4 Crucial, Bare-Bones Business Communication Technologies for 2016

As Chief Technology Officers and IT pros plan their strategies for 2016, communication tools are likely to play a central role. Research by Gartner reveals that the majority of executives aim to grow their organizations in the year to come and believe that technology will play a central role in expansion. A full 37 percent of organizations will focus on customer engagement programs, which are closely tied to business communication technologies.

In the realm of business communications, Internet of things (IoT) technologies, sophisticated web-based applications and mobile technology are likely to be key trends, according to Unified Communications. For companies looking to build a strong technological groundwork for customer relationship management, however, it’s worthwhile to take a look at the basics.

1. VoIP

For organizations across industries, making the switch to voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems can significantly improve voice communications. Organizations can realize immense cost-savings on monthly phone bills while benefiting from customer relationship management tools (CRM) integration, interactive voice recognition (IVR), and a host of other sophisticated features.

As Shoretel notes, using a combination of VoIP and traditional analog telephone lines in a private branch exchange (PBX) is the right solution for some companies. For organizations that need to maintain low initial investment costs, onboarding new employees onto VoIP phones while slowly switching over old analog lines allow you to spread costs out over time. With the use of a PBX, both types of phone technologies can work together.

2. CRM

About 87 percent of modern organizations are now using CRM tools. Adopting a centralized database for managing customer experience can facilitate transparency, accuracy and higher sales quota achievement. Modern CRM solutions aren’t anything like yesterday’s clunky databases. Today’s options are easy to use and can be integrated with mobile and VoIP technologies for maximum convenience.

3. Conferencing Software

The vast majority of modern executives believe teleconferencing software will replace conference calls, and 70 percent of modern workers would rather remotely join a meeting than attend in person. Investing in a company-wide teleconferencing solution can facilitate better internal collaboration and external meetings while reducing your costly dependence on business travel. Teleconferencing is available as an add-on feature with many hosted VoIP solutions.

4. Mobile Devices

Modern work is no longer confined to the office. Some 61 percent of employees report routinely performing work away from their desks, and the average employee now uses at least three devices at work. If your company hasn’t heavily invested in either organization-issued mobile devices or created a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, 2016 is the year to integrate mobile.

Mobile devices have become a basic tool for employees to perform work away from their desks, including at home, during business trips or even periods of down time. When coupled with convenient VoIP, conferencing and CRM apps, mobile devices can act as a centralized portal for continuous productivity.

Conclusion

 

For many organizations, these tools are just the beginning of a business communication technology strategy. As companies shift towards offering multi-channel customer support, employees may be called upon to monitor chats, enterprise resources planning (ERP) software, project management software and a host of other communication tools. Even so, ensuring that you’ve optimized your investments in the basics is smart. Without the right VoIP add-ons or vendor, your end-user satisfaction with your services can suffer. To maximize returns, your communication tools should work in tandem.

This article excerpt, by VoIP News, originally appeared here: http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/vo…