Have you seen any of the “rotary phone challenge” videos making the rounds on social media? Parents are challenging their teenagers to make a call using an old rotary phone. As you might expect, the results are comical. Kids who have grown up with touchscreens and smartphones are genuinely baffled by dial tones and finger wheels.

Although these videos are good for a chuckle or two, they also can serve as a conversation-starter about telephone technology in the workplace. Fact is, Millennials and Generation Z now make up more than a third of the U.S. workforce and will comprise nearly 75 percent by 2025. While IP desk phones will be important communication devices for years to come, younger workers also expect to work, communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time with their mobile devices.

The integration of unified communications (UC) technologies with mobile platforms enables that.

Although many people still think of UC as a tool for integrating voicemail, email and fax, the technology has progressed far beyond that. For truly “unified” communications, users today are looking for the ability to integrate all forms of communication onto a common dashboard that can be accessed on any device.

Many of today’s leading UC platforms have robust mobile components, and nearly all UC vendors have developed mobile applications. Mitel delivers one of the top mobile UC experiences through an extensive portfolio of endpoints and applications that seamlessly integrate desk phones and smartphones, with shared access to contacts across both devices. These are some of the key components of the Mitel portfolio:

Mitel Mobile Convergence. Downloaded directly to your device, this app is designed to match the look and feel of your Apple, Android or Blackberry smartphone while providing dual-mode functionality and a seamless handover as users move back and forth between mobile networks and configured Wi-Fi networks. It also allows users to maintain mobile access to important fixed-line features such as transfer, conference and call forwarding.

Mitel Private GSM Mobile. This is a completely self-contained mobile network solution that is locally managed and controlled and therefore not under the control or influence of a mobile operator. The customer has complete control over their voice, messaging and data services.

Mitel Mobile Client. This app integrates mobile extensions with the Mitel communications system, allowing users to be reached on a single number, regardless of device. It also allows mobile workers to use short-number and extension dialing.

MiCloud Connect Mobility. This is a cloud-based solution for extending UC features such as video conferencing with room-based systems, peer-to-peer video, desktop sharing, CRM integration, instant messaging and presence to mobile devices.

Mitel Embedded Communications. This software development kit enables developers to build communication capabilities into their own applications. It allows you to quickly snap in messaging, voice calling, video calling, presence and location right into your business productivity mobile app.

As workforce demographics continue to shift, younger employees will be more effective and productive using technology they’ve become accustomed to. In a recent survey by Allworx, one-third of workers said they regularly use their smartphones at work while the desk phone collects dust. If your organization is considering upgrades to the business communication system, it only makes sense to consider options that are designed to support mobile UC capabilities. Contact IPC to discuss your requirements.