Unified Communications: Click to talk

February 6, 2010  8:26 AM

12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software – Part 2 of 4

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Part 1: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software

Part 3: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software

Cut Time Wasted Searching for an Appropriate Specialist to Process a Client Call

Skill-based routing (SBR) software, integrated with your CRM and ERP software can help you reduce the time wasted passing a client call from one employee to another. With SBR software you can automatically route calls to:

  • a manager who usually serves a calling client or
  • an operator with a required skill set that can be defined from:
    • information about a calling client (such as his/her previous requests or his/her location and language he/she speaks, determined from a country/city phone code)
    • operator’s product expertise, overall skill-level and language capability.

Your benefits: SBR software is deployed to save your client and employee time wasted searching for an appropriate operator/manager in your organization, whose skills and expertise are sufficient to process the client’s request.

To save your employee time and effort to process client messages, you can also use unified messaging and voice mail service.


Save Your Time and Effort to Check Messages from Numerous Sources

If you have already got used to receive e-mails, voicemails and faxes but often don’t have enough time to check all these sources, then unified messaging and voice mail service can become your easy-to-use tool to:

  • speed up daily communications
  • receive timely all messages regardless of their source using your e-mail client or IP phone.

Your benefits: with unified messaging and voice mail service you can save your time and effort to check numerous message sources and always provide your clients/partners with timely answers.

Another application that helps save your time is a presence service.


Save Your Employee Time on Daily Communications

A presence service provides:

  • the real-time information about a user availability and preferable ways to communicate
  • an easy-to-use interface for a user to change his/her status and set a preferable communication way.

Your benefits: with a presence service you can save time wasted calling to several user’s numbers (office, mobile, home) and waiting for the answer until the proper one is found.

If you need to speed up communications at several company sites, then you can rely on a software-based attendant console.

Part 1: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software

Part 3: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software


About the Author

Alexander Anoshin is the author of the book, “The Connected Enterprise”, from which you can learn how to reinforce your enterprise with VOIP. Alexander is the CEO of BCS-IT, which specializes in enterprise VoIP software development.

February 3, 2010  9:03 AM

12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software – Part 1 of 4

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Part 2: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software

Part 3: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software

Today’s economy requires any business to use all the enterprise resources most effectively. An IP telephony network is not an exception. This four-part series will provide 12 tips to show you how you can:

  1. Automate client request processing and release your staff to fulfill more complicated tasks with a voice portal
  2. Save your client time wasted waiting for the answer with an IVR application
  3. Smooth out call peak hours and increase your sales with queuing software
  4. Decrease time wasted searching for an appropriate specialist to process a client call with an SBR solution
  5. Save your time and effort to check messages in numerous sources with unified messaging and voice mail service
  6. Save your employee time on daily communications with a presence service
  7. Get a single solution to improve call processing at your local and remote sites
  8. Get an exact picture of your customer interactions and define the ways to improve them with a call recording application
  9. Save time and money for communications with audio- videoconference software
  10. Cut your expenses for equipment by using IP phones instead of PCs with XML services
  11. Decrease your employee telecom costs with call-accounting software
  12. Reduce your VoIP network maintenance expenses with IP telephony management solutions


Save Your Effort on Client Request Processing

With a voice portal you can process automatically up to 80% of incoming calls: your clients can log into the system with their passwords and then, in accordance with their access rights, retrieve the information from your databases or request certain actions to be performed.

Your benefits: by providing this self-serving facility you can

  • Help your clients considerably reduce time spent getting information/managing their personal accounts
  • Release your staff to process more complicated requests

To save your client time you can also deploy an IVR application.


Help Your Clients Waste Less Time Waiting for the Answer

An IVR application provides you with ability to:

  • Process queued calls (play music, pre-recorded messages and information on the estimated remaining waiting time), when all operators are busy
  • Route an incoming call to an appropriate operator by using information entered by a caller in the tone mode
  • Provide a caller with access to pre-recorded voice messages and information retrieved from your databases (such as a caller’s bank account balance or currency exchange rates) by using pre-defined menu buttons.

Your benefits: you can help your clients save their time wasted waiting for the answer.

Another tool to improve incoming call processing is queuing software.


Smooth Out Call Peak Hours and Increase Your Sales

If you need to process a large amount of incoming calls and guarantee your clients that they will always receive a timely response from your client service, use virtual queuing software. With this software your client can leave his/her contact information and return to his/her business while an available operator will automatically call him/her back.

Your benefits: virtual queuing software can help you:

  • Save your client time
  • Compose an effective calling plan and thus improve your sales staff productivity
  • Increase your sales by reducing the number of missed calls.

If you wish to enhance these advantages and automatically pass incoming calls to employees with required skills, then you can rely on skill-based routing software.

Part 2: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software

Part 3: 12 Smart Ways to Save Time and Effort with Enterprise VoIP Software

About the Author

Alexander Anoshin is the author of the book, “The Connected Enterprise”, from which you can learn how to reinforce your enterprise with VOIP. Alexander is the CEO of BCS-IT, which specializes in enterprise VoIP software development.

January 31, 2010  10:28 PM

The Decision to Outsource UC

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Unified communicatons offers a variety of business process and financial benefits for organizations. More than any other technology solution in recent memory, unified communications is actually capable of delivering clear, short-term ROI to justify the investment.

Still, coming off of the economic implosion the world has been through the past couple years, leading many organizations to cut budgets deeply and staff even deeper, even a clear value like unified communications can be a difficult decision to make.

A recent article from SearchUnifiedCommunications illustrates the growing reliance on outsourcing to gain the benefits of unified communications without the capital expense for infrastructure and knowledge internally.

To meet growing demands, organizations are increasingly evaluating their UC application deployment, monitoring and management options. There are three options:


  • On-premise with internal management (build-your-own UC)
  • On-premise with third-party management (managed UC)
  • Fully outsourced (hosted UC)

To decide which is most appropriate, companies must consider capital and operational costs, management, flexibility and scalability.

The article goes on to say:

The type of managed services an organization uses varies. Once limited to whole-network outsourcing or limited equipment maintenance contracts, managed services now encompass an enormous variety of services and network-delivered applications.

Read the whole article to learn more about how leveraging managed service providers and outsourcing elements of unified communications can allow your organization to capitalize on the benefits of UC in a more cost-effective, and less cumbersome manner.

January 31, 2010  10:19 PM

We’re Using #UCOMS Instead of #UC, Pass It On

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

If you are a user of Twitter, then you’ve probably seen a hash tag or two. The hash tag is sort of like the Twitter equivalent of tagging a post using keywords. The hash (or pound) symbol is used in conjunction with the intended keywords to make the post easier for others to identify with searches or filters.

The default abbreviation for unified communications is “uc”, so #UC became the natural hash tag for Twitter posts related to unified communications. As it turns out, though, UC is also a popular and natural default for University of California, University of Colorado, etc.

The bottom line is that #UC has too much competition and leads to too much confusion, so unified communications experts and vendors have teamed up to adopt #UCOMS.

If you want to tag a Twitter tweet to identify it as a unified communications topic so others can find the post, use #UCOMS instead of #UC. Also, help to spread the word so that the rest of the UC community can make the transition and help end the confusion as soon as possible.

January 31, 2010  8:53 PM

Controlling Social Networking in the Enterprise

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

A recent article from SearchUnifiedCommunications highlights the growing risks faced by organizations from social networking.

Enterprise adoption of social media and social networking technologies remains a free-for-all with little to no governance, putting many companies at risk of security breaches and public relations nightmares.

Organizations are struggling with social networking in a variety of ways. On the one hand, many businesses have not yet grasped what social networking is all about or what the risks are. Users are freely accessing social media and exposing the business network to potential risks, as well as increasing the potential for leaking sensitive or confidential information.

On the other hand, social networking represents a significant opportunity for companies to market products and services and connect with customers and partners, but most organizations haven’t yet figured out how to properly leverage it.

Read the article to learn more about the risks and potential threats, as well as some advice and insight for establishing a reasonable framework for using social media in the workplace.


January 31, 2010  8:47 PM

Enabling Technologies Heralds Arrival of UC for Dummies

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Enabling Technologies issued a press release welcoming the publication of Unified Communications for Dummies.

Today “Unified Communications for Dummies” is available to the public. The book shows you how to meet today’s communications needs for businesses small and large in the unique style of a “For Dummies” book: co-authored by Satish Shah, Enabling Technologies’ Director of Business Development -West Region, to be published by Wiley Press on Thursday, January 7th 2010.

In the press release, Enabling Technologies also includes an excerpt from the Foreword, praising the book.

“Satish and Tony clearly explain a subject that is inherently simple in its promise and power, but made complex by the ‘visions’ put forth by competing vendors trying to bolt on features to their legacy communications offerings. By following these practical steps to get from where your organization is now to the stage of unlocking the full business value of a truly unified communications system, organizations can gain efficiencies and productivity in their environment today and build a platform for the future.” Eric Swift, General Manager -Unified Communications, Microsoft.

January 31, 2010  8:38 PM

UC Market to Reach $30 Billion by 2013

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

If you are a unified communications vendor or service provider, you’re apparently in the right business. If you’re not, now might be the prime time to get into the game.

Recent studies suggest that the UC market will explode over the next five years, blossoming into a $30 billion market by 2013. The article says:

“In the premises-based UC solutions market, we expect to see declining revenues for PBXs, audio bridges, and unified messaging solutions; however, these will be offset by increasing revenues in presence/IM servers, Web conferencing servers, team workspaces, and video endpoints and infrastructure,” said Brent Kelly, Senior Analyst & Partner at Wainhouse Research. “In addition, we are seeing significant interest and now some large deployments in the UC services market, and we expect managed/hosted UC services to grow tremendously.”

January 31, 2010  8:22 PM

Aspect Acquires Quilogy

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Aspect has purchased Quilogy, a company with established expertise in Microsoft unified communications and SharePoint collaboration, for an undisclosed price.

A NetworkWorld article summarizing the acquisition says “Aspect will apply SharePoint directly to contact centers, for example, enabling such services as expert search in which agents can find subject matter experts company-wide to answer callers’ questions.”

It should be interesting to see how Aspect takes the skills and intellectual property of Quilogy and expands its portfolio of unified communications and contact center offerings.

January 31, 2010  8:10 PM

Tips for Effective Remote Working

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Remote working is on the rise. Enabling users to connect and work from home or on the road can be a valuable component of disaster recovery plans, and contingency plans for epidemic outbreaks like Swine Flu. It can also help organizations cut costs and save money by reducing or eliminating the need for travel and face-to-face meetings.

Warwick Ashford put together a list of Five Tips for Implementing Remote Working. Here are the high-level bullets:

  1. Perform a cost-benefit analysis
  2. Consult the staff
  3. Establish a remote worker security policy
  4. Define the acceptable flexible work arrangements
  5. Conduct user training for effective remote worker

Take a look at the article for more details, and take a look at implementing an effective remote working arrangement for your organization.

January 31, 2010  8:00 PM

Trends for 2010

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

At the beginning of a year there is generally no shortage of lists and prognostications. Ray Depena put together his Five Trends to Watch for 2010 and Beyond for ColdFusion Developer’s Journal, including the following prediction regarding unified communications.

Telepresence and unified communications should continue to increase in use, specially as they become less expensive and more widespread decreasing the need for face to face meetings. I expect continued consolidation of telecommunications assets including the acquisition of Skype, and completion of the migration to IP by the end of the decade for large telecommunications providers.

The list of predictions that the rise of technology, combined with the economic recovery, will lead to a banner year for unified communications. Let’s check back in December and see how the year really goes.

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