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Despite the good reliability record of the U.S. power grid, a catastrophic power outage is not out of the question. Some experts have expressed surprise that such an event hasn’t occurred yet. Most outages are the direct result of weather-related events restricted to certain regions—such as Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast—but that doesn’t mean a disaster is not within striking distance of your business.

Much has been made of the so-called Millennial demographic—those young people born between 1980 and 2000. The 25 and under cohort is just entering the workforce, but they will likely change telecom as we know it—paving the way for ubiquitous unified communications (UC) that rely on mobility as a key pillar.

Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce in less than five years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2030, they’ll represent three-quarters of it. And UC will be a critical workflow enabler for this always-on generation.

Having grown up with access to connected, always-on everything, including mobile phones, instant messaging and text messaging, entertainment, and more, Millennials expect a seamless communications and content experience as they migrate across devices. And these expectations must be integrated into the workplace to enable optimized productivity.

Mobility will be a big part of this. The latest Gallup poll shows that smartphones are our near-constant companions. A full 81 percent of smartphone users say they keep their phone near them "almost all the time during waking hours." Smartphone attachment peaks in younger demographics. The survey found that more than 7 in 10 young smartphone owners check their device a few times an hour or more often, including 22 percent who admit to checking it every few minutes.

That contrasts with the 21 percent of smartphone owners who are aged 65 and older who check it a few times an hour or more, with a miniscule 3 percent of that older age group checking it every few minutes.

The use of mobility as an enabling reality for business functions of all kinds—be it checking email or downloading critical files with sensitive company information—will only grow in importance as this group takes its place in the workforce.

Most of all, younger employees expect to have the ability to work flexibly—and from pretty much any location. Businesses that fail to recognize this risk losing employees and missing out on new talent. At the same time, organizations need a way to maintain IT control, run analytics on employee workflow, and enforce corporate policy and security approaches.

UC is the perfect path to developing this kind of functionality, which can be embraced by both the employer and the employee.

The opportunity for channel partners is to be able to help organizations large and small to successfully migrate to modern UC solutions that incorporate mobility and a range of ancillary applications. It’s a shift from the traditional telecom infrastructure approach, to be sure—but the sooner businesses understand that such a change is inevitable, the better position they’ll be in to maintain their competitive position when it comes to hiring the best and brightest in their fields.

To learn more about how Star2Star can enable support Millennial-friendly, flexible working environments, please click here.


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