Richard  Hatheway
Richard Hatheway leads marketing for the Rapport communications platform for large enterprise marketing at Nokia. He brings more than 30...
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Richard Hatheway | February 05, 2016 |


How Your Communications Platform Can Drive Innovation

How Your Communications Platform Can Drive Innovation A cloud-based approach with open APIs is the path to creative use of communication and collaboration technologies -- and a better user experience.

A cloud-based approach with open APIs is the path to creative use of communication and collaboration technologies -- and a better user experience.

Large enterprises often face problems when providing communications and collaboration (C&C) services to employees, workgroups, and business units. Technologies and infrastructure that worked in the past may not keep up with the C&C needs of the enterprise any longer. Business requirements also change so frequently that technological flexibility is now a requirement. Many enterprises overcome these challenges by using some sort of communications platform.

C&C platforms have become ubiquitous across the enterprise landscape, as numerous vendors provide unified communication solutions. However, existing UC solutions don't always provide the capabilities the enterprise really needs. In fact, many solutions create more long-term problems than the ones they are trying to solve. Examples include: being locked into one vendor's technologies, lacking the flexibility to incorporate new technologies, not being able to scale as required, an inability to use best-of-class or third-party apps, and so on.

As most large enterprises employ a mix of office-based and remote employees, these problems play a significant part in how productive those employees are, and communications and collaboration directly impacts that productivity. A recent IBM study indicates that 94% of users were impacted by a lack of effective communication and collaboration, resulting in a potential loss of up to $13,000/employee/year. A recent IDC forecast indicates that the mobile worker population will grow to more than 105 million by 2020, so you can see how having effective C&C tools is critical. Without efficient C&C, everyone from employees to business units is affected, innovation is stifled, and the bottom line is negatively impacted.

What should an enterprise look for in a C&C solution to provide these capabilities? A C&C platform must:

  • Be cloud-based
  • Have open APIs and SDKs, allowing the enterprise to develop quickly and deploy its own new apps as needed
  • Enable the enterprise to take a best-of-breed, best-in-class approach to choosing and using third-party apps
  • Work with existing legacy technologies
  • Allow the enterprise to make use of and easily incorporate new technologies
  • Be flexible, adaptable, and scalable to support future needs

For communications and collaboration in the enterprise to truly be effective, a solution must allow the enterprise to customize and manage its own communication services, instead of having those be managed by the vendor. Through this type of solution, the enterprise is then able to develop contextual communications -- customized communication services such as voice, video, and messaging built into the service or application in use.

Contextual communication is already familiar to consumers through features such as "click to chat" and "push button to talk" capabilities built into apps and websites. Sadly, while these consumer-led technologies are readily available, they have not been widely embraced within the enterprise due to the prevalence there of older technologies, outdated infrastructure, and closed technological ecosystems that prohibit adoption.

Technological innovation is passing the enterprise by, causing missed opportunities for innovation. By not having the infrastructure in place to take advantage of and provide these types of features, the enterprise effectively stifles innovation and misses out on a quick and way of providing services that benefit both employees and customers -- all of which can directly impact the bottom line. In fact, a 2007 Gartner study showed that "by embracing and leveraging employee experimentation and experience with consumer technologies, enterprises can enjoy a significant addition to the resources they can apply to evaluating innovation."

The benefits of contextual communications are many; increased productivity, better use of available resources, and more efficient communication and collaboration are just a few examples. Embedding C&C tools such as voice, video, and chat inside the applications, devices, and tools they already use helps employees improve their productivity while enriching their communication experience. Customizable user experiences can be designed with applications to support specific needs, or third-party applications that provide those features can be integrated into the existing system. The enterprise benefits because efficiencies are improved through services optimized for the business. It also drives innovation, as the enterprise can develop new features and services as needed.

This freedom to innovate allows the enterprise to develop and provide new ways for customers to communicate and interact with the business. The benefit of this is that customers are more satisfied as they are more easily able to interact with your business, which leads to increased customer retention, which in turn drives increased customer sales.

In summary, building C&C tools into the tools, devices, and applications that your employees and customers use on a regular basis, as well as using your C&C platform to drive innovation, can positively impact your business and provide a competitive advantage.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

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Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.