Answering Tricky Questions Around UC
Unified Communication (UC) is considered as the solution for businesses that wish to capitalise on multiple communication devices, be it for real-time and non real-time multichannel communications.
Yes, it should provide a consistent user experience across email, instant messaging, voice, web conferencing, online presence, as well as document sharing, web chat and social media. Employees can communicate over multiple devices, enhancing teamwork and in turn facilitating faster decision-making and optimised business processes.
But is it about newer forms of communications replacing the older? Should IM replace email? Video replace voice? Can networks cope?
I think these questions miss the point. UC allows the enterprise or employee to identify which form of communication is most appropriate for the message, the sender and recipient.
So let's look at these new arrivals on the communication scene and open up the debate.
Should you discourage internal email in favour of IM?
It's not a question of one size fits all. The key is for the enterprise or employee to identify which form of communication is most appropriate for the conversation. So when sending a short note or query to a colleague, instant messaging is a great tool for getting an answer quickly. But where long, descriptive answers are required, or where potential legal implications can take hold, email still provides the best tool to communicate internally.
It's not about one replacing the other. It's about providing the most appropriate form of communication for the employee, the business and for the application.
Facebook and WhatsApp – A help or a hindrance?
The rise in popularity of applications such as WhatsApp clearly demonstrates a consumer preference for easy-to-use instant mobile communications, and in principle should be embraced by businesses keen to empower the flexibility and creativity of its work force.
The danger is that they will often lie outside the control and protection of IT departments with data situated on unsecured mobile devices. Some organisations may allow employees to share quick message exchanges around non-classified work items, especially in an SMB environment. However, ideally a comprehensive UC solution is designed to offer the sort of instant, user friendly and flexible experience people have become accustomed to with consumer applications, whilst keeping access and management within the enterprise's control.
Mobile Mobile Mobile – but consider this...
Yes mobile collaboration is now a priority for CIOs. But conversations often start as a call in the car, and employees are able to continue the same call seamlessly as they walk into the office and then finish it off at their desk on a laptop. The ability to move the multimedia conversation between devices is what we call Rapid Session Shift, which helps facilitate communication on-the-move, improving collaboration and employee efficiency alongside the employee experience.
And on the management and directory access front, the approach will be more and more unified bringing operational costs down significantly. Solutions such as our OpenTouch – based on a single server – will reduce the TCO and make such solutions much more affordable for SMBs.
Using a holistic UC tool such as OpenTouch can encourage better collaboration across the enterprise, and as a result, show huge return on investment.
Tune in next week for part two!