Every business has to have some form of communication so they can interact with their customers and support the transactions that they make. Today, we’ll take a look at several communications options that the modern business has to improve its organizational communications.
Video conferencing does two things for a business. It allows for direct communications between a business owner and other parties (customers, vendors, regulators, etc.) with options to talk face-to-face or share screens, documents, or presentations, building a video conferencing setup can significantly help your business.
Here there are two communications tools. One, the chat platform that allows people outside your organization access to product or service support, is very valuable for companies that don’t want to add web support to their offering. A more innovative solution, the Chatbot, has been made available only in the past couple of years, uses integrated artificial intelligence to create an automated chat program that is comparable, and much more cost effective, to having operators sitting on the opposite end of the computer providing support.
Voice over Internet Protocol has been around for a while now. In fact, most cable companies now offer phone systems using VoIP. The key to a successful VoIP platform is not overpaying for bandwidth. As your business phone system will run over your company’s broadband connection, you will likely need more than you are purchasing, but a VoIP solution still comes in as a cost-effective option as it basically eliminates one set of costs with business communications. Some VoIP platforms provide access to most of the tools on this list, further adding to the solution’s value.
We’ve come to the point where everyone is using a mobile device of some type. It’s rare (and a source of comedy) when someone in your business doesn’t have a smartphone. As a result, you have to have a solution to secure your business’ network from threats your employees may pick up when they are out in the world. To protect their business, many larger companies have begun to provide smartphones to their employees, making it that much easier to control what comes in and out with a mobile device management (MDM) software. MDMs allow administrators to have control over an organization’s data and applications, while allowing users to maintain some privacy over the applications they use and the communications they have.
If your business can’t afford to provide mobile devices, instituting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy that uses the same MDM to allow employees to access network resources and applications on their personal devices; and, giving the organization control over those applications and data. It’s more cost effective than providing mobile devices, while still having a similar effect and control over organizational data. Implementing a BYOD platform, while great for a business’ network security, can also be met with some employee consternation, so have your policy created before you begin implementation.
An Intranet is simply a data system that allows for file sharing. A company intranet can come in many forms: hosted onsite, private cloud, or some type of hybrid solution. A LAN-based intranet will allow any computer physically (or wirelessly) connected to the network, and with authorization to access that data, access today and resources on that intranet. It’s great for collaboration at a single location.
A cloud-based intranet will be hosted on private hardware, but it will rely on its integrated access control system to provide authorization. Cloud systems are available outside the confines of the physical network, and provides a lot of value for companies that need more flexibility with the access to data and applications.
There are many cloud services that a company can use to improve their communication. With options including email, instant messaging, and collaboration software, much of today’s business is done using these hosted platforms.
Unifying your business’ communications can have stark benefits. Typically to do so, a centralized software will allow each of a business’ communication methods, whether they be VoIP, instant messaging, video conferencing, etc. to report to be tracked in the same place, ensuring that no matter what time of communications a conversation happens in, an organizational copy of that communications will be created, improving operational transparency and providing immense value.
At Advantage IT Management, our IT experts can present your organization with all types of communications options to help improve your business. For more information, contact us today at 251-662-9770.