The growth of the virtual workplace is booming. It’s projected that 3.9 million employees will work remotely by 2016, and as a result, how businesses communicate internally is rapidly changing. The most recent advances in technology, video, voice and social media platforms have made enterprise communication increasingly collaborative and social. They have also significantly expanded the market.
The enterprise video conferencing market alone generated $735 million in the second quarter of 2013, a six percent increase from the previous quarter. Companies that offer enterprise communication platforms are capitalizing on this growth and helping virtual employees maintain interactive and open communication that phone lines and email simply can’t provide.
Here are five companies that have changed the face of enterprise communication in 2013.
Salesforce is leading the way in enterprise cloud services. This $3 billion company has made the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market relevant to businesses of all types and sizes, reshaping enterprise communication in the process.
In 2013, Salesforce launched their Salesforce1 platform, which caters to the growing mobile movement by allowing customers to easily migrate applications to mobile devices. Salesforce also announced a partnership with Hewlett-Packard to develop a “Superpod” that will provide dedicated infrastructure for large customers to run Salesforce in the cloud. This Superpod gives us a glimpse into the future of enterprise cloud services that will offer not only the traditional shared public infrastructure, but also the option of private cloud technologies.
These announcements mean change for enterprise communication as they increase the convenience and accessibility of Saleforce’s services while addressing security and regulation concerns.
Kaltura continues to blaze the trail as the world’s only provider of open-source online video software. With this platform, companies can create their own corporate video channel — think YouTube — providing a fun and interactive way to communicate. While videos can be used for internal communication purposes, such as employee training or company-wide announcements, the platform can also be applied to external promotion and marketing strategies.
After experiencing explosive growth in 2012 and 2013, Kaltura recently announced another big change that is sure to impact enterprise communication now and into the future. Its platform will integrate with Cisco’s WebEx, an on-demand web conferencing, online meeting, and video conferencing platform. This allows WebEx users access to all of Kaltura’s features, including delivery across multiple devices, social media sharing and analytics, creating a more unified process, from video creation to consumption.
Voxeo was designed as a solution to the limitations that complicated the use of phone applications for customer service. It has transformed enterprise communication by allowing even small businesses access to the latest standards and technology to improve their customer service.
Specifically, Voxeo has drastically improved caller usability, backend integration and development complexity with its voice-driven platforms, cloud hosting services, and developer solutions. With small businesses growing at double-digit rates over the last 12 months, Voxeo is changing enterprise communication with its platform by making the latest customer service technology accessible to businesses of all types and sizes.
When it comes to efficient enterprise communication, email is no longer the best answer. Having to wade through hundreds of email messages is time consuming, inconvenient and a potential nightmare for company governance. Especially for the Millennials entering the job market, email is becoming an outdated way to communicate.
TigerText is changing internal business communication and replacing the need for email by providing a tool that allows you to securely message and share files with coworkers from a mobile device, laptop or tablet. Simply put, TigerText facilitates safe and professional communication. Coworkers are instantly connected without needing to exchange personal numbers. Also, messages are encrypted and set to self-destruct after a pre-set period of time.
In 2013, TigerText experienced new growth within the healthcare industry. This was highlighted by its partnership with Startel – the leading provider of unified business communications for contact centers. The integration allows Startel’s customers to securely text message colleagues and clients from within the company’s software, increasing safety and efficiency. TigerText satisfies HIPAA rules for healthcare answering services, making it a valuable tool to the $3 trillion healthcare industry and numerous other industries, as well.
5. Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications)
With nearly 170 years of history and experience, Siemens Enterprise Communications has maintained its role as a leader within in the communications software and service industry. Just last month, Siemens announced its new identity as Unify. With a new name and a renewed focus on enterprise communication, Unify has big plans to change the way companies communicate and collaborate.
In June 2013, Unify unveiled Project Ansible, a new communications and collaboration platform that helps employees spend less time orchestrating work and more time doing it. Separate from a device or application, it’s described as an “experience” that supports fluid workflow. Project Ansible provides a secure communications platform that pulls together and manages the daily flow of communications into organized conversations. It’s compatible across multiple channels, platforms and devices. With 2013 marking the year of a new brand and new product, Unify has set the wheels in motion to transform enterprise communication.
The many benefits of telecommuting — for both employees and businesses — is fueling the growth of virtual workplaces and making enterprise communication even more vital. It’s estimated that users will spend over $2 trillion per year on content, devices and services to help make their virtual work environment more collaborative and interactive. As technology races to stay ahead of this trend, look for these five companies and others to continue to raise the bar for enterprise communication.