08 Nov Drive Operational Innovation Where IT and Communications Intersect
Information and communications technologies are intersecting in new ways, giving enterprise employees opportunities to work and engage customers in more intuitive ways.
IT systems have long played an instrumental role in working in the background behind communications systems. However, they haven’t generally done much to make them better. Advanced network systems may allow for high-quality voice performance, but that is still a situation where IT is supporting good communications functions, not driving new capabilities. This is changing as unified communications systems increasingly take data from various sources and make it available to end users as they interact with customers.
Using data to transform customer interactions
Building data into communications apps allows employees to add a layer of knowledge to their interactions with customers.
For example, if a client is calling your support team with a question, the first responder can bring up that individual’s account details and have information like purchasing history, feedback that has been left with the company, notes from past support calls and even links out to social media profiles. All of this information is made available for your employee while interacting with the customer, allowing the user to focus on listening to the caller and focusing on solving the problem. Furthermore, the data within the system can be updated in real time, allowing the support worker to add in details about the incident as the conversation is happening.
This functionality is particularly helpful when workers need to pass a support call on to another user or department. The information from the call will all be available in the app, ensuring that the customer doesn’t have to provide the same information twice. As such, support calls are shorter, less frustrating and a better experience for customers.
All of these capabilities don’t just pay off for your customer support teams. Taking IT functions like data-rich apps and building them into unified communications capabilities also lets you transform your internal meetings.
“Moving from communication to collaboration generates value creation in team projects.”
Fueling collaboration with data-driven teleconferences
Chances are you’ve been on a teleconference where you don’t know everybody on the call well or fully understand the role in your corporate relationship. Data systems built into UC technologies can provide basic profiles of everybody on a call, including notes from different stakeholders about personalities, communications preferences and similar information. All of this information can lead to much more productive meetings as the strategic information provided within the system gives everybody the details they need to have the most productive meetings possible.
Moving beyond communication to collaboration is important if businesses want to actually get value from team-based projects. If people can communicate, they can pass information along to one another and effectively share work tasks. If they can collaborate, they will be able to look at information simultaneously and combine their skills in order to get the job done as effectively as possible. Integrating data and apps into UC systems lets teams interact in more intuitive ways, transforming teleconferencing sessions from events where teams touch base to a way to get actual work done.
Using IT capabilities to take communications to another level
These are just two ways that organizations can use systems that are typically siloed within IT and deliver them out to communications platforms to improve operations. A few other ways that IT capabilities are changing the way people communicate and collaborate in the workplace include:
- Provide Wi-Fi connectivity so users can access apps and communications systems anywhere in the office.
- Fine-tune apps and services to work well on mobile devices so users can interact easily when they aren’t at their desks.
- Empower remote workers to have the same capabilities as those in the office, allowing all team members to work as effectively as possible.
- Automatically update disparate apps and services from a central data repository so users don’t have to update information in multiple places.
All told, these capabilities come together to have a huge impact on both internal and external communications within a business. Instead of having to do more clerical work to support collaboration, IT tools bring together disparate data and technology systems so that end users have a simple, intuitive experience. Alignment between IT and communications systems fuels meaningful innovation that can change internal and external interactions within your organization.