SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Barbara Grothe
Barbara A. Grothe, CTP, is a Sr. Consultant with The BAZ Group based in Toledo, OH. She received her CTP...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Barbara Grothe | February 07, 2018 |

 
   

Understanding the Evolution of Endpoints

Understanding the Evolution of Endpoints From desk phones to softphones, mobile UC clients, and headsets, endpoint options abound.

From desk phones to softphones, mobile UC clients, and headsets, endpoint options abound.

portable It has been five years since our first "no desk phone" deployment with a 750-user client installing Microsoft Lync 2013. The enterprise was forward-thinking and the CIO was adamant that this deployment would be heavy on "collaboration tools" and light on desk phones. Obviously, five years ago this was a bold move, but its dictum from the top meant that employees would 'play along.' The word was out -- employees would receive headsets only and desk phones were "gone." The result? Only two out of the 750 employees retained desk phones; 748 Bluetooth headsets were deployed and the cultural shift to UC was underway.

Five years later, the UC environment at this organization looks slightly different. Although aggressive at the outset, approximately 20% of company employees now have their desk phones back and the rest of the users have had their headsets replaced with newer, even more user friendly models. The organization is now looking at Microsoft Skype for Business in the cloud to replace their on-premises Lync versions. Hmmm, what will the endpoint decision be in the cloud era?

Here is a question for you to ponder: Does the uptick in desk phones mean that the CIO's mandate failed? Not at all. It followed the same evolutionary track that endpoints have followed; the future is even more exciting with endpoint options for enterprises opening up new pathways in the cloud era.

But let's back up. To be brutally honest, at the time that I undertook this project, I had never heard the term "collaboration tools." Now that term is a household name. Years ago, when we thought about deploying communication or collaboration tools, it meant:

  • Employees were usually physically located in one place
  • Communication typically required a wired connection to the Internet or phone line
  • Collaboration with other employees only occurred during regular business hours -- yours or your employees

All of that seems so five years ago. At a minimum, the evolution that has occurred in five short years has enabled:

  • Collaboration by employees, partners, and vendors, in different parts of the world
  • Communication can occur via conference calls, video chats, and instant messaging over the air through smartphone, tablet, laptop, and even desktop technologies -- any device, anywhere
  • Collaboration (for better or worse, a topic for another day), occurs during the world's business hours.... 24/7

What does the evolution look like? My own workstation provides a great visual. Currently, I have access to:

  1. A Laptop
  2. UC application software
  3. Desk phone
  4. Smartphone
  5. iPad

Each of these devices stands as an example of today's evolved endpoints, and each of these serves a very specific purpose -- to communicate, collaborate and remain connected. Yet when it comes to collaboration tools, which of these five devices do you think I use the most? It's my laptop with the UC application.

As a remote employee, physically separated from my colleagues by hundreds of miles, I appreciate being able to find others quickly and connect to them without any delays. I know if they are out of the office; and if they are in the office and on a call, I know that I have chat options available to connect. It is a valuable way to remain connected.

Now every enterprise is going to be different and will build its own understanding of what is valuable today, and into the future. Ultimately, like so many other arenas in communications, making the decision on endpoints boils down to consultant Marty Parker's famous phrase, "What is the use case?"

Case in point, a few months back I participated in a Twitter chat with analysts and consultants who were brought together to discuss the very question of endpoints and use cases. Here are two we uncovered:

The future is here for intelligent headsets. In fact, "context awareness" in this hardware has become reality. For example, when talking on your headset in a noisy environment, the headset software detects and automatically filters out the noise as well as adjusts the volume.

Device-as-a-Service is ready for prime-time and it is truly cost effective. There is a movement underway toward mobile devices and soft clients, with roughly 40% of customers recently surveyed by Global Data Technology going this route. More specifically 27% are opting for desk phones, while 15% of those surveyed indicated getting a mix of all three of these endpoints. Even better, the pricing and payment models are simple and flexible – both in cloud deployments as well as on-prem.

From a CIO's mandate to a household name, endpoints and collaboration tools are truly driving business communications today. Every day brings new technologies, "X-as-a-Service" initiatives, hardware changes, and more! Want to stay on top of it? Join me at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, for a panel discussion titled, "Phones & Personas: Endpoint Decisions in the Cloud Era,"scheduled for Thursday, March 15 at 8:00 a.m. In this session, I and several UC/Cloud Vendors will dig into some questions addressing top trends in endpoints, including:

  • How successful have enterprises been in driving adoption/usage of mobile UC clients?
  • How do you match the right endpoint to the right user?
  • What's been the experience among enterprise that have gotten rid of desk phones entirely?
  • How do you decide when there are so many choices out there on endpoints?
  • How do you uncomplicated endpoints when you are faced with a diverse set of users who are driven by unique demands and certain preference for one device or another?

See you in Orlando!

Learn more about Unified Communications & Collaboration at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Early Bird Pricing or get a free Expo Plus pass.

"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communications technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.





COMMENTS




September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.