. Catering to the Younger WorkforceMillennials are taking over the global workforce and are expected to be  46 percent of the working population by 2020. They are infusing the workplace with innovation and influence and are eager to become leaders within their organizations. Younger workers prefer flexibility to compensation and will quickly move on if they do not find that flexibility in their current workplace. Mobile technology and expanded bandwidth access give businesses the ability to hire and retain the best employees in the world. Telecommuting and video conferencing allow Millennials to work the way they want to while using tools they are used to. In 2017, companies will spend more time understanding and catering to the needs of the up-and-coming workforce in order to keep the best of the best.2. Collaboration Tools Move Past Enterprise Social Networks (ESN) In recent years, enterprise social collaboration tools have been able to effectively connect people around the world, but work processes still remain disconnected and in silos. Social applications have been limited by technology and may work fine for one department but not for another. In 2017, open application program interfaces and a more uniform cloud will make the integration of disparate software applications easier than ever. Whereas in the past, the ESNs may have been required for one organization, going forward, all departments will be able to use one platform, or multiple apps will be able to be easily integrated for all to use, connecting less than optimal processes and improving productivity.  3. Collaboration Will Change the Way Organizations WorkMany organizations have invested so much into technologies that do not work well together. In 2017, companies will be looking closely at what they have and how their internal processes work together. New companies have the advantage of investing from the start in newer, leaner technologies, so companies with plenty of legacy equipment and services will start looking at ways to improve their collaboration. Superior collaboration makes a company more competitive by enabling better communication and work processes between workers. Cloud-based software solutions allow organizations to integrate information, reach their intended audience, improve knowledge-sharing, enhance workflows, reach remote colleagues, and find new origins of innovative thinking and expertise. By thinking like a start-up company, productivity will be improved, and profitability will be increased.4. Collaborate Like a New CompanyMany organizations have invested so much into technologies that do not work well together. In 2017, companies will be looking closely at what they have and how their internal processes work together. New companies have the advantage of investing from the start in newer, leaner technologies, so companies with plenty of legacy equipment and services will start looking at ways to improve their collaboration. Superior collaboration makes a company more competitive by enabling better communication and work processes between workers. Cloud-based software solutions allow organizations to integrate information, reach their intended audience, improve knowledge-sharing, enhance workflows, reach remote colleagues, and find new origins of innovative thinking and expertise. By thinking like a start-up company, productivity will be improved, and profitability will be increased.5. Bring Your Own Collaboration Software (BYOS) Many organizations support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to improve productivity; in 2017, companies are expected to start supporting BYOS. Instead of letting IT choose one solution for all users, companies will begin allowing workers to use software like Skype and Dropbox so that they can manage their own tools, use what they are familiar with, and meet their own needs. Benefits include worker access to many different services and freeware to reduce corporate costs.6. IoT Device ConnectivityThe Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as “connected devices” and appears to be ramping up to become a massive new market with incredible potential. 2017 may become the time when ingenious software platforms begin connecting with IoT devices. Devices can include any number of things, including lights, locks, appliances, windows, and doors. Collaboration utilizing many number of IoT devices presents an enormous undertaking and will be fed by open interfaces and open-collaboration platforms.7. Software Robots (Bots)Bots are “conversational software robots” and are growing at an astonishing rate. Typically found in messaging and chat applications, their collaborative nature means they should become available across all types of collaboration tools in 2017. Bots allow people to automate conversations to start a function without human interaction and will seem like artificial intelligence. Instead of typing, people can simply talk and get help with actions like reservations, appointments, and payments.The market for collaboration apps is growing and changing rapidly, and 2017 will be no exception. Apps and services will begin to work together instead of in silos, making the world much more collaborative in so many ways. Resellers in the know will get the biggest share of the pie, and customers who adopt early in 2017 will become the most profitable.Does your business understand what’s coming in 2017 regarding collaboration? Please comment below.

Business Process Automation (BPA)

Software applications automate routine business tasks from beginning to end, streamlining workflow and increasing productivity. Learn how to incorporate this technology into your product offering and watch your revenue grow.

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Video Conferencing

From telepresence and meeting-room video conferencing to desktop conferencing and mobile video, capitalize on this upward trend. Understand how to talk to customers, justify costs and scale—and business will flourish.

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Collaboration Technologies

Keep up with rapidly emerging and evolving collaboration technologies as the Millennial workforce expands. Solutions span cloud, on-premises and hybrid deployment options.

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