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Presence of Mind: Saving Time with Unified Communications

October 14, 2014 by

You're busy. You've got meetings to attend, emails to respond to, calls to make, documents to submit. And that's just this morning. The afternoon's when things really pick up.

The same goes for your colleagues. Whether they're in your department or someone else's, the fact remains: Just about everyone is really, really busy.

But you're also collaborative. Or, at least, you'd like to be. You need to be, if you want to maximize your productivity. With such wide-ranging and time-consuming job responsibilities, though, employee collaboration becomes a huge challenge.

Unified communications can help. These solutions are specifically designed to improve communication and engagement between employees. In particular, high-quality presence features can be an extremely powerful, yet often overlooked, part of a UC package.

Presence Benefits

The basic nature of presence technology is fairly straightforward. Employees use these tools to let others know if they are available and what they are doing at any given moment. This may seem minor at first, but it can have a huge impact on individual and company-wide productivity and efficiency. With presence, you'll never send an urgent email to a colleague and then wait on pins-and-needles for him or her to respond, only to discover that the colleague in question was on a client visit at the time. You'll also save yourself the trouble of walking upstairs to speak to a coworker personally when that coworker went home early for the day.

These seemingly slight examples add up to major savings over time. A few minutes here, a few minutes there, and you're looking at hours saved each year. Extrapolated across the entire company and the effect is exponentially greater.

Going Further

That's not all. With a more advanced, UC-enabled presence solution, these tools can prove even more powerful.

The key is integration. An advanced presence tool that has been fully integrated into a UC platform will offer employees the ability not only to know each others' statuses, but also choose the ideal channel for connecting. Say, for example, you have a fairly complex question for your manager, one which you'd rather explain in person than via email or phone. You check your manager's status and see she's working from home today. That makes video chat the ideal option.

Fortunately, in an advanced UC system, launching a video chat can be a single click away. The same should be true for instant messaging, voice chatting, and more. With an integrated presence solution within a broader UC deployment, you'll be able to see the best communication option and, moments later, pursue that course.

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