How to Untangle: Collaboration During Cost-Cutting

    This is the third blog in our ‘How to Untangle’ series that highlights how eliminating complexity from unified communications solutions can help your business.

    In today’s always-on world, true team collaboration involves working together in real time on documents or other media, and holding some form of meeting to gather and distribute the expertise of team members at different locations.

    While the savings in travel expenses and time are arguably enormous, conducting online meetings simply and affordably takes some serious thought.

    Here’s the tangle: Most conferencing set-ups involve using expensive conference bridges, tracking chargeback numbers, and configuring special software.

    By the time a conference gets started, a chunk of meeting time has already vanished and several more minutes have to be devoted to complaining about how difficult it was to set up the call.

    Hardly a recipe for productivity.

    When looking for a collaboration solution, make sure you understand exactly how your teams can work together most effectively.

    Assess the Requirements

    • Web conferencing
    • Audio conferencing
    • Video conferencing
    • Desktop application sharing
    • Instant messaging
    • Virtual meeting rooms
    • Online presentations
    • Multimedia recording

    Most business and professional situations today require most or all of these capabilities, so be prepared.

    Does the solution solve the problem?

    • Is the solution fully converged with all the capabilities accessible from a single, easy-to-use interface?
    • Is the video conferencing solution based on the most recent enhancement to the H.264 standard for video compression: Scalable Video Coding (SVC)? This is the only way to achieve low-cost, high-quality desktop video with resolution up to 640 x 480 and up to 30 frames per second—with minimal latency and high resiliency to congested networks.
    • Is the solution integrated with existing core applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, to make it easy to connect with individuals across the enterprise?
    • Can a conference be launched in just a couple of mouse clicks?

    As always, also consider:

    • Will the system require a lot of training for IT or users?
    • Is it easy to deploy?
    • What will it cost to maintain?
    • What kind of vendor support can you expect?

    If It Isn’t Simple, It Isn’t Collaboration

    Collaboration is about smart teams becoming even smarter. Collaboration tools that are hard to use and limit productivity are a waste of time and energy. The four basic tenets:

    • Easy to deploy
    • Easy to use
    • Converged
    • Low TCO

    If you’d like to learn more about how ShoreTel in particular can help untangle your collaboration in your workplace, contact a ShoreTel reseller today.