A poll by GlobalData has revealed that 70% of industry professionals would prefer hybrid or remote working*. The leading data and analytics company notes that this is leading unified communication and collaborations (UC&C) providers such as Cisco to focus on hybrid working themes when it comes to new office technology.
Gregg Willsky, Principal Technology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In the world of hybrid working, customers have a choice of collaboration platforms from multiple vendors. To distinguish from the competition, vendors have two choices: continue simply packing on more features, or bring added value to their platforms by enhancing user experience, facilitating interoperability, and improving flexibility.”
According to GlobalData’s 2021 report, ‘Collaboration Tools – Thematic Research’, the communication platforms market, which was worth $16.3 billion in 2020, will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% between 2020 and 2025, driven by the growing number of employees working from remote locations and the need to establish strong links between them and office-based staff. The report identified collaboration (using technology to enable teamwork) and connectivity (using networked devices to improve communication) as two of the five pillars of the ‘Future of Work’.
Laura Petrone, Principal Analyst in the Thematic Intelligence Team at GlobalData, comments: “As the pressure of the pandemic eases and economies globally emerge from lockdowns, it is clear that there will be no return to the old normal. Collaboration tools will be a key part of our post-pandemic working lives, alongside other technologies such as connectivity, AI, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. By providing employees with a single interface across the tools they use daily, collaboration tools encourage a cohesive digital work environment across a geographically dispersed workforce.”
Looking at recent ‘Cisco Live 2022’ announcements, including new features on the company’s Webex platform as well as the addition of two meeting devices, Willsky offers his view:
“What is most intriguing about the new features of Cisco’s Webex collaboration platform is the three key hybrid work themes they reflect: user experience (external call background noise removal and call continuity), integration (the Webex contact center functions with Microsoft Teams), and cooperation between rivals (the Cisco Video Phone 8875, Webex Room Bar, and other devices can now be integrated with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google meet). These avenues offer an opportunity for Cisco to stand out from the crowd.”
* Frequency of Visiting Office Aftermath of COVID-19 poll; 5,439 responses; I would visit the office ‘weekly’, ‘monthly’, ‘quarterly’, ‘only when management asks’ and ‘never’ combined