I went out with some old college friends this weekend for a rare night on the town. Yet, despite the fact that we hadn't seen each other all in one place like that for almost two years, most of the night was spent with nearly all of us doing just one thing: Staring at our iPhones. Any reminiscing or catching up we did had to compete with a seemingly ceaseless river of text messages and Instagram browsing.
Chances are, a lot of your social interactions go something like this. Expand this small example out to office settings - especially now that so many have introduced bring-your-own-device policies - and you have a building full of people who can't go 30 seconds without checking to see if they have any new notifications. I’ll admit, I’m one of those constant phone checkers.
This is where a large portion of the success of unified communications lies: Engaging the workforce where they live.
The rise of UC solutions
By no coincidence, the rise of UC corresponds with the overwhelmingly widespread adoption of mobile devices. And neither show any hint of slowing down anytime soon.
At this point, there are more mobile devices populating this planet than there are people. Sixty-one percent of Americans own one or more smartphones, according to Pew Research. Meanwhile, a new report from Transparency Market Research shows that the UC market is similarly climbing, at a compound annual growth rate of almost 16 percent - by 2018, it will be worth $62 billion.
Effective unified communications platforms take the need for a whole company to collaborate and transmit information, and combine it with people's rabid addiction to their mobile devices. So, instead of a more time-consuming phone call or walk from one side of the office to another, sending an instant message straight to a coworker's iPhone has pr oven more efficient. A voicemail on the office phone is redirected to your personal device's inbox. Instead of rolling out a bulky projector, people can videoconference from their tablet.
You may be looking at each of those and saying, "Well, that sounds like it only saves a minute or two." But those minutes can add up, and before you know it, by integrating mobility and UC solutions, you've gotten a month's worth of work done in three weeks.
Now if I can only get my college friends to lay off Twitter for long enough to sing "Don't Stop Believing" at the karaoke bar with me, I would be set.