5 questions you must ask when choosing a Unified communications vendor
Changing Business Trends
Earlier, the communications between the employees of any particular organization, were done through the desk phones or voice mail systems or through messaging. But, today with evolving technological landscape and UC technology, the way of doing the business has been revamped to a greater extent, which has not only enhance productivity but has also initiated employee mobility.
UC follows, “keep your business world connected for rocketing success.”
Talking about the current situation, the organizations are more diverse in terms of culture, language and work style. Team working and employee collaboration are vital for the success and enhancing the productivity of any business. It has been estimated that about 25 percent of the knowledge workers remain outside the domains of the office on any given day which implies that their workplace continues to be change but the employees must remain connected and this is how UC serves its purpose.
Unified Communications Is The Solution But How?
Unified Communications and Collaborations are what the businesses today are looking for. They are considered as the evolution of the basic office phones.
Talking about UC solutions, the first thing to take into consideration is Unified messaging, which provides a common inbox to all employees and take important factors such as voice, email and fax.
When we talk about team collaboration which includes sending messages across various groups, it is envisaged as a rather polite way of dealing with the customers(unlike traditional approach where any important piece of information was conveyed through ringing someone’s phone which was taken as a sudden eruption) .
Team Collaboration includes project management, document storage and enterprise social components of UC. Team collaboration adds a crucial element to content and context, makes much more robust applications by allowing one to add pictures, url’s, videos to the chats. It makes it much easier for you to acquire information you need. It not only proves to be employee effective but provides customers as well as employee satisfaction, escalating the productivity of the organization.
UC takes application development to an extended level so that the employees could also work with all the available modes of communication in real time. Employees could work across different modes, from different places and on many different types of devices.Unified Communications technology has been designed to make organizations employee effective and aim to boost up productivity.
According to McKinsey, it has been predicted that social technology can raise the productivity and interaction of the workers within the large organization by 20%-25%.
Moreover, Gartner's analysis has predicted the fact that by 2018, 50% of team coordination and communication will occur via mobile group collaboration apps.
Free Download: Learn how to make your business communications effective and borderless with our UCC solutions.
5 questions you must ask when choosing a UC vendor
1. Is Unified Communications Solution rightly integrated?
Today also, the organizations are stuck in a problem that the communications platforms are not fully integrated. This implies that the people still have to check every channel separately for messages. Employees of any organization must need to travel because of some business trip and the mobile nature of work poses a great challenge in front of them for easy communication with the other employees of the organization.
Although, the employees on the go, have their laptops, PDA’ s and cell phones and they find no difficulty in accessing the internet but at the same time, they find it difficult to stay connected with the existing system of the organization. At present, the analysis predict that the voice and data communications are poorly integrated.
In simple words, one can say that the path for incoming messages and outgoing calls is diverse, which makes things a bit confusing and time consuming. In case of any query, the callers would then get confused as to which channel to use (landline, mobile phone or softphone).
This calls for a need to go for the consolidation/ integration of different channels on a unified platform so that the callers are able to communicate easily through all of these channels and yes! at the same time.
2. Is offered Unified Communications solution implementable within your existing IT infrastructure?
The second point to take into consideration is to determine whether the UC vendor is able to integrate the UC solution with the existing infrastructure to enhance the speed and productivity without wasting the time and the existing resources.
For instance, UC capabilities can be strategically included within the existing voice system to avoid the unnecessary costs of implementing an altogether new infrastructure. Before carrying out UC migration, there must be a detailed audit of existing communication platform which should cover all of the aspects like :
- What are the different modes of communication?
- What kind of voice system exists today and what changes must be brought to support the advanced UC capabilities?
- What contracts exist with the present infrastructure? If there are some, when are they going to expire?
- How many enterprise users and sites will they support?
We are no longer in the arena to as what is UC but rather what UC strategy one must apply for advanced communication and interaction within and outside the organization.
3. Is your Unified Communications solution integrates with your business - today, tomorrow and always?
The UC solution must act in a bubble which implies that whatever UC solution one deploys, it must have the ability to integrate with and add functionality to the leading business apps and IT framework that you may have installed.
Some of the common office applications include IBM Notice Notes or Google for example. Other UC application tools include Microsoft Lync, Skype for Business. This permits the employees of any organization to make the communications according to the tools of their choice and on the ones that you have already deployed.
Moreover, UC solutions should also integrate with different groups or roles performed in the business. Let us take for an instant, the example of call center agents. They must resolve the queries of the customers by being able to locate and interact with the knowledgeable employees at the back office which requires integration between call center system and UC application.
Moreover, sales and mobile workers may also have specific, robust requirements. So whatever requirements you may have or what you plan for, you must make sure that your system is open and ready to integrate with these applications.
4. Does it offer uniform experience on mobile devices also?
Few statistics have revealed that employees on board expect to remain in touch and participate in the collaboration sessions from remote occasions. Therefore, it is important to provide them with an in-office experience, no matter where they are on that part of the day, rather than mimicking desktop design and functionality, mobile clients should be built from the ground up to work natively on mobile devices.
Earlier, when you had a mobile device, the vendors would just take the application and put the functionality that would work on the mobile devices but the it came with a limited set of functionality. While on the other hand, with the good vendors today, they design from the ground up to work on mobile devices and they have all the functionality built into the device.
However, it is necessary that the UC solution should be able to provide a uniform experience across all the devices, either switching from their own mobile devices to corporate devices. It implies that whenever they switch back, experience is uniform across all the devices.
5. Does your Unified Communications vendor keep a track record of innovation?
A couple of new innovations are on the horizon to make UC even more effective. Talking about innovations, UC functionality into web app is again of much greater use so that you can login into your desktop phone from your web page and make calls from the desktop phones.
Moreover, if we are to talk about team collaboration apps, it is the next evolution or advancement in UC technology. This is because it allows a group of employees to interact on a particular project from beginning to finish. Your business requirements also tend to change with time and needs which implies that your vendor must have a deep experience in the advanced UC technologies to come up with the expectations. .
In the words of Charles Darwin, this is the era of “survival of the fittest” which implies that for you to remain ahead of the game, there is a need to choose appropriate UC solution that is perfectly compatible with your business needs. Therefore, it is necessary to go for the appropriate UC vendor who is able to give an affirmative response to these 5 essential questions.