Any network, any device
To deliver a truly connected office experience, UC providers need to understand how they actually connect to the available user devices and how they adapt as coverage conditions change. UC is not UC if a user can’t be reached because there is no IP connectivity available.
Unified Communications is attracting growing attention. Not just because it’s a booming market, and not just because it’s forecast to enjoy strong growth for the foreseeable future, but also because of the benefits that it brings to organisations. Put simply, business users experience immediate benefits once they have embraced UC services through their organisation.
However, while that’s true, it’s also important to recognise that the way in which users connect to UC services also matters. If the UC offer is limited to one form of connectivity, then its utility is necessarily limited. This has very much been the case with solutions derived from legacy IP PBX platforms. For these, the mobile is something of an after-thought. Yes, it’s a reachable end point but the connectivity to the mobile is typically either via an IP connection that may or may not be of sufficient quality to an application.
This is not unified communications. It’s nice, but it’s not enough to give business users what they need today. UC must be properly unified: it must work with any device across any network. And, we must remember that today’s business customers put the mobile first. It’s often their most important device. Yes, they may have desk phones or use soft clients on laptops, but users will increasingly default to their mobile, both for making calls and for receiving them. As such, the mobile must be at the heart of the UC experience.
What this requires is true mobile connectivity, in which the mobile is just another device among the range available. When a call is placed to a user or to a company’s main number, the UC platform should be capable of reaching any of the devices registered to an individual user, in the order they specify. This means using mobile connectivity, IP connectivity and even legacy interfaces intelligently. You can’t deliver a rich mobile experience if the only way in which the mobile can be reached is via IP connectivity, which may be available under a 4G network but it may not be when only 2G coverage is available.
Users don’t care about such niceties. They simply want to be reachable, on their preferred device, across any network. That’s why service providers delivering UC services to B2B customers need the assurance that they can guarantee connectivity to any network and to any device. If the mobile is preferred, calls must be delivered to the mobile, irrespective of whether there is a 2G bearer or the highest speed 4G / VoLTE network. In turn, this requires the intelligence to manage connectivity across the available media and to the complete device fleet.
Delivering a true UC experience, with all of the associated productivity and efficiency benefits demands the flexibility to manage call routing and connectivity across any network and to any device. It simply isn’t good enough to default to IP where no IP connection is available. If you want to know how to intelligently deliver UC, across any network and to any device, you should talk to Gintel!