Are we headed back to the future? What’s next for communication?
Many say the prediction for the smartphone came way back in 1953 by the then President of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company. It was in an interview with Tacoma News Tribune, where Mark Sullivan made his incredibly accurate projection.
“In its final development, the telephone will be carried about by the individual, perhaps as we carry a watch today. It probably will require no dial or equivalent, and I think the users will be able to see each other if they want, as they talk.” (Source: Tacoma News Tribune).
The next wave of communication innovation
Similar to these bold predictions, it clear that we’re in the midst of a communication revolution of our own. And, it’s having a tremendous impact on how we conduct business and how we communicate. After 20 years of providing leading-edge business technology, CTG is one company that has a vision for helping businesses prepare for what’s next. CTG looks at the ‘ripple effect’ of new innovations around VoIP, Unified Communications (UC), and cloud solutions so businesses know what moves to make to prepare for a bright future. As we get ready for a new decade, let’s explore how these technologies will continue to shape how we work and collaborate.
It’s all about integrations – Enhanced workflows
While traditional telecom solutions certainly paved the way for business over the last 100 years, digital and cloud technology are changing the game for companies in the 21st century. With powerful features, greater interoperability, and integration with other business tools and applications, digital and cloud technologies are opening up new possibilities. Integration is made possible by embedding communications capabilities into business apps or connecting UC and business apps with APIs. Each is helping companies build enhanced workflows and leverage higher-value conversations.
Improved workflows might include simplifying the user’s environment or creating customized communication workflows. An application integration between a cloud-based UC and CRM, for example, provides efficient features that keep employees productive and connected while also streamlining business processes. For instance, automatic call logging features can log both inbound and outbound calls to contact records within a company’s CRM. These integrations can help the sales team keep accurate records for better reporting and improved relationship building, which is particularly helpful when sales pros are mobile and it’s challenging to log data manually.
Another example of integrations at work is integrating Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. Microsoft’s platform, Teams, includes group chat, online meetings, file sharing and storage, web conferencing, and voice capabilities. Using Teams, users can make VoIP calls to other individuals running the Microsoft Teams app – using any desktop or mobile device. Users are also connected to all the popular cloud office productivity tools – Word, Excel, Powerpoint – within Microsoft Office 365, providing the ultimate productivity hub. Bringing UC and office productivity tools together through the cloud makes sharing information and problem-solving much more efficient, allowing groups to be productive and work from anywhere and at any time.
Adding more context to conversations
Way back in 1926 world-renowned scientist and philosopher Nikola Tesla also talked about how, in the future, communication would be seamless and pervasive.
“…Through television and telephony, we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do he will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone…” (Source: Collier’s magazine).
Integrations between UC platforms and business apps are advancing this vision, further allowing for enhanced workflows and also higher value conversations or ‘contextual communication.’ ‘Contextual communication’ brings together external and internal data, so all entities know what the conversation is about.
One example of contextual communication might be where service agents can quickly see why a customer is contacting them, including what other services the customer is using or what web page they were on before they hit the ‘click to call’ button. Or if talking with outside partners using a UCaaS platform, all parties can enjoy a seamless experience where they have the ability to click on a link to gain access to a video call and all relevant documents about a project, instead of having to switch apps or dial into a traditional conference call, open an email and download documents, for example
From vision to reality
Whatever the next 20 years may bring, it’s clear that communication technology will continue to play a critical role in how we live, play, and work. At CTG, we can help optimize your technology investments to better prepare for what’s next. There’s no time like the present to contact us so we can get started on your communication journey!