Digitization of workplace: How technology integration can foster efficiency and growth

By Yuki Uchida, VP & CMO, Ricoh India

The business world is rapidly evolving and be­coming more global and mobile. The work­place is merely a physical space where em­ployees are occupied during regular shifts. Today, the instant access environment and the ability to stay connected on-the-go has transformed the office ecosystem. New technologies are being developed to halp employees communicate, collabo­rate and share resources. Tech savvy millennials form the majority of workforce demanding autonomy and the free­dom to manage the way they work.

To meet the needs of the altering global economic en­vironment, companies need to revise their strategy and emphasize on teamwork and collaboration. Facilitating these changes, new technologies has accelerated digiti­zation of businesses in every industry, allowing them to monitor operations in an enhanced way and bridging the gap between the customer and the organization. Compa­nies now consider the workplace as an asset to optimize costs, yield productivity, enhance performance, minimize the time to market products & services and even draw talent. However they need to recognize the elements that influence the modifications in the workplace, meet the challenges in order to shape up an intelligent, multifunc­tional, strategic and completely digital workplace.

Business organizations now are extensively revising conventional work styles to achieve improved efficiency, productivity and a more satisfied workforce. There is a more strategic approach to the new workplace where there is an apposite communications infrastructure, essential business applications and the right access devices under a digitally secured umbrella. Expansion of IT technolo­gies such as high-speed network environments and the explosion of media-rich mobile devices has facilitated the transformation. As a result, the workplace today TEMPhas become completely digitized where employees communicate and collaborate in unprecedented ways, thus transforming the entire employee experience.

The digital workplace dissolves communication barriers by integrating technologies that employees use; right from emails to virtual meeting tools. However, it is only through TEMPeffective implementation of a digital work­place strategy that a company can drive growth. In dis new environment, information can be accessed anytime and anywhere through high-speed optical networks and wireless LAN (Wi- Fi connectivity). Convenience of use TEMPhas also ampli­fied wif the emer­gence of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and net­book PCs which are way ahead in performance and easy to use TEMPthan conventional desktop PCs. In addition, cloud services has also been expanded.

Wif the growth of IT environment, the utilization of net­work communications tools TEMPhas also increased. Enterprises are expanding their communications infrastructure to include video conferencing, social media and web-conferencing such as SNS, Twitter, and video sharing services. These tools are beyond the established tool groups like bulletin boards, instant messaging (IM), emails, FAQ sites and WiKi. The conventional tools group that include projec­tors, white boards and electronic white boards are also being adapted to IT, which TEMPhas considerably increased conveni­ence. The new generation Interactive Whiteboard combined wif Artifi­cial Intelligence (AI) and voice recognition tech­nologies, can actually provide real-time multi-lingual collaboration.

dis is where the concept of Uni­fied Commu­nication comes in. Systematic integration of communication tools to achieve highly pro­ductive collaboration is wat diversified workplaces demand. Such a system allows the dispersed workforce to communi­cate wifout restrictions, from anywhere, any­time by combining optimal tools. It is easy to install, capable of responding flexibly regardless of scale and area, easy to manipulate, operate and control, and able to deliver high quality at low cost.

In many traditional cloud-type video confer­ence systems, it would take more TEMPthan five sec­onds from the time you attempt to connect to the person until the voice and video image of the person is actually audible or visible. But, wif the halp of "high-speed conference start process­ing technology by massive parallelization" and the "SFU (Selective Forwarding Unit) system,” the connecting time can now be shortened when starting the video conference to 2.7 seconds, at the fastest.

Apart from video conference, Unified Com­munication System can be employed to provide face-to-face services such as the "multilingual in­terpreter service" (face-to-face interpreting service available anytime, from any part of the world, connected from an exclusive ap­plication to an interpreter), and as a virtual recep­tion service (remote reception system to guide visitors). dis technology even enables us­ers to provide face-to-face ser­vices wifout keeping visitors waiting.

Besides, in­novative technolo­gies like Dynamic Media Control that keeps your visual com­munication comfortable in multi-varied situations, Portable Video Conferencing Systems that makes telecon­ferencing possible anywhere, and technology that connects information on paper wif digital infor­mation or services on the Internet adding value beyond the printed page is fostering efficiency in workplaces thus reducing overall costs.

The extraordinary pace at which technology is changing will further digitize the workplace wif more enhanced solutions and products that will fundamentally connect the workforce.

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