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Making global collaboration work

March 12, 2018

Simon Farr   

Product Marketing Director

You can’t look at a newspaper or magazine today without seeing a new headline about the changing workforce, being shaped by our insatiable appetite for data and connectivity, anywhere, anytime, and the proliferation of mobile and cloud applications. In its Global Mobile Workforce Update 2016-2022, Strategy Analytics predicted that the global mobile workforce will increase to 1.87 billion in 2022, and then account for 42.5% of the global workforce. If you add to this the steady growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the increased adoption of office hoteling or hot-desking, and the continued rise of telecommuting, one thing is clear: how and where we work continues to evolve, and this creates both opportunities and challenges for companies.

Businesses across the board, therefore, are making it their top priority to improve the communication and collaboration experience for their employees. Yes, it is the experience that really matters at the end of the day and not so much as the tools or applications used to deliver it. And the experience stems from ensuring the tools, applications, systems, network, and all the underlying layers work in perfect harmony to make collaboration simpler for the employees.

There is a major reason for it as well – the next gen and millennials entering the workforce are often ruthless in their expectations of capabilities and tools available at their disposal to get their work done. If the communications tool does not meet their expectations, they will happily use their own preferred “freemium” tool to get their work done – much to the dislike of corporate IT teams. We have all seen and experienced the proliferation of tools like WhatsApp, Slack, Facebook Messenger and consumer version of Skype in organisations as a result.

For many businesses, especially those with a multinational presence, this evolution can make communication and collaboration even more complicated and challenging. Now, they must also manage these expectations and experience at a global scale, pushing them to think globally, versus regionally, for their communication solutions and look to collaboration tools that help teams connect and communicate better regardless of device or platform.

An essential part of supporting these global enterprises is having services delivered from providers who have architected them for such global customers in the first place. For example, it is pointless to make all users of an organisation register to a central cloud bridge for UCaaS services like WebEx when the users are spread out globally. Therefore, leading service providers have deployed multiple cloud bridges to support their customers across regions.

Take for example KPIT which is a global technology company specialising in IT consulting and product engineering solutions. With a globally dispersed workforce of more than 8,000 people spread across 36 countries including US and China, with 20 corporate offices and many employees working from their customer’s offices, there had also been a rise in BYOD, as employees often used their own devices for work purposes. Working with various vendors across different geographies for conferencing services in a piecemeal approach, led to inefficiencies and poor application performance and ultimately had major cost and quality of service implications. This put a significant strain on the IT team’s resources to manage and troubleshoot issues. To tackle all these issues at once, KPIT decided to consolidate to a single provider partner and to a cloud-based service.

Consolidating to a single platform with Cisco Spark and integrating SIP and voice calling, across meeting rooms, video endpoints and end-user clients, it delivered a significantly improved user experience across all their geographies – including the key sales territories of the U.S., Europe and China – all while saving substantial cost and management time for the customer. KPIT’s smart collaboration initiative is a brilliant example of how companies can strategically use technology to make their workforce more connected, efficient and effective. Like KPIT who are experiencing the power of simplified collaboration, to date, there are nearly 280,000 users globally using solutions from Tata Communications and Cisco Spark, with more coming on board daily.

The workforce evolution may be just getting started, but Tata Communications can help companies make it less of a challenge, and more of a competitive advantage – be it in terms of enabling leading new services like Cisco Spark* or deploying new cloud bridges like it has recently done for EMEA region for WebEx services to support customers in that market.

Read our previous blog about the shifting economy of a global nation.