The working world has changed considerably over the last two years, and many organisations are reconsidering their unified communications (UC) strategy. Workers prefer hybrid work, leaving employers with the task of figuring out the future workplace and how to adjust their remote strategies to accommodate this new hybrid approach.

 

“Today’s employees have high expectations for being connected at work – voice alone will not suffice. They want messaging, video, creative conferencing options, flexibility, and of course, mobility,” says Marilyn Moodley, Country Leader for South Africa and WECA (West, East, Central Africa) at SoftwareONE. “Software and hardware purchases that enable communications and collaboration should not be left as an afterthought – it’s essential to ensure productivity in today’s hybrid work environment.”

 

Look to the needs of your employees as a starting point and build a strategy around every team’s work styles and needs, and not just what is on trend in the technology world, she says. “Find out how they best do their jobs, where their pain points lie, what their aspirations entail, and where the future of their work will take them. After all, what works for one user won’t always work for another.”

 

Here are some things you need to consider when planning a UC strategy for a collaborative hybrid work environment:

 

Devices

  • Multi-media phones: By 2024, only a quarter of meetings will take place in person. Video technology, which frees up valuable time and money, has been favoured since the start of the pandemic. Multi-media phones allow everyone to choose the medium that is best for them in any given situation, from instant messaging to voice calls to video conferencing.
  • ATA adapters: IP phones that use VoIP technology allow cost-effective global calling at scale. But any phone can be converted from analogue to digital with an ATA adapter, allowing for digital transformation on legacy phone systems.
  • Conference phones: Gone are the days of everyone leaning over one office speaker on conference calls – today’s phones are capable of multi-media communications with video streaming and content-sharing in real-time.
  • Wi-Fi phones: Wireless phones enable open-plan offices where employees aren’t tethered to a single spot for their communications. Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phones are more reliable and secure than Wi-Fi phones, but the latter is more cost-effective and the technology is highly scalable.
  • Headsets: Headsets are IP endpoints, too, and come with features like wireless capability, noise cancellation, the ability to mute, and availability lights to let others know an employee is on a call.

 

Systems

  • Room systems: Conference and huddle room systems have become an integral tool in any UC strategy. Huddle rooms are small rooms designed to hold up to six people and are equipped with the necessary teleconferencing technologies. Conference rooms are designed to hold a larger group of people and will also have the proper communication technologies. These rooms allow team members to connect and collaborate no matter if they’re sitting right next to each other or halfway around the globe.
  • Platforms: Make sure your devices and platforms will be compatible before spending money – some of your preferred devices may be less functional on certain platforms. Whether you use Microsoft, IBM, or another provider, each platform impacts devices in different ways. At SoftwareONE we understand that a full UC transformation entails the right people, technology, and overall process. When it comes to Microsoft, we’ve developed a fully comprehensive Unified Communications portfolio of services, tailored to meet the needs of the hybrid workplace.
  • Virtual spaces: Enterprises are still on the cusp of truly adopting virtual and augmented reality, but it will not be long before these technologies are considered fundamental to work and meetings. Several new updates to Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms, for example, have been rolled out in an effort to make the workplace more productive than ever. These virtual rooms provide users with the ability to break larger meetings down by placing attendees in up to 50 smaller breakout groups – each with a virtual whiteboard to draw out their ideas. You can move participants to other rooms at any time, send messages to individual rooms to encourage participation, close breakout rooms, and bring participants back to the main meeting whenever needed. This is great for educational workshops, team training, conferences, networking events and even virtual teambuilding events.

 

Not every device, system or platform will work for every organisation or even team within an organisation. That’s why it’s crucial to get input from users before making decisions, Moodley reiterates. “By truly listening to the different needs in your organisation, you will better understand what elements are crucial to include. Then, you will have a future vision that informs your purchasing decisions.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Agriculture Business Culture Economy

FG TO STREAMLINE EXISTING SORGHUM VARIETIES TO ENHANCE SELF-SUFFICIENCY, OTHERS

post-image

 

Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to streamline the existing sorghum varieties in the country to enhance Self-sufficiency, income generation, Food and Nutrition Security amongst others.

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar revealed this while receiving report of the Sorghum Technical Committee, in his office, in Abuja, recently.

He stated that the objective of streamlining the existing sorghum varieties was to find other ways of improving productivity, value addition and quality of sorghum produce, noting that the exercise was crucial as it would enhance farmer’s income, attract more youth to sorghum cultivation, meet national demand as well as contribute to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product.

In his words” This cannot be achieved without the collaborative efforts of all Stakeholders of which farmers, Seed producers, Input providers and international Institutes are part”.

He recalled that the technical committee arose from a sorghum stakeholders meeting on…

Read More
Business Economy

African startups are weathering the funding storm with acquisitions

post-image

A new report from Africa’s foremost digital economy consultancy, TechCabal (https://TechCabal.com) Insights has revealed that acquisitions have become more frequent in Africa’s tech ecosystem, showing signs of a maturing market. According to the report, 2021 saw 32 acquisition deals on the continent. At the end of Q3 2022, there were about 43 acquisition deals, signaling a consolidation trend.

 

 

After two years of continuous growth in VC investment, funding announcements have hit a plateau. Startups have resorted to cutting costs to extend their runway, and acquisition deals have become necessary for survival, particularly with startups operating in the same market. The number of acquisitions between startups operating in the same market increased from 31% in Q2 to 52% in Q3 2022.

 

The State of Tech in Africa Report compiled by TechCabal Insights, also found that the average seed ticket size remained stable at $2.5M in…

Read More
Business Economy Society Technology Technology Trends

Multimillion-dollar boost for small business as more African countries join MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme

post-image

Following the success of the MultiChoice (www.MultiChoice.com) Africa Accelerator (https://bit.ly/3OtthRz) Programme, which secured $16 million (USD) of funding for six emerging businesses last year, the programme has been expanded to eight more countries across Africa.

 

Many more small businesses in Africa’s technology sector now have the chance to benefit from the 2023 programme, which provides the skills and opportunities needed to attract transformative business funding.

“We’re really excited to be expanding the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme to more African countries,” said Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO, announcing the launch. “It’s part of our long-term commitment to growing and multiplying Africa’s technology potential, which is critical to our future growth.”

The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, which kicked off during Global Entrepreneurship Week,  is aimed at established start-ups and small enterprises in specific technology sectors – healthtech, agritech, fintech, edutech, the circular economy and the creative industries.

“There…

Read More
Announcements Business Culture Events Technology Tourism Trends

Spark Africa set to hold the largest tech gathering in Africa; the Africa Technology Expo.

post-image

 

Spark Africa, The African Technology Leader has announced the company’s readiness to host the African Technology Expo, a gathering of tech enthusiasts and stakeholders with the aim of promoting indigenous African talents and innovations.

This was disclosed by the Convener of the event and CEO of Spark Africa, Nnaemeka Clinton, during a Press briefing.

According to him;“Nigeria has over 30 Million People with viable ideas, about 10,000 startups and over 200 of these startups are fintech.

Most tech events in Africa and Nigeria specifically do not solve the issue of helping our unique talents with viable tech ideas translate their ideas to startups.
This isn’t about creating an avenue for motivation and encouraging networking amongst African talents alone, that is good, however, the “working the talk” is by transforming their ideas into startups.
The Africa Technology Expo, the largest tech gathering in Africa is different, this year’s debut edition is aimed at converting over…

Read More
Announcements Business Economy Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

ON THE UPCOMING AUCTION OF TWO (2) LOTS OF 3.5GHZ SPECTRUM

post-image

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (the Commission), in line with Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (the Act) has the responsibility to manage and administer Spectrum resources for the communications sector in an efficient and effective manner. This is for the socio-economic benefit of the country.

Accordingly, it is the Commission’s responsibility, as the industry regulator, to ensure that harmonized and standardized Spectrum resources are made available in a timely manner to ensure its optimal utilization. The impact of the Commission’s regulatory activities in this regard is evident in the contribution of ICT, and telecommunications in particular, to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

The Act allows available Spectrum resources to be licensed through different methods. Spectrum licensing via Auction is one of the most transparent methods of assigning Spectrum resources globally. It is important to note that the Commission in response to requests for more Spectrum lots…

Read More
Business Economy News Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

NCC-CSIRT Urges Adoption of Two-Factor Authentication as Somnia Ransomware Targets Telegram Accounts

post-image

 

In response to the discovery of a new attack that compromises victims’ VPN (Virtual Private Network) accounts to compromise messaging app, Telegram, the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has advised users to adopt two-factor authentication to protect their Telegram accounts and to not download unknown Advanced IP Scanner Software.
Ukrainian cyber experts discovered the attack, which uses Vidar Malware (Vidar Stealer) to steal Telegram session data, which in the absence of configured two-factor authentication and a passcode, allows unauthorized access to the victim’s telegram account and corporate account or network.

The malware, which exploits unauthorized access to users’ Telegram accounts and corporate accounts to steal data, targets platforms across iOS, Android, Linux, Mac and Windows Operating Systems.

“The Ukrainian CERT alleged that a Somnia Ransomware was created to be used on Telegram that tricks users to download an installer that mimics ‘Advanced IP Scanner’ software, which contains Vidar…

Read More
Business Economy Energy

KOLMANI OIL AND GAS PROJECT HAS ATTRACTED OVER $3BN INVESTMENT IN FOSSIL ENERGY – PRESIDENT BUHARI

post-image

 

– Restates Net Zero Carbon Emission By 2060

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that his administration attracted over $3bn investment in the Oil and Gas Sector at a time of near-zero appetite for investment in fossil energy.

Speaking Tuesday in Bauchi at the Flag-off Ceremony of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project, a fully integrated in-situ development project comprising upstream production, oil refining, power generation and fertilizer, President Buhari said:

“Considering the land locked location and the huge capital requirement, the economics of the project is a challenging proposition. Consequently, from the outset, I instructed NNPC Limited to utilize and leverage their vast asset portfolio across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project to attract the much-needed investment.

“It is therefore to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract…

Read More
Business Culture Economy Technology Technology Trends

uqudo Paves The Way for Digital Identity in Africa

post-image

uqudo’s (https://uqudo.com/) CEO, Mohamed Fagiri recently spoke on “Building Global Bridges: How to Access New Markets” at the Africa Tech Festival, the leading tech festival connecting innovators and changemakers across the continent. Mohamed shared his insights on scaling start-ups and building key products that can transform the world.

 

 

A digital identity company that is building an “identity layer” that makes customer onboarding safe, efficient and cost-effective in a digital world, uqudo has seen major growth in the past few months. Providing digital identity verification for key fintech players in the EMEA region, uqudo has also partnered with numerous entities in the African region to enhance digital identity in the continent.

 

The World Bank and Africa Development bank estimate that of the 1.3 billion people in Africa, 50% are smartphone users. With the population projected to increase in the next few decades, smartphone penetration will also see drastic…

Read More