Thanksgiving, enterprise UC traditions made to be broken, part 2

Posted by Shawn Guenther, Vice President of Product Management & Development

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November 25, 2014; 8:30 AM

Thanksgiving_and_UC_traditions_tend_to_change_over_time

Thanksgiving dinner and enterprise solutions don’t seem like the kind of things you’d compare, but they share quite a few similarities: both revolve around connecting with others, both take careful planning and both, as I discussed yestereday, change from year to year.

Take the turkey. A bird that size, as Citizen-Times contributor Mackensy Lunsford explains, is overkill for many families. They are large, take forever to cook and the move from perfect to dry and bland sits on a razor’s edge. Many families are moving on to other fowl to substitute the main attraction. Other changes, like the not-so-subtle encroachment of Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day, have not been as warmly welcomed.

Family ties
Black Friday treads on Thanksgiving because the companies recognize that the ever-earlier door openings jumpstart the holiday shopping season. While this may be considered good for business in some ways, it can kill employee morale not only for those working the earlier hours, but also for those whose holiday is disrupted by the consumer instinct. People want to be with their families on the holidays (read: fall into a tryptophan-induced sleep-fest) and the Thanksgiving weekend used to carry that guarantee. According to TIME contributor Brad Tuttle, many retailers are taking a stand this year and refusing to open on Black Friday for this very reason.

Taking family time away from employees is never really a good idea, regardless of what form it takes. In enterprise communications, mobility solutions-like always-on email and phone access-have given businesses an unprecedented level of access to employees. This provides huge benefit to the business, but like Black Friday it can easily become an unwelcome burden on a person’s life. The cry for BYOD solutions does not come from businesses eager to expand employee flexibility, but from employees desperate to regain control of their work lives and restore their work / life balance. Cloud communications bring the balance by allowing a person’s work and home lives to bleed into each other, allowing that person to choose the right blend for them. Happy employees are a vital component of a profitable business.

The first step toward cloud communications, however, lies in capabilities. If a company is running on the same solutions that were put in place before the smartphone revolution there is a critical need to invest in more modern technology. Remote productivity and local flexibility are driven by current-generation solutions, and trying to get by with the same old Thanksgiving dinner recipes only ensures that the entire family is dissatisfied.

Trade in tradition
Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s right. This is true of everything from Thanksg​iving meals to business communications systems. Times change and it's important to reevaluate what's happening and how things can be improved. Turkey isn't the only bird you can eat at Thanksgiving, Black Friday might need to slow down a notch and existing business voice service might just need refreshing. Don't let the past weigh you down - that's for your Thanksgiving meal to do.

Topics: Unified Communications (UC)