The theme of consolidation has been pervasive throughout the development of information and communication technology. Smartphones have often been referred to as digital Swiss Army knives thanks to their versatility, and devices that perform one task are becoming increasingly rare. Remember typewriters and fax machines?
That said, the idea of having separate computing devices for work and play is in direct opposition to the consolidation concept. From an employee's perspective, it's more hardware to lug around on any given day; for businesses, it means more money spent on work devices. Thus, the growing momentum of the bring-your-own-device movement makes perfect sense. The question for chief information officers subsequently becomes, "how do we keep all of these devices connected?"
BYOD isn't unified communications' first rodeo
The answer to this question is simple: Leverage a reliable unified communications solutions that can accommodate mobility. Unified communications have already been put to the test by the work-from-anywhere culture that has swept through enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses alike. Telecommuting is on the rise, and for good reason. According to the Harvard Business Review, the ability to work from home can yield savings of up to $1,900 per month. Employees also reported gains both in productivity and in overall job satisfaction.
A variety of factors may be responsible for employees' ability to work more productively from home than in the office, like a more quiet, solitary environment void of derailing office banter. But even with fewer distractions, productivity would be impossible without unified communications. Regardless of where work is being done, an employee will need to have access to certain resources – software, files, email accounts and much more. More importantly, employees will need access to a telephony solution, and not their home phone or personal smartphone.
The beauty of business VoIP is that it operates over the IP network, which means an employee can easily add a VoIP phone into their home office. Alternatively, they can install a VoIP softphone, which will allow them to make and receive VoIP calls from their work desktop or laptop – and herein lies the solution for businesses that are entertaining the idea of a BYOD policy.
Mobile VoIP and BYOD go together like cheese and wine
According to MarketsandMarkets, the global BYOD and enterprise mobility market will likely be worth $266.17 Billion by 2019. As this growth occurs, VoIP softphone technology will provide businesses with a way to provide personal desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones with Internet telephony capabilities.
In other words, smartphones can be used as a primary office phone wherever Wi-Fi is available. This provides telecommuters and road warriors with a streamlined solution that works across all devices. And while interoperability remains a challenge among unified communications providers, the majority of mobile VoIP solutions are compatible with popular mobile operating systems.
"Nearly every industry benefits from mobile VoIP. "
It's worth mentioning that the traditional office worker is not the only beneficiary of mobile VoIP and BYOD. The rise of cloud contact centers, for example, is made possible by cloud-based VoIP offerings that allow contact center employees to work from home. Large retailers are starting to consider VoIP as an alternative to traditional telephony.
And with the rise of telemedicine, it is only a matter of time before more medical professionals opt to work from home, and choose to leverage a mobile VoIP solution. It boils down to the fact that nearly every industry benefits from mobile VoIP.
BYOD and enterprise mobility are breathing down CIOs' necks. But with a reliable unified communications solution that incorporates mobile VoIP, BYOD starts to look like less of a bane, and more or a boon for business productivity and collaboration.