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Too Plugged In? Change How You’re Connected
September 23, 2008 @ 06:00 AM | By Cambria Vaccaro

Sept23toopluggedinEven with so many new forms of mobile communication emerging and becoming popular with workers, it can some times be harder to reach people.  You now have tools that “follow” you when you’re out of the office like SMS text, e-mail, BlackBerry, cell phone, fax, and even the old-fashioned Post-It Note.  But with so many ways to communicate it can actually be harder for you to get a simple message to the right device, at the right time, to actually get through to someone.

Unified Communications lets you choose which technologies your co-workers use to communicate with you.  For example, mobile executives can use new technology to ensure they get e-mail when they’re at the airport, launch a Web meeting when they’re working from home, or send an instant message during a conference call. UC is the big discussion in corporate IT departments.  Many people find that UC helps them become more productive and efficient.  Businesses are learning that it promotes information sharing, and can significantly speed up the decision-making process. 

Did You Know?

+ Nearly 60 percent of North American businesses provide cellular handsets and service, or reimburse their employees for wireless service, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan study.

+ Information workers receive 100 messages per day in up to 7 different places according to a survey by Harris Interactive.

Conferencing and Collaboration companies like InterCall play several distinct roles in the formation of a good Unified Communications and Collaboration strategy. (You know I can't help the plug, I am a PR girl after all!) 

The goal of any UC strategy should be to help your company get more done in a smarter fashion, while handling all of the pieces of the various technologies involved in UCC implementations.   We can do a UC evaluation, help with the implementation process and consult with your company to help you make the right decisions, at the right time about what technologies will make a difference in your UCC strategy.  It’s a great advantage to have a company that keeps an eye on the big picture for you and your employees. 

Key things to think about when finding the right partner to help you build a UC strategy:

+ Consultation - It's important to have a partner whose core training revolves around helping your company increase productivity by reducing human workflow latency due to communication inefficiencies...of course this has been our core focus for years. 

+ Implementation - Key strategic partnerships as well as core competencies in communications technologies allow your partner to take your UCC project from concept and evaluation to installation, integration, and adoption.

+ Management, Support and Service - Find a company whose reputation is built on their ability to manage scalable services and technologies for their customers, with the best support and service levels.  Whether your perfect UCC solution is entirely on-premise, hosted off-site, or a mix of solutions, you need a company that can balance your internal resources or provide a completely turn-key technology support and management program for you.

When you’re ready to get serious about Unified Communications, make sure you have a partner who can help you plan, test, execute and prove a positive return on investment.   At the end of the day, look for a company who has the deep knowledge and relatioships needed to fully integrate Microsoft, IBM and Cisco Unified Communication products into your current network, voice and collaboration systems.. 

If you have any questions about UC, talk to us about them in the comments below. If you’ve already implemented a UC strategy in your organization, let us know how you did it!

Cam_2Cambria Vaccaro is Director of Marketing, Corporate Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

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Maribeth Brown Langford

Unified Communications allows me to stay in touch with people around the world from my mobile workplace. All of the productivity tools that I use to do business – my phone, IM, web conferencing, email and Outlook calendar are integrated using unified communication solutions.

Here’s a glimpse of how I benefit:
• The hassle of waiting for returned phone calls or emails is minimized
• Project collaboration with colleagues around the globe is as easy as starting a web meeting on-the-fly
• Outlook integration with web conferencing products ensures I don’t miss a scheduled meeting.
• One-click audio integration means I don’t have to have a list of 800 numbers and conference codes to sort through when it’s time for my meetings.

Unified Communications helps me bring the productivity tools together that I am already using and gives me more control over my day.

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