The world is changing.

The ways we work today will be gone tomorrow.

Communication services will be at the heart of how we make this change and when.

The rate of change however will vary because businesses and their employees are creatures of habit, and as the saying goes old habits die hard.

Emails first came into circulation during the 1960s and 70s. By 2000 it could be argued that everybody had an email address. Emails should have been the death of the fax machine, and yet when I founded Edison in 2013 we were still having conversations with customers about a fax line.

Several factors contributed to that, and primarily the speed of broadband and the processing power of computers were the factors that held back the transition. And yet even today I still find people with business cards that have fax numbers on them and when asked if they actually use it then response comes back that yeah every so often with a particular supplier / customer that still wants to work that way.

In the same vein VoIP technology has been readily available about the last 20 years and yet the rate of adoption has only really started to happen in the last 8 years. Again, the critical restrictions on this growth were from the poor broadband speeds. Providers like Gamma started offering work arounds that while effective were certainly expensive for the end customer. And yet for the most part broadband speeds are acceptable today, why are there still so many providers tied to fixed landline solutions?

Because despite where we are today, early adopters got burned by fancy new technology and will never consider using it again, and others have been scared off by the stories they have heard. And this even though for most businesses today it would provide the significantly cheaper solution.

So where does this leave Unified Communications and why should businesses even care about moving to this new technology even though they might have only just switched to VoIp?

Put simply the world has changed. Decision making within businesses have changed. Employee behaviour has changed. Unified Communications hasn’t been driven by the providers; they’ve been driven by the Users.

To start off with I think it’s important to understand what Unified Communications is before we go any further, because knowing what it is might go some way to explaining why business should look at this product seriously.

Unified Communications is nothing new, it is an evolution. An evolution of several products that have merged into a single solution. For many years now services like Powwownow (audio conferencing), GoToMeeting (presentation and slideshare conferencing) and Zoom (video conferencing) have been common place, perhaps not under their current brands but definitely in one form or another. At the same time various businesses use a form of chat or collaboration solution like Slack, Yammer or Teams. The biggest change driver being WhatsApp in this space.

Unified Communications is the amalgamation of all of these into a single solution often with a VoIP telecoms solution as the front end. The idea being that why have a series of different licences with different providers and different management and control sites.

Most businesses today are using more than one of these solutions and more often than not, they either are unaware of what their staff are using, or they have no control over what their staff are using.

For years technology used to drive change and yet today change is being driven by the demand of the users. Technology used to lead the way and wait for the user to catch up. Today the user is demanding the change and waiting for technology to catch up.

But as a conclusion to this particular blog and referencing the earlier examples I provided; Users behaviours are not identical. User behaviour varies across age groups, generations, industry, demographic and the individual appetite of the end user. Just because a business has certain tools available might make very little impact on whether an individual user will actually use the solution to its fullest capacity.

A business needs to understand how their staff are working and then define how they want them to work. Then and only then work with suppliers in how to bring about that change. At that is where Edison Networks come in. We provide consultation services for business to help them transition to a new way of work.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, feel free to get in touch with