Real-time collaboration that can be conducted across different channels of communications and devices will be a key focus of CIOs in 2017. This guest blog from our partners at Masergy explains this theory in more depth below.

Contextual communications is an emerging term used to describe the rich forms of communications that supports the many-to-many collaboration required by teams working across offices, time zones and countries.

Contextual communications enables business processes and context to be added to Unified Communications. UC combines voice and video, shared virtual workspaces and application integration along with all of the familiar forms of interaction into one platform that includes voice, chat and mobile messaging.

So, executives need to consider their UC options with the goal of choosing an offering that provides as much collaboration value to business users as possible in one workspace – while reducing IT management and system costs.

When considering the adoption of a new UCaaS platform, IT leaders should pose the following questions:

  • Is there support for team messaging and collaboration?
  • Can users access voice, video, IM and presence in a single application from any device?
  • Is single-number mobility assured, in combination with seamless transition of calls from desk phones to mobile devices?
  • What support is available for desktop and file sharing as well as web collaboration?
  • Are secure virtual meeting rooms available to let users meet at any time from any device?
  • Is it possible to integrate enterprise and personal productivity applications within the UC experience?

CLOUD-ENABLED COLLABORATION

Equally important for enterprise executives to consider is how solutions may achieve these capabilities.

A survey from BroadSoft that finds that “cloud UC market penetration will jump almost six times between 2015 and 2020, when it will account for about 41 percent of the overall UC space.”

A recent report by No Jitter Research adds additional perspective: Just over one-third of the overall survey base are using cloud UC (which the survey defines as IM/presence, conferencing, voice and video calling), while 41% of the subset with more than 1,000 employees are already doing so.

IDC in its Worldwide UCaaS assessment offered similar perspective: “Although enterprises will continue to invest in on-premises solutions, cloud-based UC&C and UCaaS solutions will continue to gain traction at the expense of premises-based deployments.”