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Get a grip on total communications

T.C. Seow | July 6, 2015
CIOs should look to a single expert who can analyse and consolidate a company's infrastructure into one strategy that addresses the total or unified communications needs of the enterprise.

Technology trends are shifting control of IT budgets to the business, with Gartner forecasting the growth of shadow IT budgets to be at 90 percent by 2020. This increasingly complex stakeholder landscape makes it harder for the CIO to glean insights into critical network resources, while the CFO can't easily monitor usage and expenditure to see precisely where savings can be made, impacting planning and budgeting.

However, when communications is unified into a single, intelligent and completely configurable service, the enterprise benefits from increased productivity and overall business process streamlining.

Is there a "one-size-fits-all" total communications strategy?

The Asia Pacific region comprises more than 40 countries and territories, each with distinct regulatory environments, historical backgrounds, language, political and cultural differences. The range of total communications solutions to meet these needs is just as diverse.

While businesses can never fully pre-empt the economy, they can avoid a fragmented communications landscape by adopting the underlying total communications methodology of consolidating suppliers and embracing unified communications. By doing so, they have the control to drive efficiencies, the infrastructure to support growth no matter which way the market goes, and the technology to help their people find new and smarter ways of working.

The whole total communications premise sounds like it involves major vendor lock-in due to the amount of integration between channels that it requires. How can organisations avoid getting locked in eternally with a single, often-untested vendor?

The idea of vendor lock-in with total communications is based on the assumption that the solutions provider only uses its own technology and products. This isn't necessarily the case. Total communications providers like Vodafone will use a range of technologies in any solution – but these have already been designed and tested with our partners to ensure they're fully compatible. Essentially, you're getting the best of both technology and solutions knowledge in a package that has already been tried and tested, both internally and with many other global organisations that have already taken the plunge with total communications.

The best way to avoid getting locked in to a bad solution is to run a pilot program first – for a single department, line of business, or office. That will help assess the strength of the total communications solution at play; and whether the solutions provider is able to ensure the quality and service levels your business needs. For example, Vodafone has a Customer Experience Centre, here in Singapore and selected offices worldwide, for businesses to view their working demonstrations and have a taste of the benefits and solutions they can look forward to.

Is there a way for businesses to ensure that the technology they invest in now won't be made redundant when new innovations appear on the scene?


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