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Why the future of collaboration is mobile

Australian organisations have invested heavily to make mobile applications their front door to the world.

What started with the mobile banking revolution in the mid-2000s was quickly followed by a plethora of app-based retail services, with JP Morgan estimating a quarter of all e-commerce transactions are now completed on a mobile device, with 68 per cent in-app.1 Now everyone from government agencies to insurance companies are directing more interactions into handheld screens.

As consumers, we have quickly become accustomed to mobile-first interactions. But as employees, we rarely have the same experience.

Most employers today still require workers to manage a vast number of systems and tools to perform tasks and access resources, starting with Radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards for building access and multifactor authentication tokens for network sign-on. Once logged in, they must navigate a plethora of intranet applications and Software as a Service (SaaS) tools to interact with HR, payroll, or learning and development systems - even booking a meeting room has its own system to navigate.

This fractured and fragmented working experience does nothing to enhance productivity or create a more engaging working experience, and often leaves people scratching their heads as they try to figure out what system to use for specific tasks. None of this is good if the organisation's goal is to be an employer of choice.

And this is despite research from Accenture that found 82 per cent of workers said technology played a part in where they decided to work, while 42 per cent would leave their current position because of substandard technology.2 Furthermore, Qualtrics has found that employees who say that their technology is enabling productivity are 158 per cent more engaged and have 61 per cent higher intent-to-stay beyond three years, compared to those who don't.3

This stat is one that all employers should pay attention, especially as Deloitte has found that 60 per cent of Australian knowledge workers are planning to leave their organisation this year.4


And yet, we already hold in our hands the device which could deliver this better working world – if only we let it. There might be an app for pretty much everything today, but we still don't have an app for work.

The app-based work experience

For years now the default configuration for workplace technology has been a laptop, but for many workers in professions such as hospitality, retail, logistics and many other sectors, a smartphone or tablet is the tool of choice. Even keyboard warriors still carry a touchscreen device with them at all times, with Statistica estimating 86 per cent of Australians now carry at least one smartphone.5

Modern mobile devices carry as much processing power as many personal computers. So why not make them the centre of the working experience?

The technology needed to bring all our different working tasks into a single device already exists. What is needed is the integration of these different functions into a seamless experience for the worker, but as we move into an era where staff attraction and retention is more important than ever before, creating a more seamless work experience is a rising priority.

While integrating every work function might be overkill, one area that promises rapid returns is mobile collaboration technology.


Digital collaboration tools have undergone massive growth in the past two years, driven by the pandemic and the massive shift of workers to working from home. The global video conferencing market alone is expected to grow from US$6.03 billion in 2021 to US$6.61 billion in 2022.6

Now as we enter an era where hybrid working is more common, workers are often moving between their home, office, and other locations. No matter where they are though, their need for collaboration remains. What is different in each location however, is the tools available to them –unless their primary collaboration device is the one they always carry on them.

Modern mobile devices include high-definition cameras, speakers, and microphones which are often superior to traditionals PCs. So why not make the mobile device the key tool for hybrid working collaboration?

Making mobile-first collaboration a reality

Of course, it takes more than just a great device to deliver seamless mobile collaboration. A mobile-first strategy also requires tools that enhance collaboration sessions and deliver an integrated set of experiences.


This capability is delivered through Webex by Cisco, which delivers advanced audio and video collaboration into a mobile device. This is backed by advanced features for enhancing engagement, including tools for managing schedules and meetings, along with transcription and translation capabilities for capturing important information and ensuring it is shared - and even features that stimulate non-verbal interaction and ensure everyone can participate.

When coupled with an advanced network, such as Optus' 5G network, workers can enjoy high-speed connectivity whether they are at home or in the office.

Furthermore, mobile device management technology makes it easy for employers to deploy remote collaboration tools and ensure they remain well managed and secure.

These capabilities are now being bundled into a managed service that brings together the domain expertise of Optus, Cisco, and Apple to provide employers with an easy to manage solution, including unified billing, which enables workers to get on with doing the things that matter most.


The mobile phone is already the primary voice device and has displaced the desk phone for many Australian workers. And we know from the pandemic that virtual collaboration will be a bigger part of our lives. So, why not bring these two trends together by enabling workers to collaborate more easily, no matter where they are?

By opting for a mobile-first collaboration strategy, employers can capitalise on the ongoing mobilisation of our working lives and deliver a superior outcome for workers and a more manageable solution for businesses.

To find out more about how Optus can improve employee experience with flexible, mobile collaboration visit Mobile-First Collaboration | Optus Enterprise

1 https://www.jpmorgan.com/merchant-services/insights/reports/australia
2 https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/financial-services/workforce-2025-skills-roles-future
3 New Qualtrics Employee Experience ID Boosts Recruiting and Retention Through Personalization - Qualtrics
4 https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/gx-the-great-reimagination-report.pdf
5 https://www.statista.com/statistics/321477/smartphone-user-penetration-in-australia/

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