Mobility Brings Unified Communications its Fullest Value
The concept of unified communication, and how it relates to collaboration systems, is becoming progressively more valuable as remote workers become a larger part of the overall corporate picture. Employees like having access to a bit more flexibility in their work day to handle some of the things they ordinarily couldn't during business hours, and employers enjoy the added productivity that comes with the "just one e-mail couldn't hurt" response to sick days, vacation time and after business hours in general. But with the increased need for collaboration software, and its accompanying hike for unified communications, the inevitable question is asked: what good is a unified communications system that isn't mobile?
Thus, certain points have become vital in ensuring that the systems that allow employees to collaborate, even remotely, have sufficient mobility to properly work wherever they happen to be at the time. The primary point is also the starting point; consider how the unified communications systems in question will be used. Hardware is a big question that will need answered from the outset, and given the sheer multiplicity of options available, pinning down just which tablets, smartphones and other such devices will be put in play isn't easy by any stretch. It will help to know just how the employees will be using the devices, as then, all that will be left is to find the devices that best fit the situation, winnowing down the options from vast numbers to merely several choices.
Further, it's worth considering the options that each bit of hardware has to offer. Will things like cameras be that necessary? While some would think that cameras are an easily dispensed-with option--the employees aren't photographers, after all!--those who go without cameras lose access to videoconferencing, a form of collaboration tool that's increasingly in vogue.
While features and overall ease of use come into play very heavily in terms of what buying decisions to make, the key point always comes back to mobility. Mobility is what allows the unified communications hardware to be most effectively used, and failing to sufficiently factor in mobility concerns will likely only cause larger problems--or worse, the need to prematurely replace hardware before it's necessary to do so--in the future.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman