Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

UC Expo 2016: Collaboration in the Age of Digital Transformation

April 18, 2016

There’s no denying it: we’re in a new era of hyper-disruption.

With as many as 24.4 billion connected devices expected by 2019 and threefold growth in global IP traffic from 2014-19, hyper-connectivity is creating as many new opportunities as it is challenges.

As far back as 2012, Yale Professor Richard Foster was predicting this period of exponential growth. It would see, he claimed, as much as 75% of S&P 500 firms in 2011 replaced by new incoming companies in 2027. In this environment, a ‘do or die’ attitude prevails.

What’s more, is that greater availability of consumer technology has woven technological solutions into almost every aspect of people’s everyday lives. The world has been joined by a generation of digital natives, for whom experience – and particularly digital experience – can be a key differentiator. This extends to customer experience. Gartner research has shown that this year 9 out of 10 companies will focus on customer experience as a direct point of competition.

From a collaboration perspective, the market is beginning to move with these changes and there are a few key areas to focus on. Pervasive mobility and being able to access anything, anywhere and at any time is key, allowing people to communicate and collaborate without borders or barriers.

Increasingly, this level of mobility is a basic expectation, particularly for the so-called millennial generation who have grown up with these kinds of technology as the norm.

This new generation brings with it new expectations of what technology should deliver, and how seamless and integrated it should be as well. Furthermore, these expectations emphasise the new importance of customer experience. This is something that applies to all industries, and companies need to be considering how they can create a customer experience that brings the best of their business offering out.

Customers are quicker now to switch to an alternative provider if the experience delivered isn’t what they expect – regardless of what it is they’re buying. In this environment, customer experience is king and should reflect your ambitions to deliver seamless integration.

All of these are absolutely critical trends from a collaboration market perspective and are largely driven by not only the influx of a digitally native generation and the rising importance of customer experience as a competitive battle ground, but also by recognition of the need for more efficient workplace utilisation.

Facility cost is usually a business’s second largest cost, after labour, yet only around 60-70% of company facilities are being used to more than 50% of capacity. This is a massive cost that companies are carrying, but also a massive opportunity now considering that the technology around video is so much more advanced. Video communication not only allows people to both work from home more effectively, but also makes the company workplace spaces much more transformational.

Risks as well as rewards

Those who fail to adapt quickly enough to digitisation are likely to find themselves at a considerable loss. As many as 40% of the companies that exist today will likely not still be here in ten years’ time. Companies must disrupt, or find themselves disrupted.

To help to address these risks, enterprises that want to start digitising their processes need to look deep into their companies and really understand the communication flow and how they collaborate across business units.

It’s important to empower both employees and customers through their digital experiences. This starts with understanding the business processes, which then extends into making sure that you have the right workplace culture and capabilities in place for employees.

Collaboration should be at the heart of every single digital strategy.It is people and the connections between them that create the speed of innovation that every company is going to need in the future.

And the future is what all of this is about. We’re at a very pivotal moment for UC and I’m looking forward to continuing my involvement in the dialogue around disruption at this year’s expo. There is so much to be excited about, and I believe that collaboration is at the heart of that. I’m looking forward to being back at UC Expo,and hearing what everyone else will be bringing to the table.

So, in the spirit of collaboration and communication, and what this means for us as an industry, I’d like to invite you all to continue the conversation with me over on Twitter.

If you’re planning on coming to UC Expo you still have time to register for free and come and speak to one of our experts. We look forward to seeing you at the conference – you’ll find us on stand V7!

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  1. THanks for sharing