New independent research, commissioned by BT and Avaya, found that small and medium size businesses are increasingly facing demands for communication services that are influenced by the age and personality of employees, with those in their twenties and thirties among the most demanding.
The survey of more than 500 IT managers and business executives found that almost two thirds (62 per cent) of respondents from generation Y (under 35) were frustrated with the technology available to them at work. This is significantly higher than among generation X (aged 35-50) where dissatisfaction drops to 38 per cent, and baby boomers (aged 50+) of whom 42 per cent are unhappy with technology at work.
Correspondingly, generation Y respondents were most convinced their productivity would improve with better sharing tools. More than two thirds (68 per cent) said better collaboration would help them be more efficient, compared to just over half of workers from generation X (54 per cent) and baby boomers (52 per cent).
Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of respondents also said they want to choose communications that suit their personality. For example, extroverts prefer face-to-face meetings and instant feedback so prefer to use video conferencing, telephone and text. More introverted employees tend to favour email, IM or conference calls.
Generational and personality differences represent an additional set of challenges for IT departments that already face a rapidly changing workplace, an increase in flexible working and more pressure to allow use of own devices (BYOD).
BT and Avaya are addressing these requirements with the Avaya IP Office collaboration software platform for small to midsize businesses that addresses the differing needs of employees, regardless of user age or personality type. Part of the BT One Enterprise portfolio of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) solutions, Avaya IP Office is designed to deliver a seamless experience for voice, video, mobility, and collaboration services. Its built-in flexibility enables IT departments to deliver the right features to the right employee – office, mobile or remote worker - providing access to the communication resources they each need to be as effective and productive out of the office as in the office.
Better communication tools are increasingly seen by businesses as mission critical. With 60 per cent of those polled expecting their businesses to grow in the coming year, more than three quarters (78 per cent) pointed to better communications making a big difference to business success.
Benefits of unified communications highlighted include streamlined communications process (67 per cent), increased productivity (64 per cent), better management (59 per cent) and better end user experience (55 per cent).
Commenting on the research results Andrew Small, vice president, collaboration and customer relationship management at BT Global Services, said: “This research confirms a lot of evidence we’ve come across in our work with customers. It’s becoming clear that the workforce and workplace are evolving. Effective unified communications and collaboration solutions need to be able to support this multigenerational workforce and their needs. By integrating Avaya IP Office software, our One Enterprise portfolio can better satisfy the varying needs of different workers and achieve maximum productivity in small and medium enterprises.”
Simon Culmer, managing director of Avaya for the UK, explains: “The results point to an evolving mid-market workforce with vastly differing communication needs. To meet this diversity, organisations require a highly flexible unified communications solution. With Avaya IP Office, employees have access to the communication resources they need to be effective and productive, no matter where they are, regardless of the device or type of communication they feel comfortable using. Ultimately, this leads not only to happier employees, but also to improved productivity, faster decision-making and happier customers – all key drivers of success for mid-market organisations.”
Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, networking and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com/uk