Unified Communications: What does it really mean?
Much has been written about Unified Communications (UC) over the years and today we have come to recognise that its application in business has become a key component in the digital journeys enterprises are taking as they seek to gain competitive advantage in their markets.
Unified Communications enables organisations to become closer to their customers.
The drivers for this are many fold but at the centre is the underlying business need to ‘Survive and Thrive’ which is continually being put under pressure by external forces and innovative third party organisations equally keen to disrupt those markets and take market share from established incumbents.
Business fear of disruption is a key factor in their examination or organisational structures and how they can be shifted from insular, inward looking silos in to outward facing, collaborative and multifunctional teams that understand what their customers want from their organisation.
As a result, organisations are looking to change both their management ethos and structures as well as implement integrated new technologies and applications that can best support and drive their collaborative and customer led strategies.
How can UC help solve these issues?
Firstly, to move from silos of closed departmental work units to multi discipline workgroups not only do the different group members need to communicate with each other but they also need the means to do so.
Legacy, departmental specific applications built up over years working in a silo are unlikely to be able to ‘talk’ to, let along be suitable for use by other existing applications built for different business functions.
A Unified Communications deployment will enable company-wide workgroups to all communicate with each other in a safe and secure manner and because today these applications are run on well-connected IP based networks those workgroups and their members can be located anywhere – nationally, internationally or at a home or branch office, yet all will retain real-time access to current data and information.
A Unified Communications deployment will enable company-wide workgroups to all communicate with each other in a safe and secure manner
A customer led strategy requires that user data gathered is shared amongst all interested parties – for example, product management and marketing teams need to know what the service and sales teams are feeding back from customers in to their systems.
The most important and valuable piece of information today is knowing what your users think of your products and what they are looking for in new products. Get that right and in to the right hands within an organisation and you can develop and deliver those products safe in the knowledge they are likely to be winners.