Market Opportunities Regarding Collaboration, Communication, and Productivity

Collaboration and communication platforms are impacting the way employees work together and the way businesses communicate with customers. Legacy telephone and voicemail systems have become questionable pieces of infrastructure for modern businesses as they are quickly discovering alternative collaboration and communication platforms that improve the peer and team interaction across the influx and variety of endpoint devices.

The latest approaches used to securely deliver applications and data are creating an ideal opportunity for businesses to explore collaboration and communication solutions in order to fuel their workforces. ESG recently discovered some compelling implementations of Microsoft Skype for Business optimized by Citrix delivery technologies that led us to explore the current and potential benefits further.

While devices and applications typically receive the attention in the market, it is the way that people actually use the technologies to better interact with one another that provides the momentum for business to accelerate growth and innovation.

Recently, ESG research validated the experience organizations are having as a result of a comprehensive enterprise application, desktop, and data delivery strategy—higher employee productivity and improved security, as well as enhanced communication and collaboration, are clearly having a significant impact on business (see Figure 1). Businesses have already demonstrated the value of running optimized Skype for Business within Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop and have plans to address additional use cases.

ESG research discovered that more than one-third (36%) of organizations believe that comprehensive enterprise mobility IT strategies have served to improve employee productivity. Additionally, after the economic and security impacts, the next most commonly cited business impacts (selected by 27% of those surveyed in both cases) included improvements in collaboration and communication, both internally (i.e., between employees, teams, departments, etc.) and externally (i.e., with partners) (see Figure 1).

 Top Five Business Impacts Experienced
Figure 1. Top Five Business Impacts Experienced as a Result of Enterprise Mobility Strategy

While ESG research has shown that employee productivity and improved communication and collaboration are fundamental drivers for a robust work-from-anywhere strategy, threat detection is top of mind for many IT departments, especially in the context of supporting end-user computing environments and initiatives. It then comes as no surprise that more than one-third (34%) of ESG research respondents identified proactive threat detection as one of the factors with the biggest influence on their organization’s enterprise strategy to securely deliver applications, desktops, and data across a variety of devices (see Figure 2).

Top Five Factors with Greatest Influence
Figure 2. Top Five Factors with Greatest Influence on Enterprise Mobility Strategy

Organizational Challenges to Collaboration, Communication, and Productivity

Collaboration and communication solutions come in many forms. One of the leading solutions on the market today is Microsoft Skype for Business. The Skype platform overall has seen phenomenal adoption with an estimated 3 billion minutes of calls per day and 3 trillion minutes of total video calls as of September 2016 according to Citrix. Not only are organizations exploring a variety of approaches to take advantage of the popular Skype for Business offering, they are also keenly interested in ways to integrate this enhanced form of collaboration and communication with modern workspace delivery solutions.

Conversely, as businesses explore ways to proactively address security concerns, they are discovering ways to keep information in the data center and protect themselves from a variety of attack vectors. Security is certainly a primary driver to centralize application and data access, but businesses also benefit from simplified IT management and by delivering a predictable end-user experience.

As companies invest in application, data, and network solutions from companies like Citrix, it also becomes an ideal opportunity to map collaboration and communication solutions as part of the overall strategy. The results can create improved experiences for the end-user, simplified management for IT, and improved security for the business.

ESG recently had the opportunity to speak with businesses using Microsoft Skype for Business within their Citrix infrastructure to look at their business drivers and successes, as well as their future plans for their collaboration and communication strategies.

Before we share what we learned from the business interviews, it’s important to communicate a fundamental understanding (and realistic view) of the potential challenges facing businesses should they choose the path of Skype for Business.

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Working Together for Optimized Collaboration, Communication, and Productivity