Research suggests that 90% of organisations feel they could improve customer service delivery with a converged comms solution. Yet, despite this fact, barely a third (32%) of businesses have taken steps towards a converged telecoms solution, with just over half (56%) having only converged to some extent.
One of the things holding 44% of businesses back from any sort of convergence is the lack of clarity over what convergence actually is. Some providers define it as the supply of more than one communications tool or service to the same organisation. Others think of it as a full suite of mobile, data and voice, delivered as one combined solution.
For SMEs, the definition must be clear. Understanding what services you need and what you are buying the technology for can ensure your connectivity needs are being met in a more cost-effective way.The two kinds of convergence…
A fully unified communications system for business. One provider, one bill, fully scalable, integrated functionality across multiple devices and with market-leading business continuity. Structured convergence is a fully scoped-out communications solution that provides what 90% of businesses want.
This is an option for businesses who want to move towards structured convergence but who have pre-existing supplier contracts for some of their telephony needs. Providers can then deliver the organic crossover and amalgamation of whichever pieces of the voice, data and mobile pie that are not already tied up with other suppliers.
The role of mobile in convergence
Mobile plays a huge part in convergence. The appeal of a unified solution is the idea that the phone can always be answered, whether or not the operative is physically in the office. With new apps to control call routing and better potential for number rationalisation, the business mobile becomes a fully functioning office tool – whether the user is in the car, at home or at their desk.
What’s more, a unified solution provides clarity for the business. All services and billing come from a single supplier, so time spent managing providers is streamlined. Unified communications solutions also give businesses greater granular control over their telephony needs, with settings administered and managed via online portals and apps rather than having to make a call to their supplier.