Exploring the Future of the Business Communications Landscape

tollring-the-future-of-commsIn this blog we’ll be exploring the business communications landscape, with insight into UC, CC and collaboration and conferencing technologies as well as exploring whether the line between UC, CC, Collaboration and conferences technologies is blurring.

The future of Unified Communications and new innovations that are driving it

The UC landscape is packed with innovations. New cloud services and supporting technologies are continually evolving and as a result, all supporting products and services need to be under constant review.

The current economic climate is also forcing businesses to undertake frequent reviews across their organisations. To identify efficiencies and save costs where processes or systems can be joined up to provide a better experience for both their users and customers. Many strive to attain a single view of both internal and external communication, driving innovation across the value-added applications and services that support a unified view of a business.

The channel has all the tools they need but with so many disparate technologies, it’s important that they take the lead in bringing relevant services together.

 UC and CC technologies convergence opportunity and challenges 

UC communications tools like Microsoft Teams are driving internal and external collaboration. As technologies converge, the channel needs to join up the technology stacks, extract the efficiencies, deliver greater knowledge sharing and ensure it is all designed to improve customer experience.

Not least, there is a strong appetite amongst businesses to achieve a much more joined up approach across all their interactions, to streamline processes and make everything easier to manage. This will help them to meet SLAs and deliver a more feature-rich service.

As in all markets, there will be the early and late adopters, but it will be the largest organisations that have the greatest opportunity to achieve efficiencies. However, it is also the larger contact centres, organisations with substantial teams and a sizable audience of end consumers, that will find the convergence of technologies more difficult.  They will be cautious about disrupting existing systems and it will take time for providers to meet their exact requirements.

 The post pandemic era has created opportunities for resellers and MSPs in this space 

The pandemic forced quick adoption of these new collaboration tools. There was not much time to plan a rollout. There is now an opportunity for resellers and MSPs is to work with those organisations to review their systems, identify efficiencies and help them to streamline their operations.

Whilst a customer may be content and the provider may not wish to upset the apple cart, this is the perfect time to take the initiative, deliver a consultative approach and refine their operations or suggest new solutions to improve efficiency.

Understanding the customer’s needs, what is happening in their market and how you can solve a particular issue is key to delivering a solution that meets their requirements. Do all the shopping for them and then provide the knowledge to drive positive steps forward. This is likely to involve convergence as technologies improve.

However, with everything online and on short-term contracts, it can be difficult for providers to tie-in customers and remain relevant. The answer is to deliver greater value and this can only be achieved by understanding the customer and knowing the type of services that will meet their needs. The generic stuff is unlikely to work.

So with a proactive approach, a strong and relevant message, providers can enhance the engagement and ensure all their services remain relevant.

What channel companies need to look for when choosing business communications vendors to partner with

When looking for partners, it is all about building relationships based on trust and communication.

The starting point is having a common outlook and objectives and then ensuring there is equality in the relationship. If you can start a relationship in the right place, with the right commercial agreement, you are likely to do well. Be clear on what you are looking for and stick to what you need without being too rigid.

Once an agreement is in place, channel companies need to prove that their services and those of their partners are delivering the promised efficiencies and this requires a continual review of performance based on reliable data. Providers need to show that adoption of technologies internally is good, measure customer success and retention, as well as demonstrate that value is being delivered. This is where analytics is critical.