UAE workers prefer mobile call-and-data over office phones

One in five say they don’t have right technology tools

DUBAI 3 June 2017: UAE office workers are increasingly looking to mobile communications solutions to collaborate and communicate more efficiently, according to research commissioned by Avaya.

More than half of employees would prioritize a calling-and-data package on their mobile, while mobile access to e-mail is more desirable than internal calling and voice mail access, according to the Technology@Work Report, conducted by YouGov.

The report, which surveyed over 500 employees in the UAE and more than 3,000 worldwide, showed that 55 per cent of UAE workers wanted independent access to calling and data packages, with half wanting mobile e-mail access. That compares to just 37 per cent who expressed a desire for internal calls and voice-mail access – the same number that wanted remote access to file servers and databases.

Examining the benefits of a technology-assisted work environment, the ability to be more productive was the most cited benefit by UAE employees, with 58 per cent believing this to be the case. UAE workers are also pioneers in video conferencing, being more likely than the global average to use video to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers.

The report comes as unprecedented efforts are being made by the UAE government and private sector to facilitate digital transformation programs that benefit citizens and spur economic growth. Digital transformation could generate US$16.9 billion in extra revenue each year for companies in the Middle East from 2017 to 2021, as well as $17.3 billion in annual cost savings and efficiency gains, according to PwC.

Demand More

While most UAE employees were satisfied with the collaboration and communications solutions available to them, more than one in five said they didn’t have access to the right tools, with mobile packages and mobile access to e-mails again leading demand.

Almost half, 44 per cent of respondents, said that their ideal technology environment would build communication and collaboration abilities into existing enterprise applications, such as a click-to-call facility in e-mail, or being able to join conference calls through their calendars.

The report showed that employees are also willing to use collaboration solutions outside their IT departments’ control, with 59 per cent of UAE employees using WhatsApp or WeChat groups without management knowledge, exposing companies to security risks.

Technology@Work UAE (En)

“Digital transformation’s key objective is speed and agility to an enterprise’s culture. This is a new perception of technology adoption; how to facilitate highly mobile, dynamic teams to collaborate with each other virtually and still deliver a closed meeting-room experience,” says Savio Tovar Diaz, director of Sales Engineering at Avaya, Asia, MEA & Turkey.

“Very often the collaboration and communication capabilities of employees are limited to basic connectivity solutions. At Avaya, our vision is to bring not only people together, but the applications and things with context to collaborate. In the new world, although people-to-people communications are predominant, machine-to-machine communications is rapidly growing. We therefore strive to bring people, applications and things together with the right information at the right time in the right context, helping employees to improve efficiency and quickly address critical business challenges.”

In the UAE, leading enterprises such as Dubai Civil Defence and Emirates NBD have successfully embraced these new technologies to transform employee communication and collaboration together with Avaya.

By Angel Chan