Freshen up your communications style in 2015

  • Watch for social networks to emerge as platforms for true team communication.

  • Get ready to hear, “If the meeting isn't on my wrist, it isn't happening.”

  • Let email do the informational tasks it was designed to perform.

2015 is well under way.  It’s time to dust off that languishing online forum, and take a peek at the analytics reporting coming from your social feeds. You may be surprised at some of the new avenues that are cropping up, just aching to be explored in the year ahead.

Social media is coming of age

It has taken some time for social media to find its rightful place in business collaboration and communications. Watch for growing acceptance and use in 2015, not only to facilitate large-group broadcasts and one-to-one messaging, but also to provide a safe and productive resource for true team communication. Some call this movement SMAC, for “social, mobile, analytics, and cloud”—the four ingredients of a useful enterprise collaboration platform.

Wearables are more than a fashion statement

Get ready to hear, “If the meeting isn’t on my wrist, it isn’t happening.” PwC reveals that 53 percent of millennials are wearable-tech backers, and they are 300 percent more inclined to integrate wearables and social media. Indeed, enterprise social platforms are growing in popularity, with one study projecting a 42 percent growth in enterprise social by 2016.

This combination of strong enterprise social uptake and acceptance of wearable technology among the fastest-growing demographic segment in the workforce means that the wearable is the next major platform for business collaboration. Companies need to start strategizing the ways in which they can leverage that potential to gain competitive edge and increase productivity internally.

Email gets some breathing room

Reports of the death of email have been exaggerated for years, but increasing dissatisfaction with mass “CCs,” combined with the sophistication of dedicated collaboration platforms, are slowly but surely eroding the “email-first” culture. As a simple, cost-effective communication tool with low technological overhead, email grew into roles for which it was particularly ill-suited.

Now that tools with better capabilities for version control, file sharing, and security are available, however, email can go back to doing the informational tasks it was designed to perform. Companies should encourage employees and business partners to put down the email and take the dynamic business collaboration format.

Video collaboration is part of the new normal

Commercially viable webcams were first introduced in the late ’90s and have been standard on phones and notebooks for years. Now real-time video chat is finally ready to make the jump from the rare to the everyday.

To illustrate, recently Amazon attracted a lot of scoffs when it launched the Mayday button for connecting with live tech support on the last generation of the Fire tablet, but three of every four Fire support sessions now starts over video—with less than a 10-second wait time. That takes video out of the realm of novelty and puts it squarely in the everyday.

Get ready for your corporate close-up.

Communicate and collaborate more effectively with AT&T Unified Communications solutions.

 Jason Compton is an internationally published writer and reporter with extensive experience in enterprise technologies, including marketing, sales, service, and collaboration. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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