Our ability to communicate when we want and with whom – however we choose – has never been greater and we owe much of that to the consumerization of IT. You can enable a smartphone or tablet device to become part of your organization’s instant messaging platform and seamlessly transition from office to teleworking without losing touch. Whether you are a large or small business, a government agency or a local university, joining a web conference or video conference no longer requires you to be at the office in front of your computer or to have reserved the video conference room (remembering to have cleaned off the dust that accumulated since last year’s video conference.) Now you can simply join these meetings from a tablet or smartphone while you are sitting at the airport in a coffee shop.
Some of you may be thinking “so what?” All those features and options sound really cool, but what is the big deal? Just having the capability doesn’t mean it adds any real value (a point my teenage daughters prove every month when they send multiple thousands of texts, many to people within their immediate physical proximity). One of the biggest benefits Unified Communications (UC) promises and delivers on is worker productivity enhancement, and this is largely achieved by enabling people to work where they are at any time, not just while sitting at the office.
Being able to discreetly respond to an instant message from my smartphone before a client meeting begins or to join an important meeting where the additional contextual element of video is needed just before I board my flight greatly increases my productivity. It also allows my customers and colleagues to make decisions or continue with projects because I had the ability to leverage a suite of UC tools while on the go. Recognizing the changing nature of how work gets done, President Barack Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 into law, providing a framework for federal agencies to better leverage technology and maximize the use of telework. (Reference: Telework.gov)
The ability to quickly and more powerfully communicate is not only achieved on smartphones or by teleworking. At the heart of every business, government agency, or educational institution seeking to unify its communication environment is a core IP network that enables communication to occur efficiently and intelligently. Using collaboration tools, SIP services and software integration brings the same productivity enhancements to internal communications and business processes that powerful mobile devices bring to teleworking.
Joda Schaumberg, Level 3 Communications