Make those minutes count

Create Superior Collaboration Without Overlap and Overspending

Collaboration tools are necessary for optimizing communications, but enterprises are using overlapping technologies.Collaboration tools are a necessity in today’s market, where instant responses are expected and a growing remote workforce demands virtual meetings and file-sharing capabilities. Across many enterprises, collaboration is occurring, but often without a cohesive strategy for managing or optimizing these tools. There’s a lot of overlap and overspending happening with communications, where multiple apps are chosen for various collaborative features.

It’s important to streamline every area of IT in order to remain competitive and offer a superior end-user experience, and collaboration tools may be a good place to start. Take a look at four steps you can take to begin the process:

Start with a collaboration technology assessment: An audit will allow you to get a full picture of the tools that are being used and what they are being used to do. Look at data, but also allow for open conversation where employees can easily divulge the tools they’ve been using. This will help you identify shadow IT and determine how to prevent its use in the future. Identify areas where there is overlap in the features provided by the various applications.

Consolidate the solutions: The average enterprise shuffles between four collaboration tools to piece together a good solution for their teams’ needs. Each of the tools may not be used to its full potential, but the enterprise is still paying the subscription fee. Keep in mind, too, that the total cost of ownership goes beyond subscriptions, with deployment costs, minute-based fees, and support contracts also contributing to the total.

Build a cohesive collaboration solution: Applications exist that will solve your challenges through a single tool. There are three basic areas you should evaluate when determining which collaboration solution to invest in:

  • Interoperability: The solution you choose should work well with the other systems you regularly access, and should make it easy for your vendors and other business partners to engage with it.
  • Reliability: Don’t underestimate your need for quality video or how much disruption in your business processes can cost your company. Invest in a provider that offers reliability.
  • Security: Make sure all data in motion is encrypted and be sure all your solutions are safe within your enterprise’s firewall.

Get key stakeholders involved: Consolidating your collaboration tools requires the buy-in of key managers and others that can help “sell” your new solution. Involve others in evaluating application options and in other phases of the process. Once you’ve decided, enlist these leaders to help build positive energy about the change throughout the company.

With today’s global communications systems, your employees no longer have to be in the same room to work together effectively. Modern networks allow individuals around the world to collaborate in real-time through voice, video, and web-conferencing. T2 has the tools to allow you to meet, chat, share, and collaborate from anywhere, on any device. Contact us for more information.

How 5G Broadband Will Improve Unified Communications

Wireless, Unified CommunicationsThe unified communications experience could significantly improve with the advent of 5G wireless broadband infrastructure, expected to hit the market in 2020. There’s excitement across the industry, with many anticipating that faster speeds and expanded coverage could be just the beginning. 5G may also create a launching point for new technologies.

Among unified communications subscribers, the expected launch of 5G will add significant improvements for mobile users:

Better voice and video: Unified communications gives office dwellers a significant improvement in voice quality over traditional private branch exchange (PBX) systems, but mobile employees have not enjoyed that same advantage. With the implementation of 5G wireless broadband, however, mobile users will appreciate better voice and video quality for improved communications.

Robust mobile experience: While much of the workforce is on the move and doing business anytime and from anywhere, the experience can be a bit inconsistent. Most companies push through and don’t let this affect whether they are encouraging employees to work in a mobile setting.

Once 5G is in place, mobile broadband will be on more equal footing with unified communications in the office. Connections will be consistent and reliable, eliminating drops in coverage. The connection will also be richer, integrating unified communications with key business applications available through the cloud. While some businesses already make mobile productivity a focus of their workforce environment, the launch of 5G will expand this focus and introduce it in companies that have needed a more reliable and rich mobile experience.

Connection with artificial intelligence (AI): The use of 5G broadband wireless will support unified communications as it integrates AI technology. Mobile employees will be able to set up AI support for routine customer questions. The introduction of 5G will also integrate with digital assistants that will be able to schedule appointments and set up reminders with relevant information.

The connection with 5G is anticipated to feature data-transfer rates from 10 to 20 gigabytes per second, which should result in 10 to 100 times faster connections than those experienced with 4G. This will provide the infrastructure to create game-changing innovations like an AI assistant that can assess a problem, perform a full analysis, then report back to a mobile employee through a video connection or quick chat.

Want to know more about the benefits expected with the launch of 5G wireless broadband connection? Talk with our consultants at T2, where we can not only discuss 5G, but also help you make the most of your current unified communications system.