Technological changes continue to progress at an unprecedented speed, influencing how workplaces function and evolve across Asia Pacific and the world. The proliferation of mobile technologies, along with a new generation of millennials entering the workforce, requires business leaders to address changing workers’ expectations and to provide tools that support newer, more adaptable ways of working.
One of these ways is through cloud-based unified communications (UC), a framework that consolidates all communication apps – such as voice calls, emails, instant messaging, video conferencing – onto a single cloud to improve productivity and collaboration. In view of rising mobile adoption, any such platform should also extend to include mobile unified communications (MUC), covering mobile devices, wireless networks and geographic diversity through a variety of app-based means.
The rise of a mobile workforce
It’s time for companies to make MUC a priority in their workplaces. In Asia Pacific, a fast-growing young and tech-savvy population is contributing to a high number of mobile phone users, with countries like India experiencing a boom in internet access as a result of price wars among telcos driving data prices down. South Korea was also the first in the world to roll out 5G services – a key enabler of MUC – in April this year. At the same time, studies show that close to 900 million people in Asia Pacific are now working remotely, a majority of them doing so via their mobile phones.
Organizations therefore must rethink how to support and empower an increasingly mobile workforce, who require solutions to communicate with team members in real-time, in different locations and via high-quality connections that support collaborative productivity. As doing business on-the-go becomes the norm for workers in Asia, not only are employees demanding for more flexible work arrangements, but they also expect access to real-time insight and collaboration tools that actively help them work they way they choose to. With many companies now also going through digital transformation, digital communication and MUC will be key in facilitating the kind of agile decision-making needed throughout this process.
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Bringing change to the workplace
By 2021, Asia Pacific is poised to become the most connected market in the world, with more than half of all mobile connections originating from the region. Cloud-based productivity tools will be key among Asia’s mobile workers, and frameworks like MUC will equip them with a universal toolkit to drive greater collaboration among teams – offering choice and ownership in how they work together and collaborate in real-time.
Microsoft Teams in combination with Arkadin, for example, offer global calling plans using Microsoft cloud technology whilst integrating Office 365 apps all onto one platform. Its one-click access to instant messaging, phone calls, video calls, screen sharing and shared workspaces in a single cloud platform are also compatible on either desktop or mobile devices. Such platforms enable much greater flexibility in not only where employees work from, but also how they form teams and tap into different skills amongst their co-workers, allowing them to access one another much more freely and productively even when teams are constantly moving through different parts of the world.
Unifying businesses on-the-go
The need to support multiple mobile and desktop platforms – including Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS and even Linux – also influences the design of any effective MUC solution. Technology vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft are already working to incorporate the mobile experience into the entire meeting workflow. Cisco WebEx provided by Arkadin, for example, provides fully-integrated audio, web and video conferencing that allows professionals to create and run meetings from their iOS or Android devices as well as all major desktop environments.
In this case, the WebEx mobile app also interacts intuitively with other endpoints and user workflows, tapping into innovations like ultrasound pairing with Cisco devices which allows for wireless sharing, remote control and seamless transitions from mobile to desktops and vice versa. With multiple-device platform support, face-to-face meetings with any team member can be conducted seamlessly regardless of location, system or device – enabling real-time collaboration between members and resulting in a much more human and productive experience of working together across geographic borders.
As the nature of work changes, it’s critical that business leaders remove barriers to collaboration for the digital age. Ultimately, the right tools have to be in place for workers to connect and collaborate at the right time, inside and outside the business, if leaders wish to see results. Having a single unified platform to enhance the user’s communication experience can not only boost productivity and increase employee retention, but also fuel new revenue streams and opportunities.