Well we did it. My husband and I recently dropped my son off at college for his freshman year. Our first one out of the home, living on his own and ready to conquer the world. Many thoughts were going through my mind on the six hour car ride home, such as; “Will he remember people’s birthdays? Should I have left him with emergency contact information? Will he remember to separate his whites from darks when doing laundry?” But, the most important question was, “How will we stay connected? I want to be there for him anytime and from anywhere!”
It reminded me of the many ways that businesses want to stay connected with their workforce and customers. Being able to have a conversation, share information, collaborate or have a meeting is critical to how we conduct business and get answers. But even more demanding is the fact that many people want to be reachable anytime, anywhere, on any device and on their terms. This is the power of what Unified Communication can offer to the work force.
Unified Communication refers to the integration of technologies that help people exchange ideas and allows them to be more productive. Typically this is done in real-time, allows for presence information, instant chat, mobility, and can use audio, web and video all in one. Unified Communications can allow a person to be able to answer a phone call on a desk phone or through an app using a smart phone, desktop or tablet. Imagine the ability to start a conversation on your desk phone, being able to transfer that call to your mobile app so you wouldn’t be late for your next appointment, and then transferring it over to your tablet to finish the conversation using video and web allowing you to share a document with your caller once you reach your destination…all perfectly transparent to the caller on the other end.
When I first started in telecom, having a stutter dial tone or a message waiting indicator light was an important enhancement to notify you that someone had left you a message. Over the years, being able to receive your voicemail as a wave file in your email was a pretty cool technology upgrade. This allowed people to listen and respond to the caller from anywhere and typically faster than before. It also makes it easy to forward that message to another person within the organization to listen and respond back. With Unified Communication, you can have someone in your office answer a call, check your presence to see if you are available for a call, push that call out to you anywhere and on any device by dialing one extension, and you can instantly chat with another person in your office while on the call to get the customer an answer to their question. Effective…productive…timely…that is the power of Unified Communication.
So how will I stay connected with my son this year? I have multiple technologies at my fingertips to help us stay in touch. I will text for quick responses, email for important information, and call or video when I need that personal touch. But, through my Unified Communication tools, I will be reachable anytime, anywhere and on any device when he reaches out to me as well. PRICELESS!