Change will be the norm for enterprise communications this year, for sure. Let's look at the changes through some keywords: mobile, applications, architecture, analytics and experience.
- Mobile: Mobile devices continue to transform everything. Almost everyone is using a smartphone -- aka, a smart, mobile, Internet-connected computer. The phone part of the device is not the first thing folks think about when making a purchase and is definitely no longer the first thing they think about for communications. That mobile computer is the go-to device for texting, email, instant messaging, Tweets, social posting -- all before voice or video even get into the mix. In 2015, the mobile device is likely to transform the communications architecture for mobile employees, as those people click to call from their mobile contact lists and mobile apps and click to conference from their mobile calendars.
- Applications: Software applications have pervaded almost everything we do in a business setting. For example, customer relationship management apps keep track of customers and prospects; enterprise resource planning, logistics and point-of-sale apps keep track of inventory and product location; electronic health record apps track patient care; learning management systems manage educational experiences; and collaborative workspace products (i.e., those that include content management and process coordination) boost the output of development, marketing and professional services. The key for the communications industry is that these apps now have communications built into them. In many cases, the app becomes a communications substitute -- for example, a user tracks shipments in an app rather than by calling the shipment desk. In other cases, messaging, posting and peer-to-peer voice or video are built into the apps (think Chatter in Salesforce.com). In many cases, we won't even see this transformation happening, but it will -- and we can measure it.
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