The Changing Face of Unified CommunicationsToday’s unified communications (UC) market is sprawling outward and upward, flourishing in this era of mobile-minded, tech-savvy millennials. Although it still has roots in IP telephony, the current UC market brings a lot more than just phone communication to the table, including mobility, video, audio, messaging and more. Today, if a technology hosts, records or facilitates collaboration, it’s got value in the UC marketplace.

The Evolution of UC

Of course, colleagues can still make phone calls or send emails to one another, but the evolution of UC has dramatically improved collaboration options. Now, instant messaging, multi-point conference calling, and screen sharing are all prevalent in workplaces. Some IT companies are opting out of primary on-premise platforms and are venturing more into cloud-based applications, supporting on-demand collaboration.

One particular area of growth for UC is video conferencing. Some at the enterprise level have embraced immersive telepresence, outfitting entire conference rooms with equipment for lifelike virtual meetings. While this is an impressive technology, it is not inexpensive. However, thanks to advancements in cloud, and the increased relevancy of the UC industry, cloud-based and cost-effective video conferencing applications are now readily available for companies of all sizes.

It’s true that the UC market as a whole is expanding. In fact, an InformationAge report projects that 70 percent of organizations will have moved their UC platforms to cloud within the next two years, meaning wider adoption of and accessibility to UC technologies.

What’s Driving the Change

The cloud boom is significant and is certainly a force behind the healthy UC growth, but other factors—like who is making up today’s digitally driven workforce, and where are they doing that work—have played a large part in the collaboration evolution as well. 

Millennials 

Knowing the customer base helps businesses cater to the masses, improving relevancy and ensuring top-of-mind status. The good news for the UC industry is that their customer base is the very tech-minded demographic of millennials. InformationAge reports this group will form 50 percent of the workforce in the coming years. By and large, millennials are unafraid to embrace new technologies and are often driven by connection, interaction, and collaboration—both in the workplace and out of it. They already use this technology in their private, personal lives, and request—if not demand—that they have the same type of collaboration flexibility during their work hours. 

Mobility and Remote Workers

We’ve discussed before the advancements and popularity of video in today’s UC scene, but exactly why video is so popular is important to understand as well. Many of today’s professionals are not going into an office every day to work. Rather, they’re functioning from home, coffee shops, airplanes, doctor’s waiting rooms, etc. In fact, a recent survey found that 79 percent of employees work from outside locations at least one day per week. Furthermore, the InformationAge report notes that 60 percent of meetings happening in companies today are virtual. This substantial rise in remote workers—coupled with the need for mobile technologies to accommodate that fluidity—creates a scenario ripe for UC growth.

Nowhere But Up

In sum, UC is a blanket term for the technology that connects people and enables collaboration. The combination of the rise in cloud technology, the influx of millennials and the work-from-anywhere trend leaves the UC industry poised for takeoff—and it’s going nowhere but up. 

At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.

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