Technology is rapidly changing how we live and work in ways that would have seemed unimaginable one generation ago.

Our ability to connect anytime and anywhere means we can work at home, an airport, a coffee shop or a commuter train no matter the time of day, and pretty much do everything we used to do from a more traditional office.

This evolution of work is being propelled in part by changes in how we communicate, however it hasn’t been a seamless transition for IT departments or the employees they are trying to support.

Communications Transformation

To keep up with the changing behavior of today’s workers, organizations are replacing their legacy communications infrastructure with innovative services such as Microsoft’s Office 365 Enterprise E5. This solution, built on the Skype for Business platform, gives organizations one cloud platform for their voice, video, and meeting needs, while reducing their communications infrastructure costs.

Recently, Microsoft announced new online services for Office 365 Enterprise E5 that expand voice and collaboration options with features such as PSTN conferencing, Skype Meeting Broadcast, Cloud PBX, and PSTN Calling.  With these new solutions, communications and collaboration has finally reached a level that allows people to easily and intuitively connect regardless of the time of day or distance.

Meetings: A Battleground for Productivity

A recent global survey commissioned by Plantronics as part of our Smarter Meetings initiative found that in an average week employees are in meetings from five to eleven hours, and over 60% of meetings have at least one remote participant. Key meeting challenges include frequent late starts, too much social talk, and distracting background noise, according to the survey. Given the amount of time employees are in meetings, companies can’t afford to ignore these productivity challenges and their hidden costs.

Microsoft’s Skype for Business has become the ultimate meeting enabler with click-to-join capabilities that help late-starting meetings get up to speed faster, visual audio alerts to identify where background noise is coming from, and a robust certification program that reassures companies that certified devices “just work.” Skype for Business is even more robust with Skype Meeting Broadcast—a solution that facilitates consistent audio and visual quality for meetings that are peer-to-peer, small group, or live broadcasting to hundreds of employees.

Helping People Hear and Be Heard

At Plantronics, we share Microsoft’s conviction that the heart of productivity is great teamwork and the heart of great teamwork is great communications. With more of us using solutions like Skype for Business to conduct phone calls and video meetings, poor voice clarity or confusing connectivity puts both productivity and teamwork gains in jeopardy.

People using the latest Microsoft solutions require tools that enable them to effectively communicate and collaborate. At Plantronics, we’ve done extensive research identifying different work styles, and have developed solutions that fit each style’s communications needs. For example, for people working in open offices or other noisy environments, we have the Voyager Focus UC featuring active noise cancelling technology. For the “road warrior” working primarily outside the office, we offer the Voyager Legend UC that connects to PCs and mobile devices.

Working with Microsoft, we’ve enhanced our UC solutions so they work effortlessly out of the box and provide seamless integration with the Skype for Business, giving businesses a trusted and high-quality communications experience.

It’s exciting to see companies recognize the importance of collaboration by implementing cloud communications solutions such as Office 365 Enterprise E5. Coupled with Plantronics UC tools, organizations now have a comprehensive end-to-end communications solution that make meetings more productive and work and collaboration easier and more fruitful.


Jennifer Adams

Jennifer serves as director of Enterprise Solutions Marketing for Plantronics. In this role she directs strategic marketing for enterprise business products and solutions globally, including traditional office headset solutions, and unified communications and collaboration solutions. She also manages the Alliance Marketing team which works with the company’s major strategic alliance partners. Additionally, Jennifer leads research efforts pertaining to user segmentation and understanding how shifts in enterprise communications impacts end users as it applies to technology adoption and consumption across work styles.