Antifragility, UCaaS and COVID -19 – Connecting The Dots

"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder…The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better" says Nicholas Taleb in the famous book Antifragile – Things that can gain from disorder.

Coronavirus is disrupting cultural and economic life. Fear of virus is impacting the global markets and the way corporates mobilised its workforce to accomplice goals. Majority of companies are badly impacted as demand dips in the slow down caused by this disorder. Hailing from the domain of unified communications, it’s obvious for me to wonder its impact on this domain (Unified Communications) …the domain that I work for!

Enterprises are increasingly announcing new rules of engagement for their employees and customers to avoid threats posed by the virus. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Amazon etc are pushing for work from home to minimize risk of their employees and customers. Which directly means increased usage of collaboration software for better co-ordination across regions and business units. This is what the theory of “Antifragile” outlines.

At this hour of stress and disorder, as overall economy tanks down, consumption of products like masks, sanitizer and collaboration software (Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Zoom etc.) increases. Its heartening to notice empathetic approach demonstrated by the OEMs at this hour. In fact, when companies like Microsoft, Google and Cisco could have minted lot of money due to increased usage of their collaboration software, they decide to give it for free. Of course, like any other free stuff this too comes with limited features and for a limited period.

This further emphasizes importance of a cloud-based model (UCaaS) where OEMs like Microsoft, Cisco or Google can extend these offerings due to the capability to ramp up concurrent connections in cloud platforms like Microsoft Teams, WebEx or Google Hangout. An architecture with Skype for Business or Cisco call Manager as an underlying product would have not given this luxury to scale at this hour of volatility and uncertainty.

Hope that situation gets better sooner and that the normal work life returns at workplaces. Wishing that COVID -19 perishes sooner like a fragile while the world of collaboration keeps on thriving and growing like an antifragile…and that the domain (Collaboration) doesn’t mind randomness and uncertainty in future too!

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