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Shift happens: why the status quo of Unified Communication is dead and won’t be missed

Steven Karachinsky, CEO
May 4, 2021

It’s amazing how much the world can change in just over a year. For instance, it wasn’t that long ago that people got up every morning and disconnected their laptop from one Wi-Fi network, only to drive across town to connect it to a different Wi-Fi network—because that made perfect sense. Yup, those were simpler times.

And then, of course, winter 2020 hit the world with a surprise left hook that left everyone reeling. It was at that point that people’s laptops stayed put, and a new world order began to emerge.

This is where business truly shifted and wow, did shift happen. Companies of all types struggled to “get their people online”—making sure they could communicate through UC tools with each other, and with customers, as seamlessly as possible.

And you know what? They actually pulled it off. Which makes sense, given how history shows humans have a gift for adaptability even in the worst of times.

Then the world shifted again. And this time it REALLY shifted. It’s come in the form of choice—so much choice. In just a few months, the world began to adopt new ways to communicate like never before. Suddenly Zoom was on top of the world, then Microsoft Teams, not to mention RingCentral, 8×8 … the list is endless.

The best part of all this? Choice has translated to being able to finally conduct business on one’s own terms—on a fully customizable and integrated level. For instance, it means that Cisco Teams now works with Microsoft Teams. It means that a call center could be with 8×8, while the rest of the business is with RingCentral.

Even the tools themselves have become representative of the way people communicate—preferences of Microsoft Teams over Zoom, or both. Even for myself, I shift between Cisco Teams, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, and more on an hourly basis.

However, with the good also comes the bad. In this case, it’s complexity. Making sense of so many platforms is one thing. Making them work seamlessly together is another. And just because the buzz word of “interoperability” has become a staple in the UC market, making interoperability happen is a different story.

Luckily, there is a silver lining. For Stack8, we made a choice to embrace this newfound market shift. Call it fate, call it luck, call it insight—but we shifted our own business to make UC easy for everyone. And that’s not to say that we didn’t before. But in 2020 and well into 2021, our services along with our renowned SMACS software began to evolve at a monumental rate.

We’ve added new expertise and a lot of new UC vendor functionality—and in the end, we created an ecosystem to make choice a reality for our customers.

Seeing the old status quo of vendor lock-in and single-vendor-choice fade into a distant memory is one of the best things in history to happen to business, and to the way the world communicates. I can honestly say that for us—and, if I may be so bold, to speak on behalf of Stack8 customers—the status quo of Unified Communication dying off is both welcomed and celebrated.

Yeah, shift happens. I say embrace it. Live it. Love it. It’s here to stay.

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