This blog first appeared on Best in UC.
How can a business prospect, a client or other important person track you down? And how much effort is required on their part?
These questions are the impetus behind unified communications (UC). UC promises to make communications better, faster and cheaper.
Many potential UC customers push back at this idea. They like their mobile phone. Their email works just fine. So why jump to UC, which means learning a new way to communicate? For the answer, consider this example.
Years ago, an employee who joined a new company was typically given their own phone. They were issued a business card. The information on it was simple:
123 Main Street
Anytown, Texas 77777
234-5678, ext. 9
As time passed, a fax number was added to the card. Then, sometime in the 1990s or the first decade of the 2000s, an email address made an appearance as well.
Contrast that simple card with a business card or email signature you might see today:
Bob Smith – BSEE, MBA,CCXX, etc.
Complex Address, Inc., LLC
Working to Complicate Your IT Objectives
Ofc. 201-555-1212, Direct: 201-999-9999 Mbl. 202-987-6543
GOOGLE VOICE 234-987-6543
AOL IM : bsmith10I Skype: bobbys
Microsoft IM: bobsmith
Folllow me on Facebook: bebopbob
Find me on Twittter: bob@smith
Not included are the various other social networking sites like Linked-In, Plaxco and more. Just how do you best reach this person, and how busy will they be checking the 17 avenues they have given the world to reach them? Will they have time for you ?
The promise of unified communications is to simplify all these communications methodologies, as well as provide a key component: presence. Presence tells the world (or at least your defined world) your identity and your current availability. The technologies have existed for some time. The key is utilizing them to make it simple for the individual to manage his connectivity and presence, and for the world at large to interact with him.
So how do you get from that complex business card above to a simple, easy-to-use UC solution? Over time, we’ve developed this formula:
- Start with a well-designed network infrastructure that can handle your bandwidth and grow with your needs.
- Ensure a solid security system and policy is in place.
- Install apps that are built around your business processes. This includes a well-designed UC solution that encompasses voice, video, messaging and collaboration.
- Train the team on administration and use of the system.
Following these four steps, you can transform your confusing email signature into something more understandable for others – and more easily managed by you.
- ShoreTel among Unified Communications providers analyzed in Gartner marketscope
- Cost reduction, increased productivity listed among benefits of unified communications
- New alliance to provide secure unified communications systems
- Unified communications conference reveals coming IT transformation
- Counting total cost of ownership for unified communications