Embracing Unified Communications gives staff the power to reach their full potential
Horizon Collaborate is Gamma’s Unified Communications solution (UC). It follows the success of the voice-only Horizon cloud platform which is now the UK’s dominant hosted voice solution with hundreds of thousands of seats deployed across small, medium and large businesses.
Collaborate takes the core Horizon platform and adds fully integrated voice and video conferencing, instant messaging, presence, and document sharing. Gamma believes this is the correct approach since voice remains such an important element of UC and forms the largest part of any UC session.
“Coming from a voice background gives us a good understanding of the requirements for excellent quality conversations as the primary component of UC,” says Mark Senior, Gamma’s product manager for UC and collaboration. “We have added all the other components around that and we believe that gives us an edge over the UC players who’ve come into the game from a software or IT background.”
Another strength of Gamma’s solution is the company’s ownership of its network and its position as a true network operator. This means Gamma is able to offer true end-to-end SLAs to its customers.
Many users are part of geographically diverse teams with mobile and home-based workers. A key driver in adoption has been Gamma’s commitment to make its UC as simple to consume and use. One example is a simple two click start to a collaboration session, another is the way in which users can initiate a UC session on one device – their desk phone or PC for example – and seamlessly migrate that session over to a mobile or portable device.
This enhancement comes from Gamma’s ownership of the network infrastructure – in this case the Gamma Mobile network – which means a UC session in progress can be continued over native GSM functionality, without requiring a special app or Wi-Fi connectivity. Other mobile networks are also supported.
UC is the best technology for letting staff collaborate intuitively and work to their full potential
We own the numbers and we manage the PSTN environment, which is key when considering the challenges of porting for instance. We are able to optimise our network for voice and UC traffic ensuring our users get the possible experience.
Gamma estimates that currently, in an average working week, some 12.5 hours are spent managing email, 10 hours on locating people and information and 2.5 hours spent waiting for conference calls to begin. UC puts less emphasis on email and more on immediate forms of communication like voice and instant messaging with benefits gained across the workforce.
Similarly, the presence function of UC and a corporate directory greatly ease the process of finding the right contact and checking their availability. Shared calendars help when planning conferences.
Senior further believes that the impact of a Generation Y workforce on businesses is another factor:
32% Levels of collaboration
50% Savings in operational expenditure
% improvements gained through implementing UC
Today’s new hires have grown accustomed to, and take for granted, the flexibility of the communications and social tools they use on personal devices like smartphones and tablets. When they enter the work place they expect the same kind of flexibility and instant response from the tools they use. UC is the best technology for replicating that experience in the office.