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Recent disturbances have made it even more important for businesses to build home and remote working into their business communications infrastructure. And with the disruptions of the Olympics not far away, we all need to be prepared for employees to be able to work as well remotely or from home as they do in the office.

Recent disturbances have made it even more important for businesses to build home and remote working into their business communications infrastructure. And with the disruptions of the Olympics not far away, we all need to be prepared for employees to be able to work as well remotely or from home as they do in the office. And there truly has been a seachange in the delivery of home and remote working.

Gone are the days when business conference calls involved participants straining to hear each other on telephone lines of varying quality with little real opportunity for valuable professional interaction...and all ended up by saying they needed to meet face to face to sort it all out. We now have real visual collaboration on a scale previous generations of business people could only dream of.

Of course, just being able to clearly see other participants in a conference call is not enough to warrant major investment in video, but when you add the ability to take part in virtual meetings using any device you want – smartphone, laptop, tablet, traditional desktop PC – and then share ideas interactively on a whiteboard that anyone attending the meeting can review and edit instantly, then the benefits of real time visual collaboration are all too clear.

The beauty of this new generation of communication suites lies in their flexibility - they allow participants to use voice, video and IM – and with some solutions, there is no need for an external Multipoint Control Unit (MCU), because integrated video-switching capabilities are inherent in the collaboration engine, dramatically reducing the TCO.

This technology is a real game-changer as far as remote and home working is concerned. With a simple touch of a screen, you can patch yourself into a meeting with colleagues whether you are based in an office, or are travelling by road or rail, or even working from a remote location across the country or overseas.

Manish Sablok

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