Trend 4: Advanced Communications
Entwined with the previous two trends is a growing interestin multiple communications mechanisms, including unified communications,collaboration and virtual meetings.
At Volkswagen Group of America, based in Herndon, Va.,?There was a functionality gap that our existing suite of collaboration toolsdidn?t [handle],? says William Graca, manager of strategy implementation in theIT organization. ?[VGOA] had rogue applications that people had been using tofill that gap. We did not have chat, we did not have presence and we did nothave a portable way to do conferencing.?
To solve this problem, VGOA deployed Microsoft Lync, a UCsolution, to bind together e-mail, chat, audio, video and collaboration forboth office-bound and mobile employees.
What?s the benefit? ?Partly it?s a productivity push,? saysGraca. ?It?s starting to bring together people from our 50 locations across theUnited States in unique ways and enable them to collaborate without having togo to the same physical location.?
This benefit includes saving on travel costs and bettercontrol. ?We?ve reduced the complexity of our environment by giving people onetool to get those [communications] needs filled,? says Graca. Lync ties in withthe various collaboration schemes used at VGOA, so users remain productive andcommunicative, whether mobile or in the office.
For more, read Baseline’s Top 10 Business Trends of 2012.