Unified Communication (UC) was widely popular in 2021-22, and its popularity has only grown. Over the past few years, the pandemic issues have sped up the transition to the cloud for most businesses, big and small. With effective communication, companies can prosper, and connections are made most efficiently through the cloud in a scattered setting.
Basically, unified Communication solutions are the secret to a corporate’s continuity, agility, and ongoing expansion. The market for unified communication service providers and collaboration is changing. IT decision-makers must build a strategy that supports hybrid and flexible work models while putting money into quickly developing agile solutions.
Essentially, it enables both real-time and asynchronous collaboration. As technology continues to evolve, we’ve entered an era where work is no longer refined to a specific desk, phone, or computer screen. Professionals have the freedom to share their skills and pursue new opportunities across the globe, all with nothing but the right device, and a cloud connection.
In this blog, we will discuss all UC trends and its future in 2023 but first, let’s understand what Unified Communications is.
What Is Unified Communication (UC)?
Now that half of the world is beginning to work remotely, companies need to find a way to serve users that refuse to be tethered by wires and physical locations. The result has been an influx of fantastic communication tools, designed for almost every touchpoint in the average business. The only problem? We’ve innovated the Internet of Things (IoT) so fast.
So fast that the sheer number of communication tools available is enough to overwhelm any worker or IT team. Fortunately, we have a solution that will see us through almost anything moving forward. And, that’s nonother than a set of Unified Communication trends that are evolving each and every day. So, let’s try and define what this is all about, shall we?
Unified Communication (UC) refers to a framework or standard that combines several elements. Including hardware, software, and services, to improve business communication and broaden the range of data kinds and communication devices that may exchange. The simplest definition is a phone system that incorporates many forms of enterprise communication.
The term “unified communication solutions,” as used today, refers to various hardware and software elements that facilitate communication. Instant messaging (IM), IP telephony, audio and video convergence, unified messaging, collaboration, user mobility, call control, and information sharing are some of the top features of UC.
The majority of UC products and services employ specific communication network elements. It describes not only how we connect different communication systems for the digital workforce, but collaboration tools too. That’s why you will often hear the phrase UC&C which simply means “Unified Communications and Collaboration” to be precise.
How Unified Communication (UC) Channels Benefit Businesses
In essence, when it comes to business operations, a seamless unified communication channel ensures a higher level of interaction throughout the globally-dispersed workforce. It breaks down the silos between enterprise teams and ensures that no matter where you work, you can still access the same secure system, equipped with the integration tools we mentioned.
Likewise, in terms of business running cost reduction, because UC systems operate on the cloud, they allow companies to shift away from a Capex model, to an OpEx strategy with fewer initial expenses. Also, a good UC strategy can delight your employees and even reduce turnover in your organization, by giving people more freedom to work as they choose.
Be that as it may, in a world defined by a dizzying mix of platforms designed to suit organizations spread across vast spectrums and spaces, clearly, a unified communication channel simplifies the world of work. Whereby, the right platform gathers everything your employees need to connect, share, and work together on ideas in the same streamlined interface.
In short, UC helps incorporate and integrate:
- Seamless messaging tools and persistent chatbots
- Conferencing (voice and video) and calling applications
- Unified channels for meetings and team collaboration
- Cloud file-sharing applications and integrated platforms
What’s more, the development of unified communication technology nowadays is comparable to the internet revolution back in the 1990s. Whilst, bearing in mind, that most businesses may now add more functionality to their phone connections, offering significant cost savings. There are many key advantages of Unified Communication (UC) solutions to note.
The main UC benefits are as follows:
Cost Saving: Businesses can save money on calls by establishing relationships online. UC and video allow you to make cheaper calls to any location globally since they operate by sending and receiving digital data packets over the internet. Furthermore, none of the upfront expenses connected with a fixed-line service exist.
Better Adaptability: UC allows businesses much more adaptability than regular PSTN or ISDN connections. Companies can change the number of channels or consumers using their services almost rapidly. Additionally, you only pay for the services that you utilize.
Stronger Performance: Because employees can both communicate, and collaborate in an instant, they can solve customer problems faster, and improve your overall business reputation.
Greater Mobility: Businesses and residents can use UC without connecting to a specific landline. It allows for remote work and employees worldwide. Additionally, a unified communication service provider offers a suitable answer for the neighborhood’s enormous proportion of on-the-field workers.
Quality Productivity: In this case, your business teams can now connect however they feel most comfortable, using any device or medium they choose.
Realistically, the popularity of Unified Communication (UC) systems is growing every year. In fact, recent research indicates that the market will see a CAGR growth rate of 26.3%, leading to a value of $76.61 Billion by 2024. More than ever, companies facing a changing business are beginning to understand how it can help them better serve clients and employees.
The Topmost Unified Communication (UC) Trends To Adopt
The truth is that complex workflows and outdated technology challenge the ability to get work done. Collaboration that integrates relationship intelligence, people insights, AI, and business processes results in better teamwork and proactive customer journeys. As a result, businesses need powerful AI and machine learning for their collaboration experience.
As an example, Cognitive Collaboration — a concept introduced by Cisco — is a solution for complex workflows and outdated technology that challenge the ability to get work done. In addition to collaboration channels that integrate relationship intelligence, people insights, AI, and business processes result in better teamwork and proactive customer journeys.
More so, to suit the new age of communication. On the other side, the AI-enabled cognitive collaboration tools for Webex are a solution that introduces a new range of artificial intelligence features for the Cisco Webex environment. In other words, Webex brings powerful AI and machine learning to your collaboration experience.
Ultimately, these tools aim to elevate intelligent meetings and team experiences to a new level. According to Cisco, Cognitive Collaboration is defined as intelligence and “context” woven into the collaborative experience. You can read the Full Cognitive Collaboration Smart Guide to learn how you can easily and quickly take your communication to the next level.
Overall, due to an unsteady economy, companies need to make detailed plans as they develop their unified communications strategy for 2023 and beyond. There are some unified communications trends to look out for this year and beyond:
1. 5G Networks
In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. Technically, some key notable cellular phone companies began deploying the fifth-generation tech worldwide back in 2019. And, eventually, it is the planned successor to the 4G networks — which provide connectivity to most current cell phones.
It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. Uniquely, 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together. Including machines, objects, and devices. The fifth generation of broadband cellular networks officially arrived with the activation of two major U.S. operators.
Specifically, the 5G networks back in January 2022 — it’s quite superior to 4G. Stutters and delays in video conferencing and other remote collaboration technologies will become extinct with the advent of 5G.
2. Unified Communication & Collaboration
UCC is a growing communication and collaboration model built on UC, whereas UC focuses on knowledge sharing. UCC concentrates on the UC’s collaborative features, such as the effectiveness of real-time communication and the rising need for high-definition (HD) video.
In general, all these UCC tools aim to shorten communication response times and quicken the pace at which enterprises and rapid-response organizations may make decisions immediately.
3. Artificial Intelligence
UC systems increasingly use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable chatbots and voice assistants at call centers and help desks. AI in UC trends allows for managing substantial amounts of organized and unstructured data and providing analytical skills via various channels, including social media platforms.
4. SIP Trunking
Global SIP trunking is popular among businesses to reduce expenses and streamline network communications. A set of protocols known as global SIP trunking links private telephone systems (IP PBXs) to the global public switched telephone network (PSTN). On an IP network, voice calls are supported as an application.
Note that SIP and VoIP are not interchangeable terms. But, the fact is that VoIP and other forms of multimedia communication via the internet are made possible by SIP.
5. Contact Centers
In this case, there is an ongoing convergence of Unified Communications and Contact Centers. Whereby, most businesses are already enjoying the advantages of an integrated platform for unified communications and contact centers following a thunderclap of digital transformation in 2020–2021. Not only when remote workers collaborate!
Not just with speech, video, and other APIs! But also, in terms of consumer experiences. Most organizations in 2023 need to think about unified communications solutions and contact centers.
Virtual backdrops, digital whiteboards, and the emergence of employee experience (EX), which can increase employee productivity and decrease workplace stress, are further UC trends. But, perhaps the biggest trend driving the adoption of unified communication channels is digital transformation (DX) and the rise of the digital workforce.
At its core, the digital workforce thrives on the idea that people should be able to access the tools they need to perform, wherever they are, and whatever device they use. Of course, yes! You can now combine that with the ever-emerging move to cloud communications and agile methodologies, and you’ve got an environment primed for UC.
UC enables organizations to collaborate and communicate with customers and one another more efficiently. Companies may gain a competitive edge by swiftly adapting new unified communication solutions and establishing speedy, dependable, and media-rich communication networks by developing backup and alternate communication routes.