Unify Shares Top Predictions for 2016 and Beyond

On-demand business models, smarter customer engagement and increased support for the Anywhere Worker will drive business trends in the future

Dec 09, 2015, 09:00 ET from Unify

MUNICH and BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Unify, a leading communications software and services firm, today shared its predictions for how businesses will continue to evolve in 2016 and beyond to address the New Way to Work.  Driven by the rise of the anywhere worker and the shift to the on-demand economy, Unify believes that businesses in 2016 will increasingly leverage actionable data, streamlined social media content and re-imagined consumption models to drive customer engagement. Additionally, improvements in technologies aimed at supporting employees will further advance productivity and balance for remote and office workers.

"The New Way to Work is increasingly influencing customer engagement and driving demand for technology tools and data that enable businesses to better understand and serve their customers," said Dean Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of Unify. "We believe that 2016 will see a critical shift in the way that businesses communicate – both among employees and with customers – that will provide greater flexibility, knowledge and productivity."

Unify sees the following as the top trends to watch for in 2016 and beyond:

  • Over the next two years, automated health and well-being monitoring for remote workers will become a key driver for employee engagement and productivity.  Health and fitness wearables will integrate with workflow collaboration tools in order to guide and maintain an optimal balance in remote work lifestyles. 

    That means your collaboration applications will let you know when it's time to move, walk, take a break or relieve stress by moderating your schedule to allow for optimal balance of sedentary work and physical activity – and maybe take that next conference call while walking the dog!

  • "Everything-as-a-Service" on-demand business models and technology platforms experience unprecedented acceleration in 2016. Enabled by cloud, mobile and social capabilities, "on-demand" is applied to re-imagined consumption models and ways of doing business.

    Low-to-no-touch services driven by mobile apps will still be personalized and develop an even greater and more loyal following among consumers, which will in turn feed the interest and demand for "on-demand services" in the B2B sector.

  • Harvesting actionable data drives customer relationships and improves services – while big data will play an increasingly important role in helping businesses generate differentiating intelligence,   data points accumulated from customer usage history, stated preferences, online profiles or ratings and near-field proximity and/or location-based services like GPS combine to provide simple yet effective ways to know, serve and respond to customers better.

    The irony in this model is that some of the most relevant and actionable customer data points are the most easily accessed, understood and used for a more personalized and helpful experience.

  • We will see the rise of the 'omni-channel customer experience' journey feed a 360 degree omni-channel data view that becomes strategically necessary in customer engagement, relationship, and needs fulfillment.

    Keep in mind, the new omni-channel experience is different than multi-channel. Omni-channel means fluidly and seamlessly morphing among media (text, audio, web, video, social) depending on preference, context and device, rather than interacting on one chosen channel of communication.

  • As early as late-2016, unification of social media content silos through standardized protocols and API's begins to appear. This means major social networks (which today are essentially proprietary) share a universal way to create and share content, feeds and activity streams. And the need for "consolidation" apps slowly goes away as there will no longer be a need to feed a range of proprietary formats and interfaces for each social network.

    Within four years, a global industry standard for social content and traffic will be adopted, much like existing standardized email protocols. These standards will be widely adopted as proprietary social content formats and protocols disappear (just as they did after the first decade of proprietary email communications). Think "one social conversation" that brings together all of a user's content into a single view.

  • Self-driving cars will start to become more prevalent within the next four years,  allowing for the re-use of blocks of commuting time as productive work time, without the safety hazards and legal issues associated with mobile-working-and-driving.

    Think of the countless hours of driving that could be used more productively where commuting is unavoidable – overall quality of life can go up as you finish writing that report on the way home, or respond to your emails during the morning commute.

  • "Touch pixel walls" will appear as the next UI/UX trend bridging the gap between science fiction movies and practical reality. Imagine a flexible touch screen film that can be applied to walls or other flat surfaces with a built-in wireless connection, based on next-gen LCDs. Pixel wall films will have broad applications in both the home and business environment.

    These big GUI's will turn out to be useful not only as computing interfaces but also as portable and re-locatable entertainment output devices that can be placed anywhere there is a flat surface and fed by digital video streaming services.

About Unify
Unify is one of the world's leading communications software and services firms, providing integrated communications solutions for approximately 75 percent of the Fortune Global 500. Our solutions, including Circuit, unify multiple networks, devices and applications into one easy-to-use platform that allows teams to engage in rich and meaningful conversations. The result is a transformation of how the enterprise communicates and collaborates that amplifies collective effort, energizes the business, and enhances business performance. Unify has a strong heritage of product reliability, innovation, open standards and security.

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