The mobile internet age has changed everything especially within the UC and Collaboration market. Smart phones and tablets are quickly becoming the preferred way to communicate and collaborate inside and outside the organization. It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ mobile devices can replace desk phones but ‘how’ they can be leveraged. Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with many customers of all sizes from SMB to Enterprise organizations who are wrestling with their BYOD strategy. UC and Collaboration integration with BYOD is one of the hottest topics during these discussions as it enables IT organizations to leverage existing UC infrastructure and investments by providing users new ways to effectively communicate and collaborate while enabling users to continue using the mobile platform of their choice.
Cisco’s Jabber for iPhone, iPad and Android [EM1] devices are leading the way by delivering the same, and some degree better, feature rich UC and Collaboration experience on a mobile platform. In the past, users were tied to desktop UC clients to enjoy and leverage more effective ways of communicating such as starting with an IM, escalating to an audio call and escalating to a web meeting on the fly. Now this same powerful and productivity boosting workflow can be extended to users anytime, anywhere on mobile platforms leveraging Cisco Jabber and the supported smartphone and tablet devices.
Field Sales is a great use case example which demonstrates the value add when bringing together UC and Mobility solutions. Juggling multiple devices, locating experts and navigating network connectivity access are the top 3 challenges for Field Sales. Leveraging solutions such as the Apple iPad with Cisco Jabber for iPad helps field sales reps to quickly and effectively engage remote experts real-time via IM / Voice / Video, native mobile internet access reduces connectivity challenges and integrated video delivers a more interactive conversation.
Robust internal wireless networks and seamless border access are the biggest challenges for organizations seeking to adopt these new mobile UC and Collaboration clients into their BYOD strategy. It’s fairly easy in comparison to enable data access outside the organization for mobile users but there are many important design considerations when bringing in real-time audio and video into the mix on mobile platforms. In a perfect world, the mobile user would just launch their UC and Collaboration app and all of the necessary backend networking and security policies would automatically deliver real-time audio, video services from the internal network to the mobile client anytime, anywhere on any network. In reality, it takes a great deal of UC, Security, Wireless and Networking planning and design to deliver a near seamless mobile UC and Collaboration experience for users.
One of the easiest ways for IT organizations to reduce the complexity and management overhead delivering mobile UC and Collaboration solutions for users is to consider a cloud based UC and Collaboration solution such as CDWs Cloud Collaboration. This enables IT organizations to focus on the BYOD user experience rather than supporting and maintaining the complex systems required to deliver anytime, anywhere access for mobile UC clients. It also greatly increases the ability for organizations to rapidly rollout new users and locations to keep up with the ever changing and rapidly evolving mobile internet market.