Whether email, phone or over skype, most businesses at some point run into a problem responded to with ‘it was a communication issue’. So how do we prevent internal comms faults? Jonathan Sharp, Director at Britannic Technologies here delves deep into the discussion of internal communication and how to implement the bets unified solution.
Every business wants its employees to communicate with each other effectively and efficiently but today communicating in the workplace is often not a simple task. Companies are faced with challenges that hinder seamless internal communications such as not having tools in place that employees want to use or not providing training on how to use them appropriately.
The face of communications has radically changed in the last few years with the onset of the digital revolution which has brought about new communication tools such as: instant messaging, SMS, audio and video conference calls, and social media including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. The list goes on and will continue to do so with the speed of change in technology. Companies need to be aware that these tools are becoming essential to our communications in daily life.
Despite the plethora of communications tools available employees will still want to use the phone, whether that is the desk phone or mobile. Essentially, it is about providing a choice of communications tools for everyone and every need. If you don’t provide the correct tools, then you are suppressing progress and the transformation of business processes.
Unified communications (UC) solutions such as Mitel MiTeam, Avaya’s Equinox and Microsoft Team are conferencing and collaboration solutions that provide employees with the ability to make audio and video calls, screen share and work on documents together. You can also send instant messages, integrate with social media, and provide presence information so colleagues can see when people are available or in a meeting. These solutions can also integrate with your mobile, desk phone and soft phone.
As the mobile workforce is growing, with more people wanting and needing to work remotely, these solutions are vital to connect employees to the office. They provide them with the ability to communicate with colleagues, access information and collaborate in real time, resulting in faster resolution, and increased efficiencies and productivity.
UC tools eliminate the pain of communicating. Yet many companies today still solely rely on email and phone as their main communications tools. The issue here is that whilst email is of course good to document and track conversations and send over files, it is often an overused medium. People copy you on irrelevant email trails and clog up your inbox. Email creates a reactive environment and the advantage of unified communications solutions is that they create a reactive and proactive environment. For example, with instant messaging you can see your colleagues’ presence and availability, which is helpful when you require an immediate response. Therefore, it is excellent for quick questions and answers. Video and audio conferencing enable you to speak to people or a group of people without having to travel, therefore reducing cost but boosting efficiencies.
To implement a unified communications solution, you will require a robust IP telephony infrastructure and it is advisable that you work with a Solutions Provider who will work closely with you to understand what your technology requirements are. It is also a sensible idea to ask your employees what tools they would like to use for office communication. The Solutions Provider will also provide you with the necessary strategic and technical advice, and help you implement a training and change management programme.
The crux is that these tools are all valuable in isolation but together and used correctly they result in a powerful unified communications solution. If you choose to invest in the latest communications technology you will improve internal communications and, simultaneously, improve productivity and efficiencies; transforming business processes and helping you to deliver on your business objectives.