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It’s all about ‘U’! Our top 5 takeaways from UC EXPO 2015

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You need look no further than Europe’s largest Unified Communications and Collaboration event – UC EXPO 2015 to see that UC is well and truly on the agenda. Keynotes were delivered to packed theatres, there was a real buzz in the air, and with great anticipation, Skype for Business was launched to the UK market.

See below our top 5 takeaways from UC EXPO 2015 …. It’s all about ‘U’!

‘U’ No.1: UC Journey

66% of organisations have started their UC journey (Arkadin UC Survey 2015)

New research presented by Greg Batchelor from Arkadin at UC EXPO 2015 shows that over 66% of organizations are already on their UC journey. We are at a tipping point in terms of UC adoption, with only 33% of companies still stuck at the starting line.

Perhaps more interestingly in a snap poll at the event 31% of the cross section said they were ready to expand. This suggests that the most forward thinking and innovative companies have already implemented and are now asking – what next?

‘U’ No.2: User experience

‘End user experience is key to adoption and productivity’

The days of “uncomplicated complex room” and ultimately unused video systems are long gone! With the convergence of home and work life technology, Millennials expect consumer-grade ease-of-use and flexibility from their video conferencing and UC technology. This was a message reinforced by Giovanni Mezgec as he introduced Skype for Business to a packed Keynote Theatre. Mezgec emphasised the importance of fusing the usability and intuitive interface of Skype with the Enterprise “credibility, control and manageability” of Microsoft Lync, stressing that the end-user experience is key to adoption and productivity. As Mezgec suggested “the world at home and the world at work are coming together through new technologies”.

‘U’ No.3: Ubiquity of access is key

‘CEO’s are on their iPads in Costa’

A predominant message that trended across the Keynote Theatre throughout UC EXPO 2015 was ‘ubiquity of access’ as driving force for attracting users to Video Conferencing and UC, especially cloud-based solutions. Tim Stone, VP of Marketing EMEA at Polycom said that video is fast becoming the lowest common denominator when it comes to communication and this is driving adoption. James Campanini VP & GM of EMEA at Blue Jeans stated ‘cloud is happening’ and that ‘CEO’s are on their iPads in Costa’.

This enforces the mobility message – ‘login and use wherever you are and with whatever device you have in front of you.’ The pervasiveness of video adoption throughout a company acts as a springboard for ‘sharing more’ whether it is tapping into the 90% of communication that is non-verbal or simply sharing screens and documentation.

‘U’ No.4: Upgraded Lync – Skype for Business

Skype for Business helps connect people everywhere to work better together

If you were at UC EXPO you couldn’t miss the launch of Skype for Business! With Lync recently rebranding as Skype for Business, the Microsoft Office 365 family continues to expand. With a mission for empowerment of both individuals and organisations, Skype for Business has taken Skype’s simplicity of use and combined it with the security strength of Lync.

‘U’ No.5: U wrote it! – Arkadin Brain Board

Simplicity, Service & Security

What better way to get to the heart of a topic than to talk to the people directly! One of our show highlights was our Brain Board. With over 100 comments, the Brain Board expressed the thoughts and opinions of IT professionals, innovative business leaders and UC service providers. They all answered our thought provoking question: “UC – what’s stopping you getting there?” After our intensive analysis and Google-style algorithms, we’ve concluded that Simplicity, Service and Security are the key areas which you thought needed to be addressed to ensure a successful UC journey.
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Along with the comments we gathered it was great to discuss the challenges face-to-face. Particularly interesting was the hairdryer style frustration release of some of our IT professionals when it came to buy-in from their senior management!! Not a problem at Arkadin – we’re ‘Partnering for Success’ every step of the way.

UC EXPO 2015 showed that UC is well and truly coming to the forefront of business, so what are the key points to remember?

Remember: Simplicity, Service and Security are the keys to successful UC
Remember: Millennials expect consumer grade technology – make it happen
Remember: 66% of companies are already on their UC journey – are you?

Join in and share your thoughts on UC “Unified Communications Survey – where are you on the journey?”

About the author

We are made up of marketers, sales representatives, administrators, product and project managers, developers, operational personnel and customer service agents all passionate about collaboration. Communication is at the heart of what we do, and we are continually in search of better, faster, more efficient and cutting-edge ways to connect people across geographic borders. We believe that progress emerges from people's desire to share and that everyone works better when they're having fun!

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