How to Untangle: Integrating Business Processes with Communications
Few business professionals doubt the value of the latest communication technologies: unified messaging, flexible call centers, mobile access, remote conferencing, and more, are all proving their worth when it comes to boosting productivity, distributing information, improving customer support, and collaborating across teams.
However, implementing these technologies as discrete tools often presents a major challenge: business professionals can find themselves on their own when it comes to figuring out how to integrate the tools into their existing workflow.
They might even have to change their workflow to adapt to the new tools.
Avoiding additional complexity, both for the administrator and the end user, is critical to the success of a new UC system.
Whether it’s integrating phone calls and voicemail into a CRM application, bringing instant messaging into a help desk workflow, or adding automated phone calls to customer service escalation, there are several important questions to consider:
- Do the tools work together? Do they form a single, integrated and reliable system that connects geographically dispersed locations and is easily accessible by the entire enterprise?
- Does the system adapt to the way you do business, or does it require everyone in your organization to adapt?
- Is the system built on an open platform with a software development kit (SDK) available that allows you—or a VAR or system integrator—to create custom applications that integrate into your existing business processes?
- How easy is it to deploy and manage the system? Even if it’s capable of customized solutions, are they too difficult to create and manage?
- Once deployed, are all the different capabilities of the system easy to access from a single interface?
- How much training is involved, and how long will it take for users to get comfortable with the system?
If it doesn’t immediately increase productivity, it’s just another technology
For most organizations, the only value of new technology is in its ability to help individuals and teams do their job better or faster.
When technology adds a new layer of complexity or forces the organization to adapt to its limitations, then the pain can be greater than the gain.
Make these your top four considerations:
- A single integrated system
- A system that adapts to your existing business processes
- An open platform that makes it easy to create custom, fully integrated solutions
- Powerful, easy-to-use, and easy-to-access features
If you’d like to learn more about how ShoreTel helps untangle the challenge of your shrinking IT team and growing IT complexity, contact your local ShoreTel reseller today.