How to keep information & conversations flowing between employees.

The Problem:  Keeping information & conversations flowing quickly between employees.   The Solution:  Unified Communications

How do you keep employees informed and communicating with each other if interaction needs to happen between large facilities, multiple buildings or teleworkers (employees working from home)?  In the past, you would spend your time walking or traveling to have face to face conversations or you would spend the day leaving voice mail messages until you finally connected.   The solution to this growing problem is called Unified Communications. The best description I can provide is that it allows people to quickly communicate using multiple electronic devices that show your network of peers if you’re currently able to talk, chat, video conference or IM.  All of this ultimately helps you reduce your response time to communicate.  Decisions can happen faster….Answers can happen quicker….Customer service can respond collectively.  This technology is moving your conversations away from traditional PBX or key systems (phones systems in the back closet) and turning them into software applications which move your voice, video and messaging across your IP network, thus allowing you to connect to co-workers in-house and around the world seamlessly as if sitting next to each other.  The software will also show your presence or your availability to talk. When you look at your screen, you will be able to see who’s available to talk before you ever initial a call.  This is how your response time to communicate greatly decreases because you don’t need to leave a voice mail if you know the person’s not available and when they become available, they’re presence will change and you can contact them immediately.  Also, you don’t care if they’re in their office, traveling remotely or working from phone.  Once they show they’re available, your call goes to the computer they’re using.  IBM released the package Sametime and Microsoft launched Office Communicator to set the standards in Unified Communication with many other communication vendors following quickly behind.  Another key element to Unified Communications is the ability to Federate with a separate company such as a vendor or customer.  For example, if you’re in constant contact with a specific vendor, you can Federate with their company and your contact will become a visible on your presence screen and you can easily see when they’re available to communicate with you instead of leaving voice mails back and forth.  As you can see, Unified Communication not only helps you communicate with co-workers in the same location, you can also improve communication with remote personnel and with contacts outside your organization  making for faster and more efficient communicating.

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