Collaboration is Driving Convergence say Alcatel

Talking to Comms Business Magazine, Peter Tebbutt, marketing director at Alcatel says collaboration is fast becoming the main driver behind the uptake of convergence, by improving our use of solutions and applications and generating real business benefits.

Today’s ultra-competitive business environment demands companies to be fast, efficient and accurate. As a result, an organisation’s employees must have instant access to information, applications and colleagues, to be as productive as possible, while offering good standards of customer service. By making this possible and helping enterprises overcome the issues of both dispersed and mobile staff, collaboration is a new technology that resellers must be using to their full advantage.

By bringing together the elements of voice, email, data sharing and video, web-based collaboration enhances the way people and information can be accessed, regardless of location or communications device. Given that staff today are more mobile than ever and 38% of the workforce, according to research by Alcatel, typically use five of more communication devices, this functionality is ideal for meeting the needs of today’s working environments by extending workspace beyond the office.”

Tebbutt adds that collaboration will benefit remote based staff, by bringing them into the complete team structure, as if there were located in the office.

“For example, the capability known as ‘presence’ allows someone to see the status of a colleague, how they are logged on, whether they are busy or away from their desk, and the available methods of communication. This is vital when you consider that half of an organisation’s knowledge is in its people and not documented in any system.
Collaboration needs to be seen as the enabler for multiple parties to communicate in real-time, using any type of media, on any device, over any network, allowing full utilisation of an organisation’s number one asset – its people. When looking at collaboration, the channel must therefore consider the end-to-end proposition and the ability for the entire enterprise network to support it. This means addressing questions such as the following:-

– Is the network able to support collaboration?
– Can I support applications over multiple devices?
– Do I have the ability to support clientless collaboration and instant collaboration using multiple devices and open standards?

People are starting to adapt real-time applications such as instant messaging and web integration as standard, so the introduction of an enterprise-wide collaboration solution is a logical move-forward. The business advantages of collaboration present resellers with lucrative opportunities. These tools enable the channel to provide customers with a much-needed solution for achieving better customer/client interaction, improved employee communication and ultimately, greater flexibility and efficiency.”