The only thing more frustrating than not possessing up-to-date enterprise technology is having assets that do not work effectively. The business world is all abuzz regarding the increasing shift toward unified communications. While this has led a growing number of organizations to seek these kinds of networks, it has left a portion of them with systems that do not function way they are supposed to.
The concept of ideal UC is going to vary drastically from company to company, as they all have different needs. But there are still some qualities that every unified communications platform needs to have, regardless of the organization’s size or industry.
1) Interoperable Interfaces
Some people may believe that unified communications is just about making all channels available in the same application or device. But as time goes by, more users of these systems are finding that they do not meet as many goals as they should because voice, video and text-based interactions are still segmented within the same program. Something like voice-to-text email transcription, for example, should be a given within UC interfaces.
According to TMCnet contributor Susan Campbell, the possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to these kinds of features, and ignoring the scope of potential could inhibit progress and the reduction of operational costs.
“With unified communications, your business can eliminate many of the costs associated with staying in touch,” Campbell wrote. “Are you able to send a fax and then store the information in an electronic file without ever leaving the desktop? Can you stop a project midway and pick it back up again on your tablet when you’re working from home? Does a client contact you via email and have the ability to click a button to get on the phone with you?”
2) Network Access Beyond The Physical Office
Campbell’s mention of mobility brings up another key point. With so many members of the modern workforce using smartphones and tablets on a daily basis for a multitude of tasks, there will need to be considerations made to bring those devices into the fold. Now that it is possible to accomplish so much on a touchscreen, there is little stopping people from working remotely. As such, they will have to be connected to the office network to ensure that they still feel included and are reachable.
A lot of this will come from adapting or replacing existing voice infrastructures so that they can be accessed in a cloud communications environment. Siloed telephones have been considered an obstacle to true UC in recent years, and more companies are turning to long-standing solutions like VoIP telephony to extend their phone service beyond the walls of the workplace.
3) Employee Involvement In UC Planning
Too often, the decision of how to approach the aforementioned considerations is done with staff members in mind. This may sound logical, but without the actual input of the employees that will use it the most, a unified communications network stands a much greater chance of falling flat. One of the reasons that individual companies have such differing needs is because they have employees with varying styles of work. In order to make sure that the essentials are in place, dialog with staffers will be key.