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The smartphone has had a profound impact on the average small and medium-sized business in the past few years, especially with the bring your own device (BYOD) trend reaching mass adoption levels. Companies continue to work to modernize the communications and IT capabilities in light of these strategically important trends that drive sustained competitive edge in highly saturated markets.

As many SMBs already know, having unified communications strategies in place prior to launching a mobility policy makes the overall management requirements far more straightforward and efficient. In the coming years, those firms that maximize integration and interoperability among UC solutions and enterprise mobility frameworks will likely enjoy the strongest cost control in the communications category.

Optimizing communications
Brian Riggs, writing for No Jitter, recently explained that too many firms are overlooking the importance of incorporating UC functionality into their BYOD strategies, which can lead to productivity and efficiency issues over time. Citing research from Ovum, Riggs pointed out that this is really just the tip of the iceberg, as only a little more than a quarter of companies with BYOD policies in place are supporting the devices.

What’s more, the study found that more than 40 percent of respondents have no plans to actually support the devices in the future. The author went on to explain that mobile UC clients have not yet started to gain traction among companies, despite the advantages from both the user and manager perspectives.

Riggs noted that many companies have started to at least support unified messaging clients on employee-owned devices, including smartphones and tablets, which is a step in the right direction. Finally, he pointed out that very few firms have started to support video conferencing and other types of UC clients within BYOD strategies.

Leave it to the professionals
One of the main reasons behind a lack of engagement in this trend might be a relative lack of expertise in the average small business. However, this should not hold a company back from creating the most seamless combination of UC and BYOD capabilities, as managed service providers are available to take care of the backend requirements autonomously.

The BYOD trend shows no signs of slowing, and certain researchers even believe that a majority of companies will demand that employees bring their own devices in the future. As such, working with a provider of UC solutions to get the ball rolling on both BYOD and other communications optimization represents an important step in the right direction.

Peter Farley, Vice President

Tech II Business Systems, Inc.