Emerging Techs Powering The Office Of The Future

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 03, 2014

office of the future

As Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) becomes the new norm with proliferation of sensor-linked devices at work, enterprises are increasingly seeking to integrate all systems to institute a connected workplace. What are shaping the digital offices of tomorrow are the advancements in unified communications (UC), which have established the widespread use of both real-time and non-real time collaboration.

Transformation will be the key word for digital offices in the coming years. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, The Office of the Future, finds that augmented reality, virtual holography, and the Internet of Everything will shape the office of the future. The interplay of social and cloud systems with these technologies will drive greater collaboration at enterprises. 

“The changing communication patterns of users and the need to collaborate anytime and anywhere has led to the evolution of next-generation technologies,” said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Senior Research Analyst Vaishno Devi Srinivasan. “Mega trends such as urbanisation, smart cities, the growing dominance of Gen Y, and increasing network convergence demand the infusion of next-gen technologies into the UC framework.” 

According to Ovum’s 2015 Trends-To-Watch report on Unified Communications (UC), the market for UC solutions and services is undergoing a transformation. Large enterprises and SMEs are turning to new ways of purchasing, deploying, and managing business communications technology and cloud-based communications services are among the root causes of this transformation.

Since the required back-end infrastructure that will enable this transition to a smart workplace is expected to be complex, the traditional UC ecosystem must embrace next-generation technology vendors. Market participants will have to partner with or acquire firms that are specialists in emerging technologies to accelerate the delivery of integrated services. 

“The adoption of augmented reality, Internet of Things, and social networks has caught on in the retail, manufacturing, defence, education, healthcare and automotive sectors, offering a multitude of opportunities for integration with UC,” observed Srinivasan. “The vendor ecosystem must replicate this success story across enterprises, developing strong application-specific use-cases to build a robust value-proposition for a digital workplace.” 

As people, processes and things get connected, stringent protocols need to be put in place for object recognition, tracking and rendering mechanisms. Parameters to both guard and manage devices must be fully context-aware for a relevant connected environment. 

Brian Riggs, principal analyst of enterprise services at Ovum, says: “Enterprises considering UC solutions in 2015 will encounter a market undergoing considerable change. Video will become ubiquitous as consumerization, WebRTC, and other factors make videoconferencing available from any application and any device. UC services will become better enabled to support complex hybrid cloud deployment models.”

Meanwhile, Ovum has identified the four overarching trends in the UC market that will have the biggest impact on businesses in 2015.

· The market for UC solutions is, and will remain, diverse, despite consolidation: There is consolidation around a few top vendors that enterprises will nearly always consider when expanding or replacing their existing business communications solutions. At the same time, the market is large and diverse, and there will be plenty of opportunities for second- and third-tier players not only to exist but to thrive.

· Hosted UC services are becoming mainstream, particularly among large enterprises:  Enterprises are no longer simply curious about cloud-based UC services, but are ready to invest in them. In large enterprises, hosted UC services often sit alongside premise-based solutions, either for a set transitional period or for the long term. This will create more market opportunity for hosted communications services, but will potentially complicate deployment and management.

· Videoconferencing is becoming ubiquitous: A wide range of video-capable UC clients, web-conferencing platforms, and consumer applications are now used in the workplace. End users are more familiar with videoconferencing software than ever before, and are demanding access to it. However, the sheer number of systems, applications, and services that facilitate corporate videoconferencing is making interoperability a significant challenge.

· Hosted videoconferencing is undergoing a transformation as providers introduce new services and revamp existing ones:  Operators are revamping the hosted services that they have long sold to enterprises, while also introducing a new set of video services through partnerships, acquisitions, and internal development. Meanwhile new providers are trying to establish themselves through differentiated services and videoconferencing offerings that are more tightly integrated with other types of communications solutions in use within the enterprise.