One thing people can universally say about the world today is that it is a much smaller place. Not only is it much cheaper and easier to travel like never before, the Internet has given us all the unique ability to traverse entire oceans and continents and to connect with others from the comfort of the conference room– or anywhere else for that matter. In today’s highly mobile world, the office could be anywhere companies and employees want it to be.
This is a world where the impact of software solutions on unified communications cannot be overstated, especially software used to facilitate voice conferencing. Software solutions like Skype have served to bridge the gap between a need for reliable telecommunications solutions and a desire to eschew traditional hardware solutions for flexible and innovative software. The continuous push towards software is also causing veteran players in UC products to reconsider their predominant hardware base as a number of start-ups take advantage of the lowered entry barriers that once proved difficult for small firms.
Nowhere is the impact of software on unified communications made more evident than in video conferencing. As more businesses come to rely on instantaneous video communication over vast distances, the tools required for video conferencing have migrated from cumbersome hardware to flexible software with a drastically lowered digital footprint. This makes the benefits of collaboration through video conferencing much easier to see.
Video conferencing itself has become an invaluable tool in regards to collaborative efforts among colleagues and fellow business associates. The ability of video conferencing software to eliminate the need for long-distance travel and the expenses that comes with it, along with the ability to engage in actual face-to-face interaction as opposed to mere teleconferencing, has defined its impact on the role that unified communications plays in the global workplace.
Overall, software is playing an increasingly prominent role in unified communications. Even companies like Cisco are starting to give software a priority when it comes to their product management. As unified communications continues to evolve, it is expected that software will take an even more prominent role. However, there will likely be unique roles for hardware solutions, especially in areas where software alone is insufficient for the task at hand.