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Conferencing Can be a Big Part of CEBP

Successful business managers know that even during a recession, saving money is only half the story. Just as valuable is the ability to do more with less and drive productivity to boost the bottom line and take advantage of new opportunities as soon as they arise. One of the best ways to do that is to improve business processes, so that everything employees do is as efficient and cost-effective as possible. One way to do all that is through communications-embedded business processes, or CEBP. Much has been written about CEBP, which some consider to be the point of maximum value for unified communications. In fact, many organizations already do CEBP; if your supply-chain system sends e-mail or pager alerts when items are out of stock, you are using CEBP. Embedding more advanced forms of communications, such as conferencing and collaboration, takes CEBP a step further by allowing people to react to events and exceptions in real time, with one another. If key decision makers have access to communications during a critical point in a business process, they can almost always get things done faster and more effectively.

Although CEBP is often mentioned in the same breath as UC, the latter level of communications is not required for more advanced CEBP efforts. Next week, I'll be participating in a webinar with the folks from conferencing vendor iLinc in which we'll explore the value of CEBP and conferencing-especially as it relates to sales and marketing. iLinc and have teamed up to integrate their products, with the goal of making the sales and marketing process much more streamlined and effective.

Today, for instance, when marketing teams manage efforts to create sales leads, there may be no clear connection between their internal sales system and the conferencing tools they rely on for brand-building events. So while the webinar technology may support registration, if the registrants aren't qualified and then followed up with in a timely fashion, the opportunity is often lost. If the webinar is integrated with CRM software, on the other hand, the campaign itself can be created within the customer management system; leads can be effectively qualified according to corporate policies and standards; and attendees can be tracked according to well-established timelines and processes.

Most organizations are years away from implementing advanced unified communications, which integrates presence, telephony, chat and conferencing on a single client. But that doesn't mean they can't benefit from advanced CEBP. To learn more, please join me for the webinar on Sept. 2.