It's fair to say that most software solutions that modern enterprises implement fit into one of two boxes: those that enhance and complement current workflows and those that require existing processes to adapt.
As anyone who has struggled to change established practices in the face of a new rollout will attest, it's clear the former is the better option. Every modification to an enterprise's stack should promote communication and productivity. Companies that fail to effectively integrate solutions risk negative outcomes like stagnate communication, decreased productivity, and frustrated employees. In contrast, companies that effectively incorporate the right solutions experience how communication can boost productivity.
Exploring the Bottleneck
Employees are more productive when they're provided tools that complement existing processes. Otherwise, tools could create a bottleneck in productivity.
Imagine that a successful enterprise with lingering customer service issues attempts to curtail inefficiencies by rolling out a new customer relationship management (CRM) solution like Zoho or Salesforce. Customer-facing employees — such as sales or support reps — are considered the primary end users. Employees with less customer interactions, including support reps with larger technical roles, are left to their current processes and tools. Why waste money on licenses the second group will barely use, the company reasons, when customer-facing staff are ultimately the ones who need the tools?
Unfortunately, this rationale has consequences. Baseline customer service interaction, an area the company never really struggled with anyway, thrive under the CRM's implementation. Customer handoffs to support or other technical staff, on the other hand, routinely suffer the same sort of frustration about poor internal communications and productivity that plagued the company to begin with.
If the silos between apps are causing losses to productivity or impacting communication in some meaningful way, UCaaS can be a rare silver bullet.
Integrating Communications Solutions
Whether rolling out a CRM solution or another type, it's possible for companies to avoid the above situation. Maybe a company is trying to create better communication between departments that often team up. Maybe it's looking for something that improves employees' ability to share data across touch points. Maybe it wants to add a new video conferencing app, making it easier for teams to communicate face to face. The gist, regardless of situation, is that the tool should complement current workflows.
The best communication tools marry productivity with efficiency. Unified communications as a service (UCaaS), for example, acts as a communicative bridge between the tools that companies already rely on. The tool involves powerful application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable advanced features in a fraction of the time, compared to traditional development. Whether a company relies on homegrown software solutions, off-the-shelf commercial products, or customized, vendor-provided tools — or a collection thereof — the solution creates a more homogenized communication and productivity environment for all.
Making the Most of UCaaS
This means multiple things in real-world terms, all of them great for businesses with communication and productivity needs. The organization described earlier, for instance, reflects a simple use case with potential for big payoff when it comes to customer service efficiency issues. Data points used in various departments, ranging from low-level service to high-tier support, can be blended, a change that makes interaction easier on both sides of the counter: Reps get quicker access to notes, call history, and other critical data, while customers don't have to explain the same issue multiple times.
This high-level capability provides a foundation for an endless list of use cases. A company wishing to integrate various calling or messaging features into their collection of homegrown apps can follow through without building an entire back-end communications network. Another organization, concerned its employees spend too much time bouncing between various apps, could adjoin multiple data sources into a custom reporting dashboard, saving time by reducing the number of clicks and logins employees must undergo.
Communicating in Context
These examples truly underscore a small fraction of what UCaaS can do. The bottom line, however, remains the same across use cases: If the silos between apps are causing productivity loss or impacting communication in some meaningful way, UCaaS can be a rare silver bullet. Why continue letting software get in the way of itself when fluidity matters so much in the modern enterprise?