Connect. Communicate. Collaborate. These are the magic words of our enterprising global economy. They mean hurry, hurry, be more, do more, and do it now. We have the ability to communicate across multiple channels in various media formats. How cool is that? Pretty cool, but more than cool is the increased mobility, flexibility, and horsepower users get with today's Unified Communications providers and UC capable devices.
The traditional voice-mail box has given way to the email inbox which receives all communication mediums including email, voice mail, faxes, and video.
Take my nifty HTC EVO 4G phone for example. I am able to get calls from my desk telephone which is on a hosted IP PBX using SIP protocol and download, listen, save, forward, and even attach other media to the voice files I choose to forward. The system notifies me and either sends messages to my mobile when I am away from the office or transcribes them and sends a text message. No longer am I tied to my desk in order to receive important messages and keep the engine of my business running.
I am a fan of closed loop communication which enables one to take action upon receiving enough information from an inquirer, colleague, vendor, or business partner. One can verify the information received, confirm it, or report on any errors while promoting the forward progression of the communication and underlying relationship. Unified Communication encourages closed loop communication because it is so darn easy. With multi-modal channels, users have their pick of ways to communicate - text, email, video, fax. We are able to instantly retrieve the information necessary and conveniently provide it to the interested party at the other end. That's the essence of "now communication" which is a huge boost to productivity, especially those of us who are in service businesses.
Another productivity and mobility favorite of mine is the soft-phone. Again, with my Hosted IP PBX, I am able to load the soft-phone on my laptop and make out going telephone calls from it anywhere I have an Internet connection. It appears to the people I call and to those who call me, that I am sitting at my desk. Because I travel quite often, it is so very handy not to have to deal with hotel telephone system limitations and expenses.
For the times I am in the office and sitting at my desk, I have Outlook integration that allows me to use the contacts in my desktop program to dial my desk telephone with a click of my mouse. Hands free dialing in the car is legal mandate for public safety but it is a productivity enhancer in the office when you make one hundred calls per day.
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