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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.

The first thing to do is identify which new innovations are relevant to the business. That's something which the solutions provider and the business should assess in tandem; only if the new technology will actually fit with the business' broader communications technology strategy should it be considered for integration. Total communications providers are constantly on the lookout for these new innovations, as they can often meet particular use cases which may then have broader applications later on.

How can total communications impact an employee on day-to-day operations?

The employee of today is increasingly likely to be a digital native. With a solid knowledge of social and mobile technologies and an agnostic approach towards platforms, they love to use social media and cloud-based applications to communicate, collaborate and share. They expect to bring personal consumer devices into the workplace, but with limited responsibility they are less concerned over the security implications of this for the business.

Integrating fixed and mobile is one of the biggest priorities for IT decision makers. The demand for flexibility without impacting team collaboration can integrate fixed and mobile communications into a single, intelligent and completely complementary service.

A total communications strategy also gives the IT team full visibility, allowing them to identify weaknesses and anticipate complexities in the network before they occur. They can install new applications and remove unwanted programs, configure email accounts and secure employee devices with local password protection and data encryption remotely, bolstering a business' overall security.

Third-party services firms, particularly systems integrators, have arguably been doing total communications for far longer than telcos and IT providers. What's the difference between what Vodafone offers and standard systems integration?

The difference is in compatibility and speed of deployment. Systems integrators are extremely good at what they do but the reality is that their job involves connecting multiple technologies and platforms from multiple vendors into a single solution. That can deliver extremely potent results, but it often takes a lot longer as a result. Vodafone, on the other hand, offers a single end-to-end platform for total communications, where every technology element is compatible with all others both now and into the future, as well as a global network of experts who are implementing best practices for all manner of organisations. So you get solutions that are both very tailored to the business but very fast to roll out.

What are the top three ways in which organisations can address the complexities that come along with implementing a total communications strategy?

  • Join fixed and mobile. When moving into more technically advanced broadband connectivity, fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) lets businesses simplify communications and become more responsive. FMC works by connecting fixed and wireless networks with a single number and voicemail and simple transfers between desk, fixed or mobile devices.
  • Enhance collaboration. A genuine concern for companies is that remote working creates distance between employees. By extending the unified communications approach to include collaboration tools, employees can share ideas through instant messenger, video conferencing or enterprise social media tools on any device through the same unified application.
  • Plan for a global footprint. Multi-national company expansion is rapidly moving from East to West, and it's worth noting that the new breed of "Asian giants" are disrupting the world economy with business models centred on connectivity. Apart from game-changers like Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi, you also have traditional companies successfully transforming their businesses, such as Samsung. This trend is only going to continue, and Asia's enterprises must remain connected as they burst into global marketplaces. A global communication strategy is essential for sustainable growth, and requires consideration of local workplace attitudes, the level of mobility that certain functions (like sales) may require across timezones and regions, and how regulations may impact different technologies in different places.


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