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Mobility's place in Unified Communications

As unified communications evolves more quickly and spreads to new regions and industries, businesses need to ensure that they are keeping pace with the progressive advances in technologies that are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. One of the more prominent components of modern UC is enterprise mobility, which has been among the most difficult trends to manage among small business owners, but one that comes with a multitude of positive implications and plenty of potential.

Security and privacy have no doubt been the trickiest aspects of enterprise mobility strategies, namely BYOD, and it appears as though companies are still struggling to strike the right balance between corporate control and employee freedom in this regard. However, they are not the only matters in need of reconciliation and improvement, as the general management demands of the technologies involved are just as important, specifically those related to support and enablement.

By integrating enterprise mobility into standing UC frameworks, though, small business owners might begin to enjoy a bit more efficiency in their management and support of mobile devices, apps and users before long. When these processes are centralized and streamlined, as well as highly integrated into one system, the chances of spending too much or leaving too many vulnerabilities will be inherently lower, and the time to accomplish these feats is now.

The management conundrum An IBM blog post for IT World Canada recently reported that enterprise mobility management remains a big question mark for many companies, and this lag in strategic oversight will likely present plenty of issues in the near future. Now, while companies are indeed beginning to better manage the devices involved in these policies, they are missing two of the more important components associated with secure, supportive enterprise mobility.

According to the blog article, application and content management as they relate to mobility are the two most common aspects absent from the average company's EMM programs, and this can leave a multitude of vulnerabilities and user experience shortfalls. The source then quoted Gartner's analysts regarding their perspectives on what comprehensive EMM will be able to yield when all of the major components are covered by intelligent policies.

"As a single point of policy and accountability, EMM provides the opportunity to avoid agent bloat, which is so often seen on PCs, where an endless parade of add-on utilities steal local resources, duplicate and complicate the task of policy coordination for system administrators," Gartner argued, according to IBM.

Looking ahead, the source noted that EMM refinements need to be high on the priority list for the majority of companies, as the communications tools involved will only continue to evolve and transform in the coming months and years. For example, the Internet of Things is knocking on the door of the majority of businesses today, and will need to be centrally managed and integrated into UC to be truly advantageous rather than disruptive.

A growing industry One positive sign concerning mobility management performance is contained within the market for the solutions that are used to monitor and handle activities taking place through smartphones, tablets, portable computers and apps. Technavio recently released a report that called for the EMM market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 35 percent between 2014 and 2019, showing that businesses are indeed getting on board with these important tools.

When leveraging EMM solutions and integrating mobility into UC, this trend can be a boon to productivity, efficiency and employee engagement, and will continue to be for years to come given the increasing rate of staff members who prefer to use these devices for work functions.

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