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Responding to change: How will the millennial influx impact on business communications?

David Collins, Director Go-To-Market EMEA at BroadSoft, will be presenting at Convergence Summit North on 16th March as part of the seminar programme.

To visit the show, and see David Collins in action, register here.

The workplace has changed faster than we ever could have imagined, and it’s not about to slow down. Whether you like it or not, you can’t deny that millennials are transforming how business communications work, look and feel.

As well as accelerating cloud adoption rates and impacting strongly upon consumer tech, millennials’ preferences are bleeding through to decisions made in the business world. The direction of innovation is very much driven millennials – or Generation Y as they’re also known.

This is something we’re coming across time and time again – when we speak to end-users and customers, when we talk to others in the industry and when we carry out market research. The word on everyone’s lips is millennials.

This generation is totally comfortable with technology, comfortable with social networking tools and, crucially, wants to see these being used in the business world in a way that provides value and makes their lives easier.

So bearing this in mind, what does the future of communication and collaboration look like?

Naturally the shift from premise to cloud will continue, confirmed by our recent global survey in which respondents predicted that cloud unified communications and collaboration (UCC) penetration will increase six fold by 2020.

So far so good, but what else is new? Well, our results showed that unified communications is increasingly becoming more mobile. 42% of respondents believed more than half of UCC interactions for businesses will occur via mobile devices by 2020. A third of small businesses will opt for mobile-only UCC and hosted solutions, eliminating the need for desk phones entirely.

Our global survey also forecast the disruption of email by messaging and collaboration apps: 82% of survey respondents expected over the top (OTT) integrated messaging and collaboration applications to disrupt the business email market. Only a paltry 18% felt email would remain the primary business-messaging tool.

It’s clear to see the millennials have spoken: they’d rather not have to use the twentieth-century hangovers of emails and desk phones, but want to use plenty of cloud solutions and OTT messaging tools.

Mobility comes as standard: millennials are part of an increasingly mobile and distributed workforce, who need to be able to work in any place, at any time, on any device.

But as the first generation to be primarily technologically minded, Generation Y won’t just want increased mobility, they’ll also want intelligent interworking.

And the market needs to step up to their demands. Communication and collaboration need to come together with business applications to improve workflows and productivity.

It’s our job to bring them seamless, integrated communications and collaboration, along with contextual intelligence unified into one end user experience, because they will expect nothing less. I’m sure we can stand up to the challenge.

David will be talking about this further on day two of Convergence Summit North 2016. Using BroadSoft’s unique insight, he will profile the types of markets buying cloud today and will address how BroadSoft will be responding to upcoming market challenges.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine