Future of Business Collaboration

Digital transformation is inevitable and the use of digital tools have become a staple in how we conduct our daily, hyper-connected lives – especially in the office.

In PGi’s 2018 Future of Business Collaboration eBook, you’ll explore how enterprise communication drives digital transformation and examine the business trends, tools and technologies that will be critical to survival and growth in 2018 and beyond. Some of the trends in this year’s edition of The Future of Business Collaboration include:

  • UCaaS
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mixed Reality
  • Applied Innovation
  • Digital Workers

Download the free eBook now to learn what trends are affecting how work will be conducted in the future enterprise of tomorrow.

5 Signs You’re Ready for the Cloud

Cloud technologies have changed the way businesses connect and communicate today. Companies of all sizes are transitioning from traditional, on premise phone systems to cloud-based PBX (private branch exchange) systems. In fact, a recent report from Gartner estimates that more than $1T in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years.

The reason for this industry shift is that cloud solutions give consumers access to simple, seamless products that increase productivity, reduce costs and enhance service to employees and customers.

To learn more about cloud communication technologies, and to see if your company is ready for the cloud, download our eBook, 5 Signs You're Ready for the Cloud.

The Most Common UC Terms Explained

There are many important Unified Communications (UC) applications and tools available today and, yet, the terminology can often be misunderstood given the many capabilities and delivery models of UC.

Unified Communications consolidates phone, email, chat, video, conferencing and collaboration, enabling communication on any device regardless of platform. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a delivery model in which a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services are outsourced to a third-party provider and delivered over an IP network, usually the public Internet.

Here’s a list of the most commonly used terms and their definitions as they relate to UC and UCaaS:

IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange)

Unified Communications includes a phone system that integrates with external components -- sharing presence information and voicemail. The phone can be accessible using your computer. Computer-based call control enables people to answer and transfer calls, initiate dials and adjust phone features from their desktop, laptop or mobile device.

Email

The second most used and critical components of any UC solution is email because it is where most digital workers keep schedules and contacts.

Unified Messaging (UM)

Messaging refers to the ability of the PBX to deliver voicemail and faxes as email to eliminate the need to check a second (or third) location for messages.

Instant Messaging (IM)

Also referred to as chat, IM is a type of communications that doesn’t require a phone conversation, IM was also the first real presence application (to see if someone was available).

Presence

Typically presence and IM are one in the same, but this term refers to a message that someone leaves to describe what communication method they prefer as well as when they are most available to be contacted.

Desktop Video

Simple video communication using embedded or attached webcams. The technology is moving fast, and it is an important consideration in the UC landscape, especially since face-to-face is one of the best ways to communicate.

Collaboration

Collaboration includes conferencing services such as voice or audio, web and video. Typically, this is team collaboration or project-based collaboration which is different from more traditional conferencing tools.

It also describes the ability to pull multiple parties together into a workspace to share documents, presentations, video, etc.

Mobility

Mobility generally enables people to use a mobile phone to perform many of the functions listed above. But, via UC, mobile can also refer to the ability to answer calls that were intended for an office line from any location – meaning that UC systems can easily function on your phone.

Application integration

Integration reduces double work and ensures data still reaches multiple systems, like customer relationship management (CRM) to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting systems.

To learn more about Unified Communications, please download our new Unified Communications 101 eBook, today.

Unified Communications 101 eBook

From small businesses to multi-national enterprises, having a Unified Communications (UC) plan is becoming the go-to strategy for many companies looking to improve collaboration in today’s world. Enterprise leaders are ending their multi-vendor, multi-contract communications setup and instead seeking a single, highly secure and globally scalable solution. This shift to streamline collaboration providers allows them to save money and focus their resources centrally.

As UC is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, PGi’s Unified Communications 101 eBook will give readers a basic understanding of what UC is, what terminology to look out for, how to stay ahead of the game and what features to look for in a UC vendor.

Digital Collaboration: The Rise of UC&C — White Paper Collaboration with Heavy Reading

The advent of IP-based networks over 15 years ago drastically changed the landscape of the corporate workplace. The rise of IP networks set the stage for the boom of unified communications (UC), where voice over IP (VoIP) telephony aligned with IM, file sharing, fixed/mobile convergence (FMC), email and white boarding to create a one-stop-shop for digital collaboration and communication.

With the widespread adoption of cloud-based services came a new UC service model that leveraged cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) infrastructure. This UC-as-a-service (UCaaS) model created new opportunities for enterprises looking to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) in a cloud-based managed service model that responded to issues of aging infrastructure.

As the UCaaS boom continues and unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions dominate the market, PGi teamed up with Jim Hodges, principal analyst at Heavy Reading, to explore the evolution of UC in contributing to an end-to-end UC&C digital collaboration service architecture and driving change in cloud-based managed services models.