Monday, August 10, 2015

Redefining UC Mobility: There Are Many Ways to Be Mobile

A Frost & Sullivan White Paper

By Robert Arnold
Principal Analyst, Information and Communication Technologies
Frost & Sullivan


Mobility is not just hype; it is the new way work gets done. Accelerated technology developments have enabled greater user flexibility through ubiquitous access to robust business communications capabilities that make employees more reachable, responsive, and productive.

Pervasive and familiar to everyone, smart phones and tablets dominate the business mobility conversation. These devices have become synonymous with mobility in the business communications market. Frost & Sullivan research forecasts the smart phone market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8% from 2014 through 2020. Despite this, we believe that limiting the business mobility  discussion to smart phones and tablets is a nar row view.

There are many ways employees can be mobile. This article discusses key considerations in developing a comprehensive mobile business communications strategy that addresses the requirements of different users and outfits them with the right set of tools to mor e effectively complete their business tasks.


Forward-thinking businesses are providing mobile workers with access to unified communications (UC) features, such as voice, instant messaging (IM) chat/presence, messaging, and conferencing, in order to improve employee productivity and business agility. However, the full benefits of mobile UC can only be attained when employees are matched to appropriate devices and applications that address individual user environments, workloads and preferences.

While smart phones and tablets provide numerous benefits, such as rich functionality and a convenient form factor, many professionals prefer the ergonomics and purpose-built performance of other endpoints and interfaces, such as desk phones, wireless handsets, and PCs/laptops running soft clients. Because of this, it isn’t just smart devices that are seeing healthy shipment volumes.

Specific to the business communications market, IP desk phones, voice over wireless local area network (VoWLAN) phones, digital enhanced cordless telephony (DECT) sets and desktop/PC soft clients are all expected to experience stable unit shipment volumes through the year 2021, per Frost & Sullivan research. The relative health of this range of options speaks to the UC endpoint diversity that today’s mobile workforce requires. For example, research and consulting firm Global Workforce Analytics estimates that one in five workers in the United States have an arrangement to work from home at least some of the time.

It would be unreasonable to equip most home-based workers, even occasional ones, with only a smart phone and expect them to adequately do their job.


Overall, effective UC implementations must support all mobile user needs, whether employees move
throughout office buildings, change desks or offices daily, run from meeting to meeting, travel often, or work from a client location or from home.

Evaluating the needs of different mobile worker types is simplified when they are categorized. From a high level, there are essentially three mobile UC user categories, including employees that are internally mobile, occasionally mobile or frequently mobile. Furthermore, it is just as important to address the shared requirements of each category as it is to ad dress the nuances that exist within each group.


Hyper-connected, always-on employee mentalities make UC mobility a necessity. However, the complexity of mobile UC management can strain IT and administrator resources. Many UC platforms and services provide a number of disparate management and provisioning tools for various mobility applications (i.e., mobile soft clients, teleworker, wireless devices, IM chat and presence, and conferencing).

In addition, many cloud UC services simply don’t offer the array of options that companies need to properly equip their diverse mobile workforce. As a result, management and administration processes are commonly tedious, time consuming and error prone. For users, this often means delays in access to tools, inability to personalize their experiences, and hesitancy to adopt. Such complications are most often an artifact of mobility being prioritized as an after thought by the UC solution developer.

UC mobility management doesn’t need to be difficult, even for diverse scenarios. There are solutions that handle mobility requirements with the same priority as tethered devices and applications. Therefore, administrators seeking mobile UC solutions should demand simplicity without sacrificing control.




Smart phones and tablets are often top of mind when it comes to UC mobility, but they are not the best fit for all employee roles and tasks. There are a number of devices and interfaces that alone or in conjunction with smart devices provide better experiences to help employees remain connected, engaged and productive by optimizing their access to unified communications functionality. UC mobility best practices also extend beyond the users to the admin experience through delivery of a single, easy-to-use management tool set for all applications without sacrificing control.

No comments:

Post a Comment