As we’ve seen over the nearly two years now, the office has evolved, and not just in a physical way. The way we communicate, using more video and instant messaging, has also been a change. Back only 25 years ago, there was only one way to get to most real-time / voice business communication systems from outside the building. Call into it from the PSTN. The change I described above has been enabled because of a wide variety of rich and powerful networks.
The incredible capability of modern networks enables us to imagine four states of an Evolved Office. These states don’t necessarily have to happen in chronological order and can also overlap. These states are simply there to help illustrate how enterprise communication needs will vary by company and will change, how they will continue to change, and how the Business Communications System will be playing a central role in these evolutions going forward.
Most offices today are in at least the first state of the Evolved Office, the Borderless Network. The business voice communications system can now be accessed from various networks, no matter where you are. Whether the user is on a Wi-Fi, LTE, or 5G mobile network or from an enterprise ethernet network, access to your business voice communications is possible. The networks are so advanced that access to all your business systems, not just voice systems, is possible. This enables work to occur from anywhere, at any time.
While more ubiquitous Wi-Fi is coming in the form of more and more hotspots, essentially extending your office to wherever a Wi-Fi hotspot can be found, 5G is the next frontier for enterprise communications. And not just because someone will be calling you at work or into your contact center from a 5G network.
5G also means faster speeds than any other wireless network, and it means your entire business could ultimately be connected to the outside world via a mobile connection. Think about the concept of mobile SIP trunking, if you will. Your whole business could be connected this way, and you can even have a 5G business network slice or dedicated bandwidth for you.
All of this means that all different varieties of business communication systems, whether unified or not, do not have to be physically on premise. All of these systems can be driven by cloud architectures. In other words, the borderless network also means everything could be in the cloud if one so chooses.
Next week I’ll explore further evolutions of the office.