When enterprise-level collaboration first entered the market, it was largely piecemeal. Standalone services like phone, email, audio/video conferencing, chat and instant messaging weren’t bundled into single solutions. This led many companies to purchases a range of products as a means of getting each needed service. But, now, those solutions have changed.
Many standalone services began rolling out new features and tools, becoming more robust and comprehensive. However, businesses didn’t necessarily pare down the number of products they maintained, leading to significant overlap.
Overlapping communications tools can actually be harmful to operations and overall efficiency. If you haven’t consolidated your overlapping communications tools, here’s why you need to get started today.
Duplication Harms Productivity
When it comes to applications, everyone has a favorite. And, if your company uses multiple solutions, it’s unlikely that all of your employees prefer the same one.
This leads workers to use the ones they favor more often than the others, and important communications may not be received in a timely manner by someone who prefers another solution. In worst case scenarios, this means that something critical could be overlooked, lowering the chance of a rapid response or action.
Additionally, having multiple applications running, as a means of ensuring that critical information isn’t overlooked, is cumbersome. It can strain computing resources, harming performance and making everyday tasks take longer to finish.
How to Consolidate Your Overlapping Communications Tools
Consolidating your communications tools is one of the primary tenants behind the unified communications (UC) movement. It centralizes messaging, conferencing, and other forms of communication, making collaboration seamless.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to select a single provider to meet all of your needs, a prospect that may seem unattractive if no individual company has all of the features and tools you want. Instead, you can focus on products that integrate with one another, allowing you to benefit from the ideal feature sets.
In the end, you gain a common interface and a level of standardization. Additionally, the approach can be more cost-efficient and easier to oversee. The learning curve for new employees also lowers, as a central system is used for all communications. Plus, it can lessen the burden on computing resources, removing redundancies that can bog down systems.
When you select which services to keep, make sure to focus both on the capabilities of the solution and their ease of use. The most robust offering won’t be helpful if employees find it too challenging to use on a daily basis, so seeing things from the end user perspective is a must.
Ultimately, by consolidating your overlapping communications tools, your organization can experience significant gains in productivity while also lowering the overall cost of maintaining the system. While it may take some time and training to get your workers on the same page, the investment is typically worth it once everyone becomes comfortable with the change.