Our lives have become increasingly intertwined with our mobile devices.  As the possibilities expand, our communication and collaboration experiences are broader and richer, both personally and professionally.  Applications are being developed that can support our personal and professional personas on one mobile device.  Amidst the everyday stream of phone calls, the gurgling of emails, and the splashing and surfing on the web, the velocity of video use on mobile devices is soaring. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017, mobile video will generate over 66 percent of mobile data traffic by 2017.  Our mobile devices have become our offices on the go, increasingly serving both our personal and professional lives around the clock and around the globe.

Mobile communications at work and at play

In our personal lives, our mobile devices offer a cornucopia of communication delights, from sharing a moment of fun at the beach with friends to something as personally significant as a baby’s first steps.  As video usage becomes more commonplace, we begin to expect the same communication capabilities in our work environment as we do in our personal lives. Fortunately, the ability to facilitate video collaboration through mobile conferencing is becoming seamless and readily accessible as a mobile office extension.  Organizations are increasingly seeking a unified communications solution (UC) for integrating audio, web, and video collaboration capabilities, as well as presence and instant messaging, with a single user interface application accessible across a selection of mobile devices.

As mobile apps and devices proliferate in the workplace, organizations need to consider:

1. The network carrier’s capabilities for mobility and the selection of mobile devices to accommodate the diverse needs of employees

2. The integration strategy for a scalable, reliable, integrated unified communications solution

Meeting the demand for video

To meet customer expectations for rich, seamless, on-demand mobile experiences, carriers are deploying faster technologies for delivering a quicker, seamless video experience for workers around the office, around the block, and around the world.  Delivering video across a network quickly, reliably, and globally demands an increase in capacity that is growing exponentially.  Major telecom providers offer 4G LTE technology today and are moving in the direction of deploying newer, faster, HSPA+ technology.

With mobility as a key component of a unified communications solution, workers can seamlessly scale from a phone call to a web video conference call from a single interface on a mobile device.   Unified communications consultants can assist organizations in preparing for a phased approach in deploying a UC solution.  This phased approach will assist customers in deploying new IP technology gradually, with the ability to integrate with existing technology infrastructure, offering new capabilities while reducing costs.

Remove communication barriers

Economic pressures make business productivity and return on investment (ROI) more important than ever. To get the most out of your telecommunications investment, you need to harness technology to support business now, while creating a path for growth.  UC solutions can accelerate your business processes with clients, vendors, and strategic partners across your organizational ecosystem.  By removing communication blocks, you can increase worker productivity and help improve all functions, including sales support, problem resolution, and access to experts.

For example, let’s say you’re a loan officer at a bank, and you’re seeking a branch manager’s approval for a new loan.  The branch manager is out of the office at a customer appointment. The paperwork is ready, except for her approval. The client is anxious to receive the approved paperwork.  The loan officer uses Single-Number Reach (SNR), one phone number to call the branch manager on her mobile device, desk phone, and PC.   She answers the call on her smartphone as she returns to the office.   She escalates the call to a web video conference from the UC application on her smart phone, and begins the loan paperwork review with the loan officer within seconds.

Better collaboration and communication

Here’s another example.  Do you have widely dispersed product development teams that will innovate better and faster through ongoing collaboration? The project manager can host a web conference with video to introduce the team members and help build relationships around the globe.  Internal and external colleagues can join the conference seamlessly from mobile devices, as well PC and Mac devices, to discuss the latest development activities, real-time.  Participants will be able to see each other, see who’s talking, share data and visuals, and use the white board feature to diagram suggestions.   Emoticon features allow participants to signal an opinion, raise a hand to indicate a desire to speak, indicate they have “stepped out” momentarily, or give the presenter a “thumbs up.”  Team members can also exchange private and public notes, and answer polls.

As you build your unified communications strategy, consider your mobility integration plans as an integral component, one that will serve as a foundational platform for deploying future capabilities for communication and collaboration.

Is your mobile UC strategy future-ready? How do you see mobile communication and collaboration impacting your business and your communications strategy?