Leveraging video communication to boost productivity in enterprises

by Agency News   4 March, 2017
Leveraging video communication to boost productivity in enterprises

There is probably a misconception that when people work from home, their productivity plummets. Yet, employees who telework can actually be a lot more productive. (Image Shutterstock)

Unified collaborative communication is key for enabling businesses across all industries to boost their productivity. Today, flexibility is a consideration for existing employees and potential employees when assessing a workplace – they increasingly look for mobile and remote working opportunities especially in global organisations. It has been estimated that close to a billion of the global workforce telecommutes today, with around a third of us working from home part time, and a tenth full time.

To enable telecommuting, businesses are increasingly adopting bring-your-own-device policies to better facilitate mobile working amongst employees. This is expected to increase more than two-fold from today, with 85% of enterprises using BYOD in the next four years. Teleworking is also set to encourage gender diversity in the workforce.

There is probably a misconception that when people work from home, their productivity plummets. Yet, employees who telework can actually be a lot more productive.

Harvard Business Review has researched this, measuring the productivity of the Chinese travel website Ctrip. They gave half the staff at the company’s call centre the opportunity to work from home for nine months, while the other half worked from the office like before. After nine months, data showed that the at-home workers were not only more productive than the in-office group, but also happier and less likely to quit too. The at-home group completed 13.5% more calls than the group in the office – which translates into an almost a full extra workday a week.

This data is encouraging, but it is crucial that any enterprise planning to offer employees work from home options has the necessary communication and collaboration tools in place to be able to reap the full productivity benefits of teleworking.

One major challenge is that unified collaborative communication consists of many different communication tools that need to work together seamlessly and in an interoperable manner. In many enterprises, this is easier said than done. Over the course of several years, an enterprise can acquire a range of different conferencing systems and instant messaging tools. With each new round of procurement, this mix of technologies becomes harder to integrate together.

An additional pain point is that, when an enterprise expands into a new market through the acquisition of another company, the new entity’s systems end up being sometimes incompatible with the parent company’s systems.

A major challenge to adoption is also due to siloes that get created when organisations choose solutions based on vendor roadmaps and deploying technologies that do not interoperate. As such, these create islands of deployments which hinder adoption and are difficult to administer.


Key takeaways

  • A challenge that global enterprises can face when adopting new unified collaborative communication solutions are lack of ubiquitous superfast connectivity
  • A major challenge to adoption is also due to siloes that get created when organisations choose solutions based on vendor roadmaps deploying technologies that do not interoperate
  • A step-by-step Unified Communications as a Service approach enables enterprises to sweat their existing assets for maximum return
  • Each enterprise’s Unified Communications as a Service journey is unique depending on its starting point and its business priorities
  • Each individual Unified Communications as a Service project also needs to achieve its own return on investment
  • Each Unified Communications as a Service part has to deliver tangible benefits in terms of productivity gains and user experience
  • Gartner estimates as employees become increasingly mobile around a third of all business meetings will be done in virtual platforms by 2019 using video
  • Instead of big bang Unified Communications as a Service deployments enterprises should adopt a modular approach
  • It is impossible to empower your employees if the network that collaboration tools rely on was designed 15 years ago
  • Most companies are now choosing to move their unified collaborative communication tools to the cloud and adopt Unified Communications as a Service
  • Network performance can make or break unified collaborative communication in an enterprise
  • One major challenge is that unified collaborative communication consists of many different communication tools that need to work together
  • This growing use of video technologies means we will see a two-fold increase in global Internet traffic putting the world’s networks under enormous pressure
  • What these journeys have in common is that users need to have all elements of communications, voice, instant messaging, video, at their fingertips and these elements must work seamlessly together.

To minimise capital investment, most companies are now choosing to move their unified collaborative communication tools to the cloud, and adopt unified Communications as a Service or UCaaS platforms. These UCaaS solutions lower the hurdles for enterprises to unify their communication systems, and empower teams anywhere in the world to work together effectively, enhancing collaboration and boosting productivity.

Communication and collaboration, from instant messaging and video calling to document sharing and email, relies on the Internet. Yet, a challenge that global enterprises can face when adopting new unified collaborative communication solutions are the lack of truly ubiquitous, superfast connectivity.

Analysts at Gartner estimate that as employees become increasingly mobile, around a third of all business meetings will be done in virtual platforms using video by 2019. This growing use of different video technologies means that we will see a two-fold increase in global Internet traffic, putting the world’s networks under enormous pressure.

Yet, network performance can make or break unified collaborative communication in an enterprise. It is impossible to empower your employees if the network that communication and collaboration tools rely on was designed 15 years ago.

Each enterprise’s UCaaS journey is unique, depending on its starting point and its business priorities. What all these journeys have in common however, is that users need to have all elements of communications – voice, instant messaging, video, at their fingertips, and these elements must work seamlessly together.

Instead of big bang UCaaS deployments, which can be risky, hugely disruptive to the business and may not get employees’ buy-in, enterprises should adopt a modular approach. They should start where they can make the biggest impact and transform how employees are able to work together.

This step-by-step approach also enables enterprises to sweat their existing assets for maximum return, instead of replacing all existing tools with new ones. Each individual UCaaS projects also needs to achieve its own return on investment. Each part has to deliver tangible benefits in terms of productivity gains and user experience.

In the age of mobile, cloud and anywhere working, unified collaborative communication technologies are critical for boosting productivity in enterprises. They enable employees to access a wealth of different applications and data, anywhere, anytime, using the device of their choice.


Peter Quinlan is Vice President Unified Communications and Collaboration Product Management at Tata Communications.

With tomorrow’s workforce either choosing to becoming increasingly mobile or increasingly work from home, unified collaborative communication is key for the enterprise, explains Peter Quinlan at Tata Communications.


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