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Connecting the dots with unified communications

In reality, using numerous devices and communication channels can actually muddy the waters and make cooperation a more difficult task.

With today’s always-connected mentality and the anywhere enterprise becoming the norm, the lines between our professional and personal lives have become blurred.

Coupled with the developments in mobile bandwidths and cloud computing, we can complete work at home on a personal device or update personal networks on office equipment. We’re free to choose our preferred device to complete any task at any time.

With Frost & Sullivan’s estimated growth of connected devices to 80 billion by 2020, there is little doubt that any remaining divide between the home and office worlds will disappear in the next few years.

While these predicted developments promise improved productivity, they also pose major operational challenges.

An organisational nightmare

We already reside in a hyper connected world, where employees are able (and often expected) to continue working while out of the office. Checking work emails on a personal device at home and connecting to personal networks on office equipment hasn’t just become the norm – it’s now often a necessity for employees to effectively carry out their duties.

This level of connectivity allows employees in multiple locations across differing time zones to seamlessly cooperate on professional projects, or at least that’s the theory.

In reality, using numerous devices and communication channels can actually muddy the waters and make cooperation a more difficult task. It’s not unusual to find a single correspondence thread spread across Skype, email, SMS, Google Hangouts and other instant messaging services. Not to mention the fact that third-party and free apps used by employees could potentially compromise the security of the communication data.

There’s no uniformity to these disconnected conversational strings, making organisation, securing and tracking a near impossible task. This decentralised method of communication only exacerbates the problem of delayed responses and potentially lost information.

With no central hub as a reference point, shared documents and conversations multiply and evolve independently. A solution to this would be unified communications (UC), which offers a secure platform for integrated collaboration that prevents separate departments from taking a project in different, conflicting directions.

Without such collaboration your key decision-makers are going to waste an inordinate amount of time double-checking each department’s progress to ensure they have all the details before deciding on an action.

How unified communications can help

There isn’t one communications channel suitable for every situation or individual, so bringing various communications streams together onto one easy-to-access platform is vital for the successful growth of a business.

UC provides a central hub for all communications, making the process of collaboration far easier for your team. Voice data is converted into data packages so those without phone access can still receive updates via email; and conference audio can be recorded and listened to at a later date. All of this allows employees to communicate and work from the device they prefer and ensures a more fluid, collaborative and productive development process.

Tying all communications streams into one central hub keeps everyone on the same track and reduces the risk of misunderstandings and wayward development.

Despite being a relatively simple concept, the ROI of deploying UC is substantial. A study by CIO Insights found that through deploying unified communications, organisations can realise productivity gains of up to 20 minutes daily per employee and 240 hours on a yearly basis, by reaching them on first-time try.

Rolling out a UC framework is imperative to future-proofing your company’s collaborative architecture. Companies that recognise the importance of deploying UC need to partner with experts who understand the company, their business and the markets in which they operate.

If you are considering implementing a UC framework in Asia, talk to us.

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