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Predictions for UCaaS 2017

Frédéric Gillant, Vice-President and Managing Director, Asia-Pacific of ShoreTel | Dec. 13, 2016
As UCaaS, Unified Communications as a Service, continues to expand, both globally and into the enterprise, the technology is maturing and meeting broader business needs

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

As UCaaS, Unified Communications as a Service, continues to expand, both globally and into the enterprise, the technology is maturing and meeting broader business needs. Some of the changes that I expect to see in 2017 follow.

1.     The mobile workstyle will dominate in the enterprise. This October, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time. In the workplace, there is no doubt that the employees are becoming increasingly more mobile, and will go to their mobile device first to perform business functions. There is still broader functionality on the desktop, but it is becoming a secondary device to conduct business functions.  This behavior is driving technology development and adoption on the mobile device first, followed by desktop and web clients. While the desktop will continue to be an important work tool, workloads will be moved to mobile-based applications more than ever and new functionality will appear mobile first.

 

2.     Businesses will start integrating Generation Z. Generation Z will enter the workforce this decade, so businesses need to address the changes in workstyle that this new generation brings. GenZs grew up with a constant communication stream, extensive content sharing and many options for receiving their content. Their expectations are high for tool performance; while patience and loyalty to non-performing technologies are low. GenZs know they have options in productivity tools and will pursue them quickly. Businesses will need to be even more responsive to technological changes, and provide more flexibility and interconnectivity than ever as GenZs drive new services into the workplace at an ever increasing rate.

3.     Rise of digital assistance and bots in the workplace.  We will see more companies taking advantage of bots to create stronger contextual awareness and improve the speed and accuracy of decision making in the workplace. Leveraging the increasing amount of customer data and improved analytical tools, bots can produce tangible value in decision making. Some interesting use cases include contact center applications and sales enablement tools.

Companies such as Chyme and Kore are developing bot technology specifically for the workplace. For instance, Chyme's bots help workers in contact centers quickly determine the customer's problem by identifying patterns of previous customer behavior. Kore's Smart Bots can help retailers automatically figure out if certain merchandise is in stock, via a simple messaging platform. Bots will continue to infiltrate the workplace enabling businesses to obtain tangible value from evolving big data analytics and machine learning. 

4.     Increased integration of the collaboration stack. IDC predicts that by 2019, 75 percent of IT spending will be driven by third platform technology: cloud, mobile, analytics and social media-based services. This transformational technology shift brings several interesting characteristics to productivity and collaboration tools in the workplace. In the collaboration space, end-users are gaining decision power in the enterprise, placing greater value on ease of use and overall user experience. Hence, best-in-class solutions are giving way to more integrated and holistic solutions that eliminate integration and compatibility issues. We will see growing partnerships and consolidation in the marketplace as vendors shift to focus on creating the best full stack solution rather than a standalone technology. IT spending for integrated collaboration stacks will continue to grow as companies forgo point solutions with integration challenges.

 

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