Tuesday, February 26, 2013
As I am out talking to businesses, it seems that most are looking for a way to increase one of the attributes listed in the title of this post. Let’s take a brief look at each one:
Collaboration. This is key to businesses today. Collaboration within the organization. Collaboration among organizations. Business professionals need to be able to share their ideas, and it needs to be easy.
Speed. This is what businesses describe as a compelling need. Speed of delivery—whether it be bandwidth or time to market or speed of decision-making among dispersed players.
Mobility. More and more businesses and business partners are dispersed. So, more and more decisions require technology to bring the players together. Technology allows that; it invites that in many instances. One example I really like is the ClearSea application from LifeSize. I’m always on the go, so being able to join a meeting from my phone or iPad is a game changer. Because individuals may be anywhere, mobility is key.
Reliability. It has to work. And it has to work every time, when you need it. Period. When it comes to communications technology, working with a rock-solid manufacturing partner is required. And the simpler it is to use, the less chance there is for user error, which makes for more confident users and wider adoption of your investments.
This list of needs is familiar to me since I hear them from almost every business I come in contact with, but I suppose they’re also familiar to me because CIM lives in this world too— we’re no different when it comes to these basic requirements. We have a dispersed work force that is spread across the US. We work with manufacturers that are outside of the US. And, many of our people work from home offices.
What have we done about it? Well, one step we've taken is to put a video conferencing solution in everybody’s hands for use on up to six devices – yes, everybody, from our CEO, to our accounting team, to our sales consultants, to our shipping & receiving team. As I mentioned earlier, I have my video conferencing solution on my PC, on my iPhone, and my iPad. Whenever a call comes in, all three devices ring and I may accept the call (face to face) on whichever device is most convenient at the time.
We are quickly seeing tremendous savings in our installations. For example: if an installer in the field runs into an obstacle, he can use his tablet to call an engineer, show the problem, and find a resolution fast. This saves time and money when the engineer doesn't need to go to the site; it allows us to complete installations more quickly, which saves money for our clients; and it puts the solutions to work faster. Collaboration. Speed. Mobility. Reliability.
Until next time,