At UC Expo 2018, Unified Communications professionals and experts met once again. Talkbase was also there live at ExCeL in London and explored the latest market innovations and trends for UC and Unified Communications & Collaborations (UCC).
The doors opened precisely at 09:30 and the crowds entered the world of UC. The keynote at the opening of this year’s UC Expo was held by Snorre Kjesbu, Vice President & General Manager of TelePresence & IP-Phone Business Unit (TIPBU) of Cisco Systems. He highlighted what many companies today have to deal with: a good idea alone is not enough. In order to be successful, one also needs agility and the 'need for speed'.
Agility also means incorporating new people into a team or project without any major delays. At the same time, the teams should not be dependent on the help of HR or IT. They must be able to organise themselves independently and incorporate or also remove new team members autonomously.
In this way, the presented agility-aligned companies also achieved the following goals: they grew 1.7 times faster and achieved more than double the turnover of companies with traditional hierarchies and working methods.
A further widespread challenge in the market is the sheer amount of tools: Salesforce, Facebook, Slack, e-mail, SharePoint, Google Drive, etc. A standalone application is used for resolving each individual problem. All track of the solutions and interoperability is lost. Nobody knows which information is contained in which application anymore — which unnecessarily costs a great deal of time.
Cisco are committed to resolving this problem: WebEx Teams is a collaboration solution which can integrate video, audio and file-sharing as well as internal meeting room solutions, Webex Board and other tools such as Slack. Additional applications can be combined easily. Integration in the market functions via an App Store.
Those wanting to remain successful in a rapidly growing and continuously changing market need a solution that can be expanded easily and adapted to the environment. The optimal solution supports flat company hierarchies as well as agile collaboration.
A quick look at the exhibitors showed how many boards, i.e. screens of different sizes, were offered in order to provide users with an optimal meeting experience. This included Microsoft with the brand new Surface Hub 2 and Samsung. The classic whiteboard has now finally become obsolete. High-resolution video calls are now the standard.
Anyone using this technology will be fascinated. However, it must be said that the features do not differ significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is worth noting when making a purchase that the whiteboard can be integrated easily into one’s portfolio. A proprietary solution may be the better choice as it offers more options. The development of Unified Communications to Collaboration is constantly progressing.
The numerous offerings at the event also included workshops and sessions, e.g. concerning Skype for Business and the change to Microsoft. Experts from Microsoft were delighted with the avid interest. There were so many participants that they were even standing in the entrance area to hear tips on how to achieve the transformation. Those who did not arrive on time, missed out. But don't worry, here the presentation slides to downloaden.
The session also focused on Cisco Webex Teams or the change from Skype to Teams. With the right strategy, it is easily possible to operate both tools parallel. In this way, individual functions can be transferred to Microsoft Teams, while Skype is still used for others.
With this type of soft integration, users can slowly adapt to the new tool, monitored by the IT department. Teams is already included in the application package and does not need to be rolled out via a separate MSI. In this way, the application is always up-to-date. The majority of available functions are also generally available to all and only need to be adapted to the respective platform and user experience.
The German PBX developer innovaphone was also at the fair and showed its possibilities and products at its booth. Innovaphone has a strong focus on the security aspect of it UC solution. One of the main benefits is the streamlined architecture and the many possibilities that you can fill with in-house solutions. For example, innovaphone can offer a complete UC solution with no additional server with your own PBX system. My personal highlight is still the boot times of the IP Phone which with 5-10 seconds are still superior in contrast to other competitors.