Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Our 9 favourite insights from UC Expo 2016

April 28, 2016

Following UC Expo last week, we’re buzzing with new thoughts and ideas around unified communications.

Events are always a great place to meet other people from your industry and hear what they’ve been doing, any challenges they’ve had, and their vision for the future. UC Expo 2016 was certainly no exception.

Here are nine of our favourite insights from this year’s conference.

uc expo 2016 cisco

  1. Interoperability is still the biggest issue in video collaboration

The ability for different applications to connect and communicate seamlessly with each other is still the single biggest cause of headaches for the Future of Video panellists.

Cisco’s Anthony Blake looked forward to “a world where it doesn’t matter what the architecture behind something is – it just works.”

  1. Business users want a mobile-first experience

During his talk ‘Making Collaboration Spark’, Cisco’s Karl Kocar discussed how businesspeople increasingly want to use mobiles and tablets to keep in touch with colleagues and customers wherever they are.

“We need to be thinking mobile-first, allowing people to break away from the traditional desktop setting,” he said.

  1. Hybrid services are on the rise

There is an increasing appetite for Hybrid services – the ability to make cloud technology work with the existing on-premise assets people already own.

Karl asked how we can join the two together in order to create new and enhanced user experiences.

In the Future of Video panel, however, Anthony argued that IT professionals can’t ignore existing IT infrastructure, particularly from a user experience perspective, and that many who have yet to adopt Hybrid IT are simply waiting for the right tools.

  1. New tech is about enabling teams

Karl also explored the way workplace tech is changing. It’s no longer about helping individuals do a job, but rather something that enables teams to be more productive together.

Digital tools around messaging, meetings and calls can help colleagues collaborate more quickly and effectively.

  1. Virtual collaboration is easier than ever

Expanding on the above point, Karl also explained how there is a decreasing need for people to be in the same physical space thanks to tech such as SPARK’s virtual meeting platform.

With the help of a simple app and a mobile device you can now hold meetings with up to 200 people, wherever they are in the world.

This move towards virtual teams and strategies is quickly disrupting the old ways of working and opening up new opportunities for remote collaboration.

  1. Tech is becoming increasingly connected

“There will be 24bn connected devices by 2019,” Cisco’s Marianne Calder said in her keynote speech. “This presents unprecedented opportunities.”

Those opportunities are not just for enterprises, but for countries and societies.

Marianne referred to Sweden, where 95% of retail sales are made electronically, with some predicting it could achieve a completely cashless society within a decade.

  1. The experiential generation is coming

In business there is a growing tendency not to talk about products or services, but rather to refer to the overall customer experience.

This has to translate into the working world, too, Marianne argued. Companies should be thinking about the wider experience of their employees in order to attract and retain top talent.

  1. Speed of innovation is essential

“With thousands of baby boomers retiring every day, and a new generation coming into the workforce,” Marianne said. “Employers need to create an environment that allows these digital natives to thrive.”

To enable young employees to innovate quickly, companies need to create working environments that encourage collaboration and communication.

  1. Companies are increasingly communicating with customers through video

Video has seen enormous growth in the past year. Marianne discussed how Nationwide used it to bring in remote mortgage advisors, meaning customers could connect with an advisor at a time and place that suited them.

The move saw Nationwide’s new mortgage businesses grow by 66%, and it won the bank a customer experience award.

Enjoyed what you saw at UC Expo? Watch Marianne’s keynote speech again below:


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