- Communications-enabling business processes optimizes individual and workgroup productivity, and adding visual communications takes this concept up a notch, moving past enterprise video calls to broader uses: if an alarm is triggered in a remote location, responders can gain visibility into the cause and severity of the problem; healthcare workers can monitor and talk to patients in rural areas; wireless cameras in emergency vehicles or worn by first responders give support staff an immediate view of a situation while the responder performs their duty.
- Enterprises may not grasp the full potential benefit of integrating UCC features, including visual communications, into business processes and applications at the outset of a UCaaS deployment, but as user adoption grows, the benefits of this integration become apparent.
In early 2012, I wrote a blog post about the role of communication-enabled business process in the uptake of UC. At that time, I’d noted that the opportunity to integrate communications features into specific business processes and applications potentially supported a more compelling business case for deployment; if a company started by integrating UCC features into just one business application or for one part of the organization, then they might start to see how this model could replicated in other areas of the company to improve productivity and communications, tipping the scales towards a broader implementation.
At the Verizon Analyst event a few weeks ago, the carrier noted that as its UCCaaS customer base grows, it is seeing a trend in which companies reach an ‘inflection point’ for the integration of application and process integration. A company may start with a basic trial for a few users or a department, but as the number of users grows, the desire to integrate UC features further into business applications accelerates fairly sharply. Verizon noted a series of specific examples in which customers had integrated communications services into their business processes across a variety of vertical markets, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and the public sector. Not surprisingly, video played a key role in most, if not all, of these applications. Enterprises are recognizing that visual communications can substantially enhance the effectiveness of employees and improve customer satisfaction, and in some verticals, visual communications can play a critical role in addressing a problem. Verizon and a host of other carriers have been working on open visual communications models that should further simplify support for visual communications across disparate devices and platforms. It may not be necessary for a customer to ‘see’ a sales representative when researching a product or service, and chat may be fine to handle questions. However, visual communications can increase the productivity of healthcare providers and improve patient care, and it could play a critical role in law enforcement and in emergency situations that require rapid response.
Carriers, vendors, journalists, analysts and others in the communications industry have been talking for years about ways that UCC features can enhance employee productivity and collaboration and improve customer service, from fundamentals such as chat and conferencing to the broader use of video and the integration of communications features into business applications. Now that these more advanced communications capabilities are becoming reality, it will be interesting to see how enterprises actually deploy these features. What is your company doing to integrate UCC features into your business applications? What are the benefits you’ve gained and the challenges you’ve faced in these deployments?