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Polycom Cites Seven Big Trends to Watch and Leverage in 2016

January 04, 2016

The New Year has only just begun, and collaboration solutions provider Polycom has shared seven interesting insights of what it projects will be significant collaboration trends in the U.S. to watch and take advantage of in 2016.  While much of this will be familiar, there are new insights to digest as well.

The trends to watch and leverage are as follows.

The Millennial Generation is shaping the Workplace of the Future. As the largest generation to enter the U.S. labor force begins to dominate the workplace perhaps the biggest and most familiar prediction is that the millennial generation’s needs must be addressed. In fact, a recent study commissioned by Polycom (News - Alert) found that 78 percent of millennials believe access to familiar and desirable technology improves productivity. Businesses that fail to have such technology in place, therefore, will lose access to the best ranks of millennial talent, and that could put a business behind the competition long-term.

Mobility is now about the collaboration of devices. The second trend is the that the principle of “work is a thing you do, not a place you go” will gain ground as 90 percent of United States businesses are currently offering or even expanding options for remote working. That's going to make mobile a lot more about collaboration, not just between workers, but between devices.

Web technologies are maturing but interoperability remains a challenge.  Web-based technologies will also continue to grow and mature,. However, Polycom notes that interoperability will still prove a challenge IT explains that while the biggest Web-based technology, Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) has momentum for it to reach the mainstream, interoperability with a broader spectrum of enterprise environments will be critical. Polycom is expecting customers will thus use WebRTC alongside a variety of other technologies to enable real-time collaboration with video a major driver.

Workspaces are morphing to support new work styles. Speaking of video interactions, the company foresees traditional conference rooms still being important for major presentations. That said, it also predicts that the smaller, simplified huddle room is gearing up to be the simpler “go-to” solution for close-range collaboration. This will be made even more possible with cloud-based systems that allow easy access from just about anywhere, and “collective memory” that will give companies access to strategies that allow work beyond time zone issues, a point that's previously hampered a lot of companies' operations.

The value of the cloud will reach far beyond collaboration connectivity.  We are already seeing the transformative value of the cloud in terms of new business models that enable enterprises of all sizes to reap the benefits of cloud-based collaboration services. As Polycom says, “Cloud opens up opportunities for small businesses to operate on an equal footing to their larger competitors by scaling through easier access to collaboration services. However, what we anticipate will really open doors in 2016 are emerging over-the-top collaboration solutions that are expected to enhance productivity and interactivity for all businesses. Services such as analytics, diagnostics, translation and natural language processing will play a huge role in helping to advance user experience and arm customers with critical usage data and tools for more effective operations.”

Collective memory helps conquer time zones.  The globalization of work and elimination of geographic and time boundaries will only intensify as the world really goes 24/7/365 and this will be a major driver for more real-time collaboration tools along with solutions for capture and analyzing insights gained from collaboration.

What you see is what we all see. This last trend is about the fact that advances in technology are enabling much richer user experiences. Polycom notes that the richness of enhanced collaboration experiences demonstrably will translate into productivity gains.

What stands out in the predictions is that 2016 is shaping up as a watershed year for collaboration solutions.  Polycom makes an important point that all of the trends combined are indicative that we are:  “Crossing the chasm and we believe collaboration has become mission critical… In 2016, we believe we will see the emergence of this Workplace of the Future, where collaboration is part of the fabric of business – available in any workspace, integrated with any task or workflow and empowering the end user with simple and delightful user experience.”

There are ample reasons to believe based on what has transpired in 2015 that this last observation about the emergence of the centrality of collaboration is why collaboration is going to take a front seat in industry news this coming year.  




Edited by Peter Bernstein

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