Fonality Blog | VoIP, Unified Communications, and Business Tips

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Unified communications is only as valuable as the training supporting it.

It's one thing to adopt unified communications; it's a whole other story to get the most out of it.

Just like any other business investment, companies need to develop a comprehensive strategy to fully leverage the capabilities - and potential value - of a unified communications platform. Failing to lead a targeted effort can actually result in more harm than good by contributing further to a fragmented workplace. With the right foundational mind set in place, your organisation will have no troubles integrating the many applications of UC into daily operation.

Taking a top-down view

The average employee loses two hours of productivity each day through a lack of a communicative or collaborative system in place, Fonality research shows. The key to tapping into this lost potential isn't necessarily just rolling the tools out, but providing training for employees on how to best leverage the user interface - in this case, Heads Up Display - that provides access to the applications.

Develop training that adheres to each individual role.

When drafting the internal guidelines for using the software, note that the industry you're in will inherently mean some functions will be more valuable than others. For example, customer service representatives should be skilled in using the drag-and-drop call feature to efficiently move clients to the right point of contact, as well as having sound knowledge of the recording software. Sales representatives should be well versed with collaborative features like video conferencing, screen sharing and smartphone access.

Above all else, take the time to identify key business problems. Developing user-based scenarios to overcome these challenges is an excellent way of gaining a better understanding of how the tools should be regularly deployed, Toolbox Tech reported. Giving this information to managers and regularly capturing metrics as to how the system has improved productivity can help the company realise the return on investment.

Incorporate unified communications to allow for mobile access to information.Employees should be able to tap into unified communications from their mobile devices.

Encourage cross-departmental collaboration

Far too many companies introduce unified communications solely in the form of VoIP for the business phone system. By doing so, they fail to truly incorporate the components that improve employee efficiency and productivity and drive changes to the bottom-line.

UC 2.0 is a step towards better collaboration.

This type of adoption is classified as UC 1.0, according to a survey by PwC. Roughly 55 per cent of the respondents fell in that camp, while just 21 per cent were identified as UC 2.0 users. The latter were characterised as having fully integrated collaborative applications like instant messaging and employee presence software.

The difference between the two is simple; the latter combines desktop applications with the business phone system. Rolling out the entire unified communications platform - rather than VoIP and external productivity applications separately - will help companies avoid negatively-geared digital disruption in 2020 when the following is expected to happen, according to PwC:

  • Smartphone connectivity to the business phone system and unified communications tools will be standard.
  • The majority of services will be hosted on the cloud, or on a hybrid PBX infrastructure.

Adopting UC 2.0 now not only puts organisations a step ahead of their competitors, but it allows their employees to get comfortable with the collaborative software that will become essential. Foster better teamwork through strategies aimed at educating the workforce about effectively project managing on the unified communications platform. In the end, the time saved by using applications directly integrated with the business phone system will create a noticeable impact. Contact a Fonality representative today to learn more.