Funny how things come back around.
My family and I recently relocated to a small town in northern Middle Tennessee. It has the best of both worlds – a rural feeling, yet a short 45 minute drive to the heart of Nashville, with all the cultural events, food, entertainment, and activities that an urban center provides.
According to Wikipedia, this particular town was founded in the 1840s, which made me wonder how different things were back then. Traveling to Nashville back then may have been a one-day trip, but more likely took two days. What was once a major event is an afterthought today.
This thought was revived at a recent work event. Some of my colleagues had traveled from out of town, and we were discussing their respective trips. Most came in the previous night. A colleague asked me when I came into town. I got what was surely a puzzled look on my face because my first thought was a 45 mile trip takes 45 minutes, so wasn’t that somewhat a silly question? She said, in the Northeast, a 45-mile trip may take hours.
Funny how things come back around. A journey that was a major event became an inconsequential occurrence, but in some circumstances, it is once again a major event.
That got me thinking about Unified Communications (UC) and how things have changed over the past two decades. My first job in Product Management was for a small video conferencing company. One of the major drivers for companies adopting videoconferencing at that time was to save on the cost of overnight business travel, both direct and indirect.
But now things have changed. If it can take hours to go just a few dozen miles, then the need for collaborative solutions applies to people who travel, but that travel may not be exclusively overnight travel. Employees of organizations with multiple locations within the same metropolitan area are now turning to UC solutions like Skype for Business or Cisco Medianet in order to save time and expense associated with traveling even locally.
I am a huge fan of videoconferencing. Videoconferencing does not completely replace in-person meetings, but it does mean that in-person meetings can occur less frequently while still maintaining strong relationships. But the benefits of videoconferencing evaporate when images freeze, or words get dropped, or connections unexpectedly end. Sometimes, a bad conversation (in terms of quality) is worse than no conversation.
Can your company’s network support unified communications, giving your employees the productivity benefits that come with increased collaboration? This is not a technology problem – this is a business problem. See how companies like BBVA Compass have addressed this business concern, and learn more about CA’s Unified Communications Monitor, at ca.com/voip-monitoring.