It’s not just millenials; every generation, including baby-boomers, are driving enterprises to shift to collaboration tools from the cloud.
Collaboration is no longer just a “nice to have”. As workplaces evolve and people become more mobile, conversations are becoming more dispersed. Collaboration tools can play a critical role and provide a competitive advantage by bringing the workforce together. Remote workers can easily connect, and customer service agents can quickly access the information they need to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
While on-premises unified communications (UC) solutions have been around for some time, the challenge was that they often required a lot of IT investment and knowledge. Findings from a recent survey conducted by Wainhouse Research – an independent analyst and research firm – confirms that basically a collaboration solution was really only something that early adopters and organizations with IT departments could manage.
In recent years we have begun to see increasing demand, from customers, for more cloud-based team collaboration apps that offer more functionality. This is, in part, due to the number of organizations undergoing digital transformations as well as the arrival of super-fast Internet.
Notably, group chat and instant messaging have emerged as the primary applications that people want to see today. Discussions with customers reveal that many people are also interested in smartphone and video capabilities. Previously it was thought that video was most popular for conferences and huddle rooms, but now people are using it to talk to coworkers and external business contacts. Many are also using video and file sharing between employees on customer-premises, and back-office experts at their desks.
What’s interesting is that while there has been a change in technology, there has also been a change in the way businesses conduct their daily tasks, and it’s not just the millenials who are driving the change. While the younger generation has come to expect interactions to be intuitive and cloud-based, in fact all generations, including baby-boomers, are making the same shift towards collaboration tools.
It’s clear that there is a common desire for access to the same type of easy-to-use applications currently available in the customer space. Companies understand that if they don’t provide teams with the collaboration services they need, employees may instead use consumer apps and create a “shadow UC” putting the company’s security and privacy at risk.
With the Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow™ application, delivered from the cloud, enterprises of all sizes can benefit from team collaboration tools. In addition to Instant Messaging (IM) and chat, and screen and document sharing, Rainbow customers also appreciate how easy it is to reach people outside the company with their collaboration apps —something that while possible with existing UC technology is difficult to set up.
Perhaps what really sets the solution apart is the fact that it provides Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), and Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS). As a CPaaS platform, Rainbow can integrate UCaaS capabilities into customers’ business applications. For example, Rainbow CPaaS can power the chat and instant meeting capabilities as well as power the community management engine of the smartphone apps that customers offer to their customers. In the future, we anticipate UCaaS will blend functionalities to provide integration with cognitive communication capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence and bots so that UCaaS and CPaaS become more intertwined.
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