It’s last call for your desk phones

By Keerti Melkote, Blog Contributor
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You're constantly on the move and spend a majority of your working time no more than an arm's length from your phone. So why is a clunky desk phone your main form of communication in the office? Exactly why is your office phone still tethered to your location?

The next big mobile app is voice. People prefer Wi-Fi hands down, and voice is no exception. In fact, in a study done in 2014, 69% of people prefer Wi-Fi to 4G/LTE or wired connections.

We're seeing a red-line acceleration of mobile unified communication (UC) adoption among our customers.  With Microsoft Lync, Facetime, Skype and Jabber or a similar tool, everything you need for that critical business call is right there on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. And you can instantly video chat or spin up a collaboration session for a face-to-face working session. No more being tied to your desk phone or coaxing the videoconferencing system in the conference room.

Cutting the desk phone cord does more than just make employees happy. It allows you to design your organization's workspace for how people want to work today. Businesses are freed from rigid rows of cubicles and workers can have more frequent and spontaneous interactions. Creativity abounds in an open, fluid environment. Plus, the rising population of #GenMoble employees are expect high levels of collaboration and favor this less formal atmosphere.

Build the foundation
How do you deliver a business-class experience for mobile UC without making the helpdesk light up with can-you-hear-me-now complaints? Lousy voice quality, annoying echoes and outright dropped calls interrupt the flow of business and are frankly unacceptable by today's standards. People expect the same high quality experience for phone calls and other mobile apps, no matter what network they're on.

802.11ac is the first step. Gigabit Wi-Fi delivers in crowded mobile environments and with unforgiving applications like voice. Beyond wireless capacity and coverage, your WLAN must ensure a superior quality of service for voice across the enterprise network. SDN applications are making it easier to gain greater application visibility and deliver a quality user experience for unforgiving apps like voice and video.

At a network crossroads
IT leaders have a decision to make. Do you stay the course with wireless that provides convenient connectivity or do you demand better from your network? Embracing mobility means building a network infrastructure that's ready to meet the demands of business-critical applications like voice—and is the foundation for the coming wave of innovation. It means building a foundation that can take advantage of contextual data and orchestrate connectivity to support  mobile engagement, intelligent workplace and the Internet of Things.

Mobile UC is just the start. Check back soon for our next blog in our series on the all-wireless enterprise.

Keerti Melkote is co-founder and president of Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.