Getting Back to Basics: Mobile Communication 101 with Hosted Collaboration
When it comes to communication, things have gotten a little complicated in recent years. In the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You” from 2009 – the main character played by Drew Barrymore complained about having to check email, voicemail, text, and social media. And she is only trying to connect with one person. Imagine customers, vendors, and co-workers and keeping in contact with them!
Do More Devices Equate to More Productivity?
The trend towards mobility increased over the years as more devices entered the workforce. With bring your own device (BYOD) policies, employees started to add their own devices on top of corporate issued assets. At first, IT scratched its head as to how to manage it all. Today – well, there’s still a bit of head scratching going on – as security questions persist. However, we have become accustomed to a larger pool of devices in use by the workforce.
To be more specific, management has become accustomed to and – in most cases – encouraged mobility practices. But at the user level, the question must be asked, have we become more productive as a result?
Think back a couple decades (yes, DECADES).
Phones were the primary mode of business communication. If you were out of the office, you were out of the office. To catch up you’d simply check your voicemail when you returned. Today, we have a few more communication lines to manage. As a baseline, we have email, voicemail for cell and work lines, and IM to keep up with. In short, though we can now get in touch with our colleagues faster, staying on top of all the modes of communication that are in use can actually be more time consuming if not managed properly.
Cloud Makes It Possible
That’s where cloud unified communications comes in. The reason these extra communication tools are in use is to help us work smarter and be more productive. But, let’s face it, with the demands of the average workday, it’s hard to utilize the tools effectively without a little help.
As the name implies, unified communication solutions are meant to centralize our communication systems so that they are easier to manage. Rather than manually checking your voicemail, get a copy sent to your inbox, so you can listen while catching up on emails. Presence tools can help minimize time wasted trying to reach colleagues when they are unavailable. For added convenience, users can also take advantage of single number reach – through which calls can be redirected to multiple phones simultaneously – and voicemail consolidation in a single inbox.
But for more organizations, a complete upgrade is time consuming and expensive. That’s where cloud comes in. For a monthly subscription based on just how many users need the service – organizations can enjoy a turn-key service. That entire server, networking infrastructure that was needed to power unified communications is run in the cloud. No maintenance, no more upgrades. Just plug the phone into the socket and turn on the tablet and you have mobility at your fingertips.
As posed previously, if administrators were to explore whether users are truly more productive today – what would they find?
If the answer is no, there are tools available to help increase employee productivity and improve collaboration. Companies who have not yet implemented a hosted collaboration solution (HCS) should seriously consider one. Companies, who have already adopted HCS, should invest the time and resources to ensure their users know how to leverage the tools available to them. Despite our advancements, we could all use a communication 101 refresher from time to time in order to better leverage the communication tools that are available to us today.