September 08, 2015 by

As the name suggests, a high-quality unified communications platform will bring together an array of different channels into a single, easy-to-use system. In addition to voice, these channels will typically include email, instant messaging, SMS, video conferencing, and more. Each of these mediums tends to receive a significant amount of attention, as business leaders are eager to empower their workers to engage with one another in the most effective, efficient way possible for every given situation.

But while it's true these are all are extremely important aspects of a broader UC solution, this list is by no means complete. In fact, there is another feature that can be incredibly useful and powerful, although it tends to receive far less attention: presence. Presence tools, when leveraged properly, can have a major impact on a company's overall effectiveness and productivity.

Here are three tips for getting the most out of presence solutions.

1. Enforce a Policy

One of the simplest and most useful steps that a business leader can take in this capacity is to enforce a company-wide policy regarding the use of available presence tools. After all, a big part of the value inherent to presence technology comes from the fact that every employee can immediately and easily see the status and availability of his or her coworkers. With this insight, personnel in need of an immediate response can avoid reaching out to a colleague who is out to lunch, and can instead focus their attention on someone who is at his or her desk. That saves time, improves productivity, and reduces worker frustration.

However, all of these benefits are only conferred if the provided presence information is accurate. If some employees are lax about updating their statuses, availability, and the best means of reaching them, then the presence solution will lead to miscommunication and missteps. If the problem is widespread, then the presence feature may actually cause more issues than it resolves.

Business leaders can avoid these negative outcomes while maximizing the advantages by developing and enforcing a policy mandating the use of presence tools among all workers. So long as everyone is on board, the feature will remain a powerful, positive force.

2. Connect Presence to Other Apps

Another key way for businesses to maximize presence solutions' value is by creating presence-enabled applications. These days, most enterprises are engaged in app creation to some degree, and rightfully so: Custom-created apps are often essential for optimizing a workforce and addressing organizations' unique requirements.

With the right cloud-based UC solution, it becomes very possible for companies to incorporate presence features into these apps. This can have an impact on workflow triggers, automated business processes, and more, all of which enhances the value of the apps in question. Companies in just about every sector will likely find a possible application for which presence technology will prove useful.

3. Combine with Analytics

Finally, organizations should consider combining their presence tools with UC analytics. UC analytics has the potential to drastically improve decision-making throughout a company, as business leaders can gain unprecedented insight into how their employees communicate with one another and clients with tremendous accuracy and detail. Presence data can serve to further enhance these analytics efforts, adding an extra layer of insight. When used properly, after all, presence solutions will essentially act as a log of a worker's availability throughout the day.

This information can have significant consequences for corporate policy, but only when business decision-makers can easily view and understand all of the relevant data. A robust UC analytics solution that incorporates presence information delivers precisely this level of functionality.

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