Does Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pave the way to unified communications (UC)? Many companies who allow the use of personal devices at work are finding that there is a need and value to employ unified communications to provide a single system of control and management. There’s nothing to indicate that this trend will change. Based on a recent study, Info-Tech Research projects that by mid-2013, 35 percent of the workforce is expected to be using personal devices for work related tasks.

You’re already well on board with BYOD. Spiceworks  in its State of SMB IT report for the first half of this year indicated that 75 percent of you currently manage personal devices for your employees. Many of you too are on the path to UC – 51 percent of you indicated so based on our Plantronics Spiceworks IT Pro community survey.

For many companies, email is the point of entry in their BYOD+UC adoption – 89 percent of organizations surveyed by Info-Tech indicate they allow personal devices to be used for email. Beyond messaging, UC can deliver voice, video conferencing and document sharing as well into a single interface so that you easily can relay any or all of this rich data to others, as we note in “Big Trends for Small Business.”

UC helps you level the playing field

Rich communication afforded by UC enhances collaboration especially among your increasingly dispersed workforce. Respondents in our Plantronics Spiceworks survey also said UC helps you to level the competitive playing field because it enables you to interact with customers and prospects as effectively as larger organizations.  As an example, when there’s a need to conference with a customer and you are out of the office, unified communications lets you launch an audio conference from your smartphone. A Plantronics headset such as the Voyager Pro UC solves the need for high quality audio.

There are many other applications. With a Find Me/Follow Me virtual phone number combined with UC, you can send voice message to email to play right from your inbox and listen with a headset. Presence indicates where someone is and how best to get in touch, and even can connect you by phone, text, email or instant message.

Whether you are well along on the road to UC from BYOD or just getting started, one thing is certain – you’re heading in the right direction.