When I went on vacation this summer, I found myself with five 30 and under year olds for a week (The Group of Five), all who are still working, and all who are now working from home. They worked for companies ranging from a large Fortune 50 company to a small 10 person and under company. So a good representation of company size. None are in the business communication phone business, so, to them, the phone and IT systems are just there as part of their work environment.
I was wondering how they communicate with their colleagues these days, so we had a roundtable about this – a topic I’m sure they were totally thrilled to talk about on vacation – but I believe there was some Jameson involved. Anyway, we had a discussion – whether they liked it or not.
It turns out between this Group of Five, for their ‘regular at work phone system’, one used Microsoft Teams, one used Cisco, and the rest used some kind of on-prem system. When they communicated internally, they tended to use instant messaging via either these systems or Slack from their computer – including collaboration / sharing of documents. One of them even got on cell phone conference calls and used Teams to share documents. I was like “ah…you know, you can do that, but you can also talk using Teams and you don’t have to call from the cell phone”. (Note: they now do 😊)
When they needed to do video calls, they did Zoom, or Webex. (One now uses Sangoma Meet 😊).
But when they communicated externally to customers or partners, they tended to use their cell phones. I was like “why don’t you use your smartphone” and explained how they could have an app to use their business phone number. It hadn’t occurred to them, or their company hadn’t told them how. One even used an app called “Burner” since he did not want his clients getting his cell phone number – his company had an old fashioned PBX and did not have app capability.
So, what was my point of all this? I was curious about Unified Communications and whether it was making a difference. It seems to me, based on this very small sample size, there is still huge room for growth.