What will the office of tomorrow look like?
As I was writing the title for this blog, I realised that rather scarily, the ‘office of tomorrow’ – a futuristic one with interactive screens and capabilities similar to Tom Cruise’s workplace in The Minority Report – was actually not that far off.
Whilst walking around the UC Expo, I became both nostalgically reflective, and excited for the future. I was brought up with blackboards in the classroom; dial-up internet (I can still hear my Mum telling me to get off MSN so she could use the landline!); and my first mobile, when I was 15 years old, was a Nokia 3310. So, I really can appreciate just how far technology has come, even in the last 15 years.
For several years now, ‘thinking global’ has been the key to scaling business. This has meant taking on client work from every corner of the world, and using service providers wherever they are located. On top of this, a growing number of enterprises are choosing to adopt flexible and remote working strategies to attract employees and retain the highest calibre of talent. These forward-thinking organisations therefore need to ensure that they can maintain working communications channels.
UC Expo is Europe’s largest event dedicated to unified communications, a business and marketing concept describing the integration of communication services, from messaging and telephony, to audio and video functionalities. Inside the ExCel it’s all about flexible, collaborative working, and using examples of some of the exhibitors, I want to paint you a picture of what the office of tomorrow (and some offices of today!) looks like.
Speak: Although conferencing capabilities have been around for many years, IP-based conference systems have changed the landscape. Platforms such as Zoom or GoToRoom enable colleagues, wherever they are in the world, to communicate efficiently and effectively via mobile, landline or laptop. Where the internet was once a ‘nice-to-have’ – and absent in many regions until only a few years ago – it is now as common as electricity. With voice calls, recording technology, video conferencing, and file sharing, it’s as if you’re in the same room, and all through the internet!
For companies looking to harness a market they’re not currently located, BICS’ cloud numbers can give enterprises a local presence. Interoperable, flexible, and scalable, cloud numbers let customers reach you toll-free, improving quality of service, and reducing operational expenses.
Listen: It’s all very well having a state-of-the-art conferencing service or cloud numbers in place to effectively communicate, but it is just as important to be able to hear, as it is to speak. Well-known brand Sennheiser, popular in contact centres across the world due to its ambient noise-reducing technology, was at UC Expo this year, demonstrating the advantages of premium quality sound.
In noisy offices, or for those working remotely (perhaps surrounded by children), audio quality is essential for an effective two-way conversation. And if that fails, ProcessFlows’ smart working solutions mean your conversations can be recorded, transcribed and indexed, to give you a second opportunity to listen to that all-important briefing call!
Touch: It was very apparent at UC Expo that visuals are as important as voice, when it comes to communications. We all know a picture speaks a thousand words, and it probably speaks a whole lot more when it’s a picture displayed on a full, high-definition Samsung LED screen.
Across smartphones, televisions, wearable devices and digital appliances, brands like Samsung are transforming the visual industry. They were in good company alongside other UC Expo exhibitors such as Clevertouch, an interactive touchscreen company, and ViewSonic, a visual solutions provider showcasing its innovative digital whiteboard.
Speaking about blackboards, I may as well have admitted to having written my University dissertation with a quill! But, on a serious note, I for one am very excited to see the digital transformation of the office. Babel supports clients in the UC space and has experience working with companies at events like UC Expo. If you would like to hear more, or speak to us about how we can support you, please head over to our dedicated events page, or contact us.