Unified Communications Featured Article

Let it Snow - While UC Bolsters Business Continuity


December 24, 2014

Wintertime is here, and while Nor’easters, Alberta Clippers, and even “atmospheric rivers” threaten to keep schoolchildren, employees and bosses alike at home, customers are expecting their service providers and other businesses to be there for them. Customer support expectations don’t come and go with blizzards and deluges, so a good business continuity plan is critical—and unified communications (UC) could offer a foundational approach.

“Businesses [must] be ready to respond in any imaginable scenario-even when your systems get knocked offline or your staff is unable to get to the office due to inclement weather,” said Tadiran’s Lindsay Kintner, in a blog. “The good news is that by taking proactive steps and putting a comprehensive in place prior to disaster striking, you ensure that your business is able to handle all customer concerns.”

When Mother Nature decides to be capricious, one of the best defenses for business continuity is the fact that we live in an increasingly mobile, all-IP world. Giving employees access to UC tools, which integrate voice, video, instant messaging, email and presence into a single user-friendly interface, is one strategy that will allow them to work from wherever they are, even if it’s in front of a roaring fire at home.

“The tools allow your employees to access their mission-critical communications from any Internet-connected devices, empowering them to address customer concerns and respond to inquiries in real time,” said Kirtner.

Convenient distributed workforce functionality like the ability to route calls automatically from an office phone to a mobile device can be the difference between customers sending loyalty to your business for being there for them or moving on to a competitor.

Then there’s intra-employee communication. While customer-facing communications are critical, being able to adequately carry them out also means getting answers from one’s team when needed, along with collaboration abilities depending on the business. UC helps here too, with any-device conferencing and instant messaging.

“In today's ultra-competitive business world, you can't afford to compromise on the caliber of the customer service you deliver,” he added. “By planning ahead and leveraging modern communications tools, you guarantee that you're able to respond to your customers immediately-even when the weather interferes.”




Edited by Alisen Downey