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May 16, 2018updated 17 May 2018 8:21am

Today’s UC EXPO: All About “Unified Collaboration”

Everyone's talking about "Unified Collaboration"...

By Shrina Gohil

After spending a day meeting diverse “Unified Collaboration” vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco and Vodafone at the UC EXPO 2018 in London, it becomes clear that the term is more than just a buzzword. So what does it mean, exactly?

As one delegate told Computer Business Review: “The way businesses interact with clients is a major concern to organisations; customers’ needs should be dealt with by implementing the latest technological collaboration methods”.

This can mean bringing screen and file sharing, instant messaging, remote conference services and more together in the cloud. There was no shortage of vendors rolling out impressive new tech doing this and more, as a move away from legacy comms systems like the plain old telephone to new VoIP and software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)-based systems continues in the communications network sector.

Better Communications mean Better Business 

With Slack, Spark and Skype for business shifting the way in which people work, active flows of information are changing the way in which we work; particularly as most are powered by the cloud, allowing for communications data analysis and intelligence.

As Johannes Sejr Kaulfss, global development director of audio specialist Sennheiser put it to Computer Business Review: “When employees work together to achieve easier communication with customers and each other, business starts to become stronger”.

Sennheiser was launching its new SDW 5000 series headset.

Sennheiser’s new headsets

Google’s Kim Wylie added: “Successful digital transformation is about more than just great tech… it will fail if you don’t pay sufficient attention to people and culture”.

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New Products Galore

Hundreds of vendors were on hand to demonstrate what that meant to them. Avaya demonstrated the Vantage Device, a smart telephone that facilitates easier collaboration between nurses and patients in healthcare. Nexus meanwhile demonstrated various tailored Unified Communications System Services for better organisational collaboration through the use of Skype and Office 365.

Challenges of Implementation

One of the main implications that businesses face with Unified Collaboration is the replacement of old technology with new technology such as smart headsets, telephones and system software that comes along with it.

All of this requires increased technological and human interaction and it also increases tasks for IT teams such as security administration and monitoring information security due to the increasing rise of hacks in IoT systems.

Sennheiser’s Johannes Sejr Kaulfss said: “Thoroughly understanding the user environment and interface, software and hardware integration, product infrastructure and data security are all important factors that need to be taken into consideration”.

This can be extremely costly for some enterprises, creating a barrier to implementing successful Unified Collaboration.

The benefits however, still outweigh the difficulties as Unified Collaboration enables companies to immaculately progress further ahead of competitors, through sharing knowledge easily, making decisions faster and improving ways of working. Ultimately, making employees happy and creating success through prosperous talent.

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