One of the impacts of the current business environment is the increased need for user mobility. Employees and managers are more mobile than ever before, making it necessary for workers to have communication tools. This places increased demands upon the communications strategy within the organization including:
- New applications
- Additional hardware
- Additional bandwidth
- More network complexity
- Security concerns
- Additional costs
Unified Communications solutions can, and are, being deployed to not only address the mobility concern but also the ability for the user to unify as many applications as possible into as few devices as possible. Thus, business communications software had gained increasing popularity.
While some IT managers may hope this is just a phase, the mobility trend is expected to increase so much that companies are now putting mobility needs as one of their top five initiatives for 2006-2009.
Different applications are often combined together to support business needs. For example, unified messaging products allow the consolidation of voicemail, e-mail and text messaging so that the user has a single, consolidated messaging box versus having to access different applications. These days, Smartphones are a very hot application. In the end, while there are additional costs for applications to support Unified Communications, the business value from UC can be enormous, essentially opening the floodgate to productivity because applications are what really deliver the value.
Businesses and IT departments must be prepared to invest in unified business technology if they expect to stay current with the competition.