While an enormous shift has happened in workplace modernization due to influx of mobile technologies, SME owners are torn between adapting new technology that fits into their way of working and getting their employees to work around restrictive technology. The traditional office still exists as the main workplace where IT and communications are confined by traditional phone technology. These businesses are mostly functioning by getting the staff to adapt to their new systems.
But for many SMEs, embracing modern work environments also means encouraging collaboration, using technology in smarter ways and fostering a positive workplace culture. Providing greater flexibility to remote employees has gained priority too, as SMEs want to encourage their employees to work productively irrespective of their location or time zones.
And here’s where Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solutions come in. One of the major driving factors of workplace transformation, UCC platforms represent the new way of working. The right UCC platform can help your SME grow. It helps streamline team communications, improves productivity and thus creates a better-connected and flexible workforce that attracts new talent. By enhancing communication and culture, it enables you to offer a better experience to customers and gain a competitive edge in this ever-changing market.
Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) platforms can transform the working practices of your SME. This how-to guide shares 5 top tips that you need to consider before choosing a perfect UCC platform that suits your SME needs:
1. Ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs
Currently the UCC market is flooded with solutions for every price point. Hence, it’s important that you choose a feature-rich solution that allows a host of team collaboration capabilities — HD video conferencing and screen-sharing, team chat, presence and even value-adds such as ‘threaded communication’ which groups conversations across all platforms and devices into one timeline. Always remember that having added benefits can help you have the added cut down on project timescales and boost overall productivity. Which in turn makes it more cost-effective.
2. Interoperability is a must
Lack of interoperability can cost you. Disparate platforms increase communication barriers instead of breaking them down. You need a solution that consolidates a wide range of paid tools into an all-in-one platform with the added reassurance of security. It should allow SMEs to effectively manage interoperability in a multi-vendor UC environment and deliver a consistent user experience across platforms and vendors. After all, isn’t that the core concept of team collaboration?
Having all your apps and programs operate smoothly across different devices and platforms is essential for streamlining team communications, especially for remote teams. Being able to access and share network files, share screens and launch video conferencing from any device simplifies collaboration and saves time.
3. Choose integration instead of complete overhaul
Though many SME owners are open to swapping their fixed-line phone systems for cloud-based VoIP services, bearing the cost of a major overhaul puts them off. Instead of opting for a solution that requires you to update hardware and/or software which shortens the lifespan of your current communications infrastructure investment, choose a UCC solution which can overlay your existing PBX call services. This not only enables you to streamline your SME communications, but also reduces the cost and complexity of scrapping your existing call server.
4. Consistent user experience
When our personal communication apps can become so user-friendly, why is not so in the case of our business equivalents? Your UCC solution should offer an intuitive, easy-to-use-and-manage user experience across platforms — something that gives users a single window for all their communications, while eliminating the need of a range of apps that work in silos.
5. Flexibility, scalability and reliability
In today’s world of bring-your-own-technology, it’s crucial that your UCC solution adopts a consumer-centric approach — one that allows users the flexibility and autonomy to use the devices whenever and wherever they want. It should also be capable of preventing common BYOD dangers such as damaging data breaches and malware infections that find their way onto the corporate network. Be sure to consider a reliable, secure UCC solution that has standard security built-in in the form of audio and media encryption for messaging, calling and file sharing.
All business investments require careful evaluation and same goes for choosing the right UCC tool for your enterprise. Rolling out a major UCaaS implementation across platforms is an arduous task and requires special expertise, hence it’s crucial that you choose a vendor who comes with a solid, successful track record. Bear in mind that a great UCC experience can empower your mobile workforce and it might be the smartest decision you make for your business communications system.
Looking to future-proof your business communications? CounterPath's Bria Stretto™ offers highly secure and feature-rich cloud-managed Unified Communication (UC) solution with HD audio and video conferencing, messaging and screen sharing within the Bria® softphone experience. Bria Stretto allows IT managers to provision, distribute, manage and deploy a full UC solution with ease and efficiency as well as monitor network quality, client usage and troubleshoot issues remotely.
Specifically designed for business and enterprise users to enhance communication and collaboration, Bria Stretto™ enables you to you easily manage and update softphone clients from one central platform. Increase your SME productivity by providing collaboration tools that can be used over any network, with any device and from any location.
Speak with our solutions expert to know more about Bria Stretto™: