UC Roundup: Fuze Meeting Survey, Intermedia-Datto, Jabra Conferencing

A Fuze report says the best work happens when culture and technology converge.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

June 19, 2019

8 Min Read
UC Roundup

When consulting on and selling unified communications (UC) solutions, being knowledgeable about communications and collaboration preferences and habits can give you a leg up on the competition.

This week, Fuze published a new global report titled “Productivity @ Work: The Fuze Communications Index.” The report reveals insights into how communications and collaboration technology allow organizations to reach peak productivity by facilitating an overall cultural shift in how people work.

Among the key insights:

  • Video and screen-share meetings support employee engagement and are more effective by reducing the opportunity for multitasking, a proven productivity-killer. When users include a visual element, attendees stay connected for 87 percent of the meeting. Without a screen share, they only remain connected for 75 percent of the meeting.

  • Across all countries, the average meeting length is just under 40 minutes, yet they often default to 30- and 60-minute blocks; therefore, users should consider switching calendar settings to 25 and 50 minutes to ensure that meetings start on time by allowing employees adequate time to get from one meeting to another.

  • On average, meetings with members from one country last 19 minutes, but when adding team members from an additional country the meeting length doubles to 38 minutes. Including four or more countries triples the length of the meeting.

  • Thursday at 2 p.m. is the best time to hold meetings on the West Coast, while East Coast workers’ top preference is Wednesdays at 4 p.m.

  • Geographic stereotypes hold true in terms of meeting length, as southern and Midwestern teams are likely more formal and polite; thus, their meetings frequently run longer. For example, South Dakota tops the list with the longest average call length of 8 minutes and 15 seconds, and Delaware has the shortest average call length at 1 minute and 24 seconds.

For a deep dive into these findings, we spoke with Eric Hanson, Fuze’s vice president of market intelligence.

Channel Partners: What prompted the need for the report?


Fuze’s Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson: As we have been studying the future of work trends over the past several years, we have identified key considerations associated with the decisions that IT leaders need to make to adapt to the changes in the workforce and to new technologies. We continue to build on our research, and invest time and resources to survey broad groups around the globe to learn about new workforce trends and employee preferences. Over the years, we’ve surveyed CIOs, IT leaders, and members of the current and future workforce around the globe to help define the future of work.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

With this survey, we wanted to identify best practices for working across global teams to enhance team productivity. We looked at global usage data reflecting employee engagement from more than 5 million global workers to find that communications and collaboration preferences are often as diverse as the workforce they support.

CP: How can UC providers make use of these findings? Do the findings suggest challenges/opportunities?

EH: As companies look to connect to a global and distributed workforce, it’s important to understand the diverse communities that make up these groups. Communications and collaboration preferences are often as diverse as the communities we have with five generations in the workplace, and four to six communication tools used on average — this is an opportunity to better understand worker preferences.

CP: What was most surprising about the findings?

EH: The big takeaway we see is …

… that the best work happens when culture and technology converge. This means it’s not enough to have a strong culture or the right technology — the best work is done by employees who feel like their preferences and ideas are heard and supported by their organization.

CP: Are UC providers keeping up with organizations’ demands for UC?

EH: As the enterprise embraces digital transformation, we are seeing an increase in distributed workers and the need to provide employees with the right tools and technology to do their best work. Especially with the incoming generation of workers who prefer to use their mobile phones over a desktop or laptop, this tells business leaders that you need to make sure your collaboration and communication tools are mobile-ready and equipped to be the preferred meeting device across an organization.

Technology is generating significant opportunities for people and companies alike. Employees are demanding consumer-like experiences to match technology in their personal lives, with greater flexibility on where and how they work. Work is personal and employees want the opportunity to choose their work styles, schedules and tools.

CP: Does the report point to emerging trends in UC?

EH: We continue to see a trend that successful companies will achieve gains in employee productivity and engagement by taking into account differences in communications practices across different ages and cultures instead of a top-down approach.

Intermedia Integrates with Datto Autotask PSA

Intermedia this week announced the integration of Datto Autotask Professional Services Automation (PSA) within its partner portal to simplify day-to-day operations for MSPs selling the Intermedia Unite UCaaS solution.

With this integration, Intermedia partners who sell Unite and utilize Autotask PSA can more efficiently manage and support their customer accounts, with improved invoicing and billing, and service ticketing.


Intermedia’s Reza Kamran

Reza Kamran, Intermedia’s senior director of product marketing, tells us his company provides its MSPs with more control and flexibility over their private or co-branded UCaaS solution.

“MSPs benefit from working with their invested Autotask infrastructure,” he said. “Our integration ensures that MSPs deliver more timely and accurate billing; in addition, MSPs can delight customers with more automated service ticketing over critical network issues to help improve customer resolution time for higher customer satisfaction.”

MSPs are faced with the challenge of onboarding a variety of new products and services while continuing to extend their value of support to maintain ongoing revenue and customer value, Kamran said. According to Datto’s 2019 State of the MSP report, 87% of MSPs rely on help desk as the No. 1 service offering that drives MSP revenue, success and differentiation, he said.

“While many vendors offer agent-based models, such business models can limit control, flexibility, margins and a desired customer experience that an MSP needs to deliver to ensure differentiation and ultimately a competitive advantage,” he said. “Intermedia Unite’s reseller model was built to give MSPs ultimate control — over their UCaaS services, margins, profitability, and most importantly, their customer relationships.”

Unite combines a cloud PBX with web and video conferencing, team chat, file sharing and backup, and more, with the desktop and mobile apps that allow for anytime access from any device. Datto Autotask PSA is an IT business management platform that delivers …

… all of the tools needed to run an IT managed services business.

Jabra Unleashes PanaCast

Jabra‘s new PanaCast real-time immersive intelligent vision system offers 180-degree panoramic vision and advanced AI to deliver wall-to-wall video, audio and data in huddle rooms and spaces.

The PanaCast announcement follows Jabra parent GN Audio’s recent acquisition of Altia Systems, allowing GN to expand into plug-and-play audiovisual communications products and services. The PanaCast video collaboration device includes three 13-megapixel cameras, working together as one via core technology embedded in the built-in vision processor.

The panoramic video enables everyone to participate equally, fostering healthy discussion and true collaboration — despite not being in the same room, according to Jabra.


Jabra’a Aurangzeb Khan

Aurangzeb Khan, Jabra’s senior vice president, tells us PanaCast offers its partners a “unique, patented video collaboration solution.”

“We fully expect our partner ecosystem to embrace the Jabra PanaCast line as it offers an additional revenue stream with a technologically superior video solution that works seamlessly with audio, solving dreaded compatibility issues that many organizations face,” he said. “This technology not only means more impactful meetings, but also has the benefit of enabling our partners to discuss deeper topics, like real estate management as Jabra PanaCast captures the entire meeting space and allows for more efficient meeting room setups. It offers a huge return on investment for organizations that are challenged by the combination of rising real estate costs and expanding work forces.”

Explosive Growth Expected for Global UCaaS

When providers have said the market for UCaaS is still in its infancy, they weren’t kidding. The global UCaaS market is expected to skyrocket from $4.3 billion last year to more than $17 billion by 2024, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 25.7 percent.

That’s according to a new report by Mordor Intelligence. The market is being driven by the need for easy-to-maintain network systems that allow effective communication across end-user industries, including retail, health care and manufacturing.

Ease of adopting cloud technology has further boosted the adoption of video conferencing, which is driving the adoption of cloud services for various business needs. The availability of cloud-based systems is easing the adoption of UCaaS by health care providers.

The growing adoption of BYOD and other mobility solutions also has facilitated the adoption of UCaaS solutions. In addition, companies are introducing new products or services to leverage the growing demand for UCaaS.

Competitive rivalry is high due to the presence of some major players like Microsoft, 8×8, Fuze, Verizon and more. These companies are able to gain a competitive advantage over the other players due to their ability to bring about innovations by investing heavily in research and development, according to the report. Companies entering into strategic partnerships and M&A have gained a substantial share of the market.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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