While newer technologies like AI and blockchain are still generating plenty of buzz in the news, the reality is that few small- and mid-sized businesses have been able to adopt or effectively utilize these technologies. The delayed uptake can be attributed to a variety of factors—cost, infrastructure, operational resources, and more, but the end result is that many organizations are instead turning to more practical and affordable alternatives to boost productivity and engagement. The good news is that with the right vendor companies of all sizes can now access the latest and greatest technology to keep their business moving forward.
Chief amongst those alternative technologies are unified communications and collaboration (UCC) platforms. Much like Dropbox did for online storage and Google did for email years ago, today’s leading UCC vendors are democratizing effective, simple, and economical collaboration capabilities for organizations of all sizes.
Visual Communication Is Readily Available
Video conferencing technologies serve as the backbone of most UCC platforms, and many providers offer a range of high-quality, economical cameras and tools to help companies maintain effective, engaging communication between team members, as well as with outside customers and partners. Just as you would experience in any face-to-face interaction with another person, visual cues from facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language play an important role in helping collaborators better understand one another and convey more complex messages in less time. And, while many organizations have already adopted some level of video communications within their business, Aragon Research predicts the trend will only continue to grow as more businesses turn to UCC technologies, with 65 percent of conference rooms expected to be video-enabled by 2020.
Building Stronger Relationships Around the World
Establishing strong relationships is now more difficult than ever before in the era of global business, when companies are hiring remote staff and communicating with other organizations all around the world. That lack of physical proximity to colleagues and customers alike can often lead to disengagement and disinterest, making meetings less productive, slowing work and potentially risking customer relationships. Businesses of all sizes are now better able to resolve this problem by emphasizing the use of UCC technologies like video conferencing and real-time file sharing to help create the look and feel of an in-person meeting, encouraging better engagement and a sense of connection between meeting participants. By allowing collaborators to see and hear each other, and work together on projects as if they were in the room together, companies can foster stronger relationships essential to maintaining high productivity, retaining employees, and growing customer business.
Consolidating Collaboration in One Place
Many organizations are also turning to UCC platforms for their ability to consolidate communications in a simple, centralized system. By offering a range of features within one platform—from chat, video, file and screen sharing and more—UCC technologies save employees time otherwise spent juggling between multiple, siloed applications, and ensure no communications or project updates are ever lost because a team member can’t remember where the information was stored or wasn’t able to share it because of system incompatibility. Moreover, most UCC platforms are able to quickly and easily integrate with a company’s existing infrastructure and offer integrations with a number of third-party applications, unlike newer technologies which require an updated or entirely separate tech stack, costing additional time, resources, and funds to operate.
The right UCC vendor can offer organizations of all sizes the simplified and efficient communication and collaboration capabilities they need, driving higher productivity and engagement while keeping costs low. As businesses around the world turn to accessible technologies to compete with market leaders, unified communication and collaboration platforms will no doubt continue to serve as a key pillar of their success.