Do you use tablets, smartphones, audio or video conferencing, instant-messaging, or click-to-call? Chances are that you answered “yes” to at least one of the above-mentioned items. Welcome to the exciting world of Unified Communications (UC), where workers in small and medium businesses can be more effective both outside and inside the office. UC enables workers to connect on different devices, apps and communication systems while making communications richer, easier and faster.

I had a hunch that many businesses are already using UC without even knowing it.   To test this hypothesis, I recently commissioned a survey with over 250 small and medium businesses in the Spiceworks IT Pro community.  As I suspected, it turned out that 51% of those surveyed are already on the path to UC.

As a backdrop, we confirmed that 81% of employees are working remotely at least some of the time. “Remote” could mean a number of things – working from home, a local coffee shop or maybe even the neighborhood park.  

Ten years ago, it was rare that an employee would be granted the luxury of working from home or on the road.  Remote working was reserved for special positions such as outside sales and it was something that only larger companies could afford. Today, technology has given employees the freedom to take their work away from the office without sacrificing communication or expanding the company’s budget. With the ability to send/receive email anywhere or  conference via your smartphone, laptop, or iPad and free/small charge Wi-Fi access points everywhere, you no longer need to go into the office.  In this evolving workscape, communications technology can provide a hefty lever for being ultra efficient and responsive to your customers.

So, what are people doing?   Lots of conferencing!   This includes web conferencing, video conferencing, and even softphone use (think Skype!).    






Come back to learn more in Part 2!