Today’s successful businesses are the result of effective collaboration between team members. It stands to reason then that your company needs to make it easy for your employees to communicate effectively with each other. With the internet making it possible to build a team spread across different continents, having the right tools in place to ensure effective communication between team members becomes even more critical for success.
Choosing the right tools
Implementing unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is only the start of your journey down the road to streamlined communications, better productivity and increased profitability. Once you have a platform, you need to learn how to integrate its features into your workflow. Otherwise, your UCaaS platform risks becoming an expensive vanity exercise which provides little to no value.
So, in this blog, we are going to look at five tools which can be easily integrated with your UCaaS cloud-based platforms to help improve efficiency. By integrating these tools the right way, you’ll be able to better manage complex projects, improve customer service levels, streamline communication across platforms and improve collaboration efforts across your company.
Unified messaging allows employees to access all of their messages from a single portal, regardless of which platform they were sent from. This reduces the risk of missing important information, which is easily possible when using separate email, voicemail and live chat platforms.
The latest cloud-based UCaaS platforms are designed for the needs of today’s mobile workers. They provide a single portal which allows employees to access the UCaaS platform from any device anywhere in the world. They can view emails, listen to voice messages and even get updates from colleagues about last week's meeting from any device at any time.
Unified messaging is one of the easiest ways of implementing a unified communications strategy in your business. But it must be done right if you are to reap the rewards. Some employees can be reluctant to share their mobile number and personal numbers for fear of receiving a barrage of phone calls and messages.
By making team members aware of the benefits of the system and showing users how they can control the data and messages they receive can ensure that all team members embrace the technology and are fully committed to the platform, allowing your company to get the full benefits.
Early adopters of video conferencing tools will remember the challenges these systems faced. Prohibitively expensive equipment along with unreliable connections and lagging video feeds were the frustrating result of proprietary OEM equipment, slow internet speeds and limited processing power.
Fast forward to today, however, broadband internet speeds and cloud computing power have eliminated all of these problems. Videoconferencing is now more stable than ever before, allowing companies to finally reap the benefits this technology can bring.
Using video conferencing, employees can now attend collaborative meetings from the comfort of their desk. Colleagues can also join these meetings from anywhere in the world using any device they choose. Smartphones, tablets and desktop PCs can all serve as a conduit, thanks to cloud-based Video Conferencing platforms from Skype, Cisco Webex and GoToMeeting.
The latest video conferencing platforms also allow attendees to join meetings through popular social platforms such as Facebook Live, providing even more flexibility to an already extensive suite of applications. Once you have realised the benefits of video conferencing, you will wonder how you ever survived without it.
With more and more work being carried out on a number of different platforms around the office, (including desktop, smartphone and tablet) it can be difficult to keep everyone in the loop. This is where calendar collaboration tools come into play. Calendar collaboration is the holy grail of unified communications and makes it easy for team members to view milestones, deadlines and meeting requests.
But that is only half the story. What happens when every team member has access to every other team member's calendar? By integrating apps such as Office 365 into your UCaaS platform, employees can easily schedule meetings, check on the progress of projects and update key milestones as they are completed.
Have you ever been in a situation where you need an answer to a question quickly? Traditionally, you would call a manager in the hope they are available and leave a message if they are not. Inevitably, this means waiting around for answers while the work remains incomplete. This can delay projects, create cost overruns and negatively effect on staff morale.
By implementing voice collaboration in your UCaaS platform, you get all the power of an enterprise call centre without the underlying cost. Hunt groups, find me/follow me, conference bridges, call reports and call forwarding can all be implemented easily without the need for expensive equipment and employees to manage it.
How does this benefit you? Find me/follow me services allow users to be assigned a virtual phone number which can be associated with a number of devices. The user can either set which device is to be used as their main number (find me) or allow the system to hunt around the associated devices until it gets an answer (follow me).
If the recipient can’t be found or the user has indicated they are in a meeting, the call will be forwarded to voicemail, where the message will be automatically transcribed and forwarded to the user.
Simple and easy call routing like this reduces the number of times callers are routed to voicemail, ensuring questions get answered quickly without compromising the efficiency of the company.
Early project collaboration tools consisted of databases or spreadsheets and possibly a calendar which showed projected completion dates. However, these were not available to all members of the team, which kept them out of the loop and forced the project manager to continually update team members as work progressed.
When combined with a UCaaS platform, project management takes on a whole new level. Now, team members can see at a glance when deadlines are approaching and which team members are responsible for them. If questions need to be answered, individual team members can be contacted directly through the project management portal without having to use a separate app. Any answers provided can also be kept inside the management interface where it can be accessed by other team members.
Putting it all together
With communication forming one of the most important bedrocks of success for business today, small and medium-sized enterprises need to ensure they are making full use of the apps and services that are available to them. Cloud-based UCaaS platforms can level the playing field between large enterprises and their smaller, more efficient competitors, but only if they are integrated with the rest of the apps used in the organisation.
At Immervox we can help you integrate our cloud-based UCaaS platform with the apps your organisation uses contact one of our solutions experts today and we can arrange a demonstration of our platform and how it can be used to transform the way your company operates.