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Unified Communications and Enterprise Collaboration: You Can’t Have One Without the Other

by SUMMIT on December 17th, 2015

Unified Communications and Enterprise Collaboration final

The isolated nature of solutions is one of the longstanding obstacles to unified communications and collaboration. Each department may use different solutions, and individual solutions don’t integrate well. Today, businesses demand integration, and the dream of fluid operations with communication is coming to life.

How much time does your company waste trying to connect the dots between processes? As an example, you may use a CRM system and an ERM system, but if the two don’t integrate, you can’t connect business interactions with internal processes. As a result, transformation and optimization within an organization creep along without reaching their full potential. Unified communications and enterprise collaboration allow employees to access one centralized hub to conduct individual tasks and connect the dots between larger enterprise goals.

Connect Unified Communications and Enterprise Collaboration

Unified communications go beyond having a working phone system and email setup. The concept transcends individual communication solutions to encompass the range of communication tools a company uses internally and externally. Enterprise collaboration is the effective use of unified communications to facilitate the business process at an enterprise level (not just a team or department level). Without a strong communications strategy, ROI-driving enterprise collaboration can’t exist. The two concepts represent internal business synergy.

Unified communications include chat functionality, collaboration tools such as desktop and data sharing functionality, phone connectivity with call control, video conferencing, web conferencing, and more. Both synchronous and asynchronous communication solutions fall under the category of unified communications.

Create a Blended Communications Strategy to Facilitate Enterprise Collaboration 

A truly successful unified communications strategy incorporates short-term solutions with long-term goals. Companies of varying digital capabilities may want to start thinking about these solutions as a big picture investment. Ask about and encourage vendors to offer solutions that integrate well with other business processes and your current communications and collaboration solutions.

Voice/videoconferencing solutions should work well with collaboration tools for easy access and fluid workflows. Voicemails in Outlook are one early instance of blended communications. Today, users can read a transcript of the voicemail as well as the recording. Connecting those two communications forums allows employees to efficiently log information into a CRM system or a collaboration tool, which may already employ email connectivity. These little integrations help employees manage their daily tasks more effectively, leading to increased productivity.

While companies can easily find integrations for company-wide collaboration and communication tools, you may also want to look at the integration capabilities of smaller scale solutions. For instance, marketing may not use a sales platform but may need to access pertinent details from sales to facilitate business goals. Integration across these types of collaboration tools simplifies overall business success.

Current Vendor Trends Influencing Blended United Communications and Collaboration

Today, vendors recognize the need for integration, and many compete for customer support. Cloud solutions in particular provide more flexible development and integration than ever before. Creating centralized, web-based portals and blending wired and wireless solutions streamlines work processes, and social platform/video integration also facilitates enterprise collaboration.

With a comprehensive strategy for unified communications and the right enterprise collaboration solutions, businesses can streamline internal processes while presenting a more unified front to prospects, clients, and customers. Blending digital tools for better functionality serves companies at individual, department, and enterprise levels.

Photo Credit: Cisco Pics via Compfight cc

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