From exploring Unified Comms to living and breathing it – what a difference a year makes.
This time last year, fifty delegates across business, education and healthcare spent the day at the Pure AV HQ, exploring the latest tools in communication.
The highlight video reminds us of a day of seminars, exhibition and live demonstration focused on the use of video conferencing, unified communications (UC) and intelligent signage to boost the way we communicate and collaborate in our workspaces.
It proves that even before the arrival of the Coronavirus, the topic of remote working, UC and digital transformation was already on the agenda.
One year on, and 2020 may have blown our world view out of the water, but what has been the most significant change from November last year. And, what does that mean for successful workplace collaboration as we enter 2021?
In this series of posts, we take a deep dive into the past, present and future of UC. With contributions from managing director of Visual Displays (and former AVIXA chairman), Greg Jeffreys, Crestron’s business development director for Enterprise UC, Charles James and, John Vickerage, sales director at specialist technology distributor, Ascentae.
So, what has happened since commUniCate19?
In the space of 12 months, the technologies we presented have become more critical than we could ever have imagined. More of us are using them - unified comms and flexible working are no longer the preserve of large enterprises and complex, digital transformation projects; they are tools that we are all using every day.
Driven by COVID-19, we have leapt the traditional chasm in new technology adoption, jumping from early adopters to early majority and throwing ourselves, en masse, into the world of remote and flexible working.
Businesses and organisations everywhere have had to learn a new way of working. In April this year, the number of us remote working shot up from less than 2% to 46.6% (ONS).
Latest government figures suggest that seven months on, as many as 1 in 3 of us continue to work from home.
The relaxation of the first lockdown did bring an increase in those returning to the office. And, while lockdown 2.0, forced many of us back to the home office, there is a clear sense that we have not finished with the office yet.
Whether at home or in the office, you will not have escaped the video meeting. The growth in video calling is phenomenal. We are spending more than 2.7billion minutes on Teams calls alone, every day. And, with other providers reporting similar increases in usage, it is clear video collaboration is an essential tool in business collaboration.
At the time of the CommUniCate event (Nov 2019) – those already looking at flexible work and digital transformation had questions around trust and productivity. Could remote workers be as productive as colleagues in the office, could they be trusted to avoid the distractions of the home working environment? For those just starting the journey, there were concerns around access to IT infrastructure, required technical knowledge and budget to support these new approaches.
The lockdown demonstrated that home working can be both productive and achievable - even for those with restricted budgets and limited in-house technical resources – bringing down the barriers to flexible working.
The questions have moved on. Now, it’s less about whether we should and more about how we can do it better. What is the right mix of office and home to protect employee well-being and deliver the required business results? How do we need to adapt our office spaces to take the best bits of remote working and bring it into the office?
Our team are here to help you find the answers to these questions, get in touch to start a conversation.
Next up...The view of our CommUniCate keynote presenters one year on