How Unified Communications and Collaboration will look after COVID-19

Businesses have been scrambling over the past month to align their enterprise operations to the new remote working environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While some are still playing catch-up, many are already looking ahead to what comes after the pandemic.

Let’s consider the following:

  • What will corporations do with all the extra technology and software it purchased?
  • How will companies reflect on this turbulent period spanning over several months?
  • Do we even need to go to our offices anymore, or can we just work remotely?
  • Were IT teams equipped to handle the Coronavirus, and what can they do to improve in the future?

Those are just a few questions to think about if you haven’t already, and Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC) plays a role in each of them. Continue reading to learn more about how UCC, and the working world, will look after the dust settles from COVID-19.

Post-Pandemic Surplus

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect large corporations to have a surplus of technology. Many of these businesses had to supply their workforce with headsets, cameras, laptops, monitors, wires, adapters, chargers, lights, microphones, keyboards, and even desks and chairs in some cases. 

Whether these workers and companies will still need all this technology and what they will do with it all after the dust settles is yet to be seen.

Now, there’s even a shortage of supply for many of these devices in retail stores, such as webcams, for example. As they tend to do, resellers on Amazon, eBay and Craigslist have tried to capitalize and price gouge due to the shortage. 

Companies will also have an equally large surplus of software, such as Zoom, Teams, Slack, Hangouts, various remote desktop programs and more. Will they still need them after all this?

Not only do these added costs and investments leave future question marks for businesses, but they impact the technology and software providers as well.

Going off our previous example, for companies that manufacture or distribute webcams, they may have gotten a lot of extra business in the interim, but what happens after everyone already has a webcam?

They may not get new customers for a while…  Software providers may have had to hire additional staff and developers to meet the needs of the current climate, but after, will companies drop this technology?

Less users will force many of these companies to lay off the workers they just hired. We’re not saying it’s guaranteed the dominoes will fall this way or another, but these are just some things going through our minds as we navigate this uncharted territory ourselves. 

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Next, we will look at how businesses will look back on the quarantine and social distancing period. Will they take lessons learned from it to improve on future operations and recognize the positives that came out of it?

Maybe they developed new online programming that was accessible to more customers than ever before. Or will they look for scapegoats and fingers to point at for why they weren’t more prepared?

Some couldn’t get their remote home environments up and running quick enough, leaving customers, clients and staff frustrated. In worst-case scenarios, companies might have to shut their doors due to the lack of business, cash-flow or preparedness.

One consideration many corporations will take, which can be beneficial for some stakeholders and bad for others, is whether they even need physical workspaces moving forward. If many people were able to continue working remotely with minimal interruption, do they even need offices or a large headquarters anymore?

A complete remote work shift can help reduce overhead, but developers and property owners will be the ones who take a hit. This can also have a trickle-down effect on professional service providers such as insurance companies, along with manufacturers who supply office equipment, and many more.

Business Continuity

How prepared were IT teams to handle the pandemic? Did companies easily transition to remote working environments, or did they suffer from disruptions?

For those who do not know, business continuity refers to processes or systems in place that ensure business operations continue to run, interruption-free, through any threat, or disaster, such as a global pandemic.

IT teams that were well-equipped with UCC monitoring tools and solutions, may not get the credit they deserve, but they are the reason businesses can continue to operate. 

Companies that are using tools, such as Nectar 10 for monitoring Enterprise UCC health and performance and CX Assurance for Contact Center Monitoring and Testing, are receiving proper tracking, reporting, analytics and dashboards to make data-driven decisions and improvements.

Not just during the pandemic, but beforehand, so they knew if they were equipped to handle a situation like this at any time and keep operations running smoothly.

Companies that were not using unified communication and collaboration tools have suffered, and business continuity was, and still might be, interrupted for some time. 

Looking Ahead

Now that we’ve painted a picture of what’s happened, and what might happen next, you can start to plan ahead. Should corporations increase spending on UCC monitoring and diagnostics? (We say…yes)

Here’s a famous quote from Peter Drucker – “What gets measured, gets managed”

With that, it’s hard to tell if they don’t have the systems in place that can tell how well equipped, or unequipped, they are to handle a large spike in remote activity. 

Corporations and IT teams need a unified approach to problem-solving, and Nectar offers the most robust solutions to meet large enterprise needs. To learn more about what we offer, feel free to visit our website and contact us.