Communications Tools Drive Business Collaboration

(This is Part 1 of a two-part blog on collaborative technologies/communications.)

By now, it’s quite clear: Collaboration fuels the success of top-performing businesses.

Great ideas frequently germinate from the employees who are most connected to customers and key partners. And products and services thrive at these businesses because of teams that are constantly in sync thanks to the latest in communications tools. At the employee level, the demand is rising for increased availability of such tools: Eight of ten professionals say they need to partner with others throughout the day to get the job done.

In fact, the emergence of collaboration-focused business applications – and the communications technologies to support them – has the potential to transform the very culture of work teams. Enhancing voice and email functionality, for example, can empower employees to collaborate anytime and anywhere – no matter where they are in the world. After all, professionals spend most of their day either on email or the phone. Because of the developing sophistication of communications solutions, they can conduct business within a virtual “one office” structure that brings together teams regardless of how far-flung members are. And the good news? Because so many of these products are hosted, they operate in “set it and forget it” mode as far as your internal IT staffers are concerned.

Rather than paying IT to oversee the infrastructure, refocus them on optimizing the services housed on it for the business. Why pay them to just “keep the lights on” when you can spend far, far less by letting hosted services do it?

Data Backup removes the burden of time-consuming, manual data-backup jobs and gives employees tools to securely access corporate files via the cloud and continue collaborating, even if they’re out of the office. Manual, unreliable, tape-based, time-consuming backups on the one hand – automated, secure, always accessible, cloud-based backups on the other! The choices become easy.

Think about the amount of time and money these types of improvements will save your business. In the past, you’d be stuck with two options – none of which are particularly appealing: You could attempt to do it all yourself, allocating your manpower to tasks such as infrastructure installation, system management, help-desk calls, etc. Then you’d shell out more for on-site server power and cooling charges. Or you could buy from cheap but incredibly unreliable hosting services. Either way, you put your business at a competitive disadvantage against businesses that use affordable, enterprise-calibur, collaborative hosted communications solutions such as ours.

Surprisingly, many companies still aren’t making this transition. An astonishing 86 percent of managers and workers say that a lack of collaboration or ineffective communications is directly tied to job failures, according to a survey from Fierce Inc. And 97 percent say the absence of alignment within a team has direct impact on the outcome of any given task or project. Improved communication and collaboration through technologies could raise productivity by 20 to 25 percent, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

Therein lies the problem. Too many professionals don’t have the tools they need to advance collaboration, according Alan Lepofsky, who wrote an assessment report about this for Constellation. Employees, he notes, are ready to “take the training wheels off” and work in a completely open manner. The time is overdue “to enhance the business processes that support the core functions of people’s jobs,” says Lepofsky, who is a vice president and principal analyst for Constellation.

At Fusion Connect, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we continue to develop products and services to help our customers establish a fully immersed, collaborative environment. In Part 2 of this blog, I’ll explain how. Meanwhile, if you’d like to have a one-on-one conversation about what Fusion can do, please contact us.

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