The availability of unified communications and collaboration technology offers disruptive advances to the enterprise pursuing innovation and streamlined productivity. When employees can access a variety of communications tools through a single application and are able to collaborate through shared workspaces, there can be significant advances in company objectives.
The difference between unified communications and collaboration tools: While they are not the same, there is some overlap between unified communications and collaboration tools. In many ways, unified communications fuels collaborative activities through seamless accessibility to communications tools, but collaborative tools are more than just availability of single-click email and text functions. Collaboration tools focus on shared communications, like collaborative workspaces and the equipping of a virtual team through video conferencing.
The benefits of unified communications and collaboration: The most obvious benefit to enterprises that embrace unified communications and collaboration are the improvements in productivity and efficiency. The user experience is improved by the ability to receive immediate responses to inquiries and the ability to access an entire conversation history through a single application.
Unified communications and collaboration tools available in the cloud are also generally subscription-based, so enterprises pay only for what they need and are able to scale up and down according to seasonality or other variations in business pace. There are broader savings as well, such as saving on travel costs when video conferencing replaces the need for in-person meetings.
Mobility is also better-equipped with unified communications because as long as there’s access to a phone and internet, users can access the system just as if they were in the office. On a more comprehensive scale, unified communications also offers increased organizational agility, enabling the use of virtual teams or individual remote employees.
One of the most critical benefits that unified communications offers is an improved customer experience. Whether customers text, call, or email, they can experience the same informed conversation, since the customer service representative will have access to the entire communication history in the application.
Potential pitfalls: Of course, there are always challenges that can occur with the implementation of new technology, including an overinflated idea of cost savings. Be sure to capture all aspects of the cost of the transition, including any possible existing contracts with communications providers and the full cost of scaling up or down in your subscription with the cloud provider.
It’s also important to plan ahead for areas such as team buy-in and training on the new system, as well as the anticipated contribution necessary from your IT team. More accurately, you need to prepare your IT team for the lack of contribution necessary, because the transition to a cloud provider means that the management and maintenance of communications will largely be out of their hands.
To learn more about the full scope of a transition to unified communications and collaboration, contact us at Net Tel One Communications. We can help you determine the full potential for the benefits the technology will introduce into your business operations, as well as any potential pitfalls that could create a challenge.