So, over the years, I connected multiple products to the car, including a GPS system, an MP3 player, and a smartphone. After all that, I was able to listen to my music, navigation, and telephone calls while driving. But it was a kludgy system that took time and effort to set up and manage.
More importantly, my patchwork of different mobile technologies didn’t work together. Each device was separate, independent, and unable to communicate with the other parts of the system.
I finally bought a new car with a built-in infotainment system that easily paired with my smartphone. When my phone rings or my navigation system chimes in, my music turns down automatically. Because of this, I’m able to keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel.
Communications traffic jam
Enterprise IT leaders I’ve met face a similar situation with their voice communications systems.
Just as my car was designed prior to the mobile revolution, enterprises’ on-premise PBX hardware is based on technology developed decades before anyone had conceived of modern communications tools. In the same way that I had to add new features to my car in a piecemeal fashion, IT leaders must implement and manage tools in their communications mixes separately. And echoing my struggles to make all the devices in my vehicle work together, enterprises find it difficult or impossible to integrate voice with other modes of communication.
On the road to integrated communications
But just like my car’s infotainment system brought everything together for me, enterprise IT leaders now have a solution to their communications challenges: a cloud phone system. Unlike PBX hardware based on decades-old technology, cloud phone systems are from the same generation as mobile networks, internet-based communications tools, and cloud business apps. This makes cloud phone systems a perfect solution to integrate the range of communications technologies now employed in enterprises.
Getting on the communications superhighway
Today’s mobile workers use multiple devices—including desktops and smartphones—to communicate in a vast variety of ways, such as voice calls, SMS, conferencing, email, and chat. On top of that, employees are working with a range of business apps that add additional communications channels.
However, these devices and applications aren’t integrated with business communications. Communication data is segregated from business-app data, obscuring a comprehensive view of the information flow.
Furthermore, most of these modes of communication require employees to enter data manually to log a conversation. Such log information is isolated from other systems and often is lost or forgotten.
The arrival of enterprise-class cloud communications systems makes it possible to integrate applications and communications into one seamless experience for users. For example, a cloud-based phone dialer, audio conferencing, messaging, and other features can be added to Microsoft 365, Google Apps for Work and other services, allowing users to engage in multiple means of communication without exiting their most productive apps.
Cloud communications solutions can take their integration with business apps one step further by being open to developers, partners, and customers. This allows businesses to easily integrate a variety of communications capabilities into their own business software.
Getting in gear
For IT leaders and users, an open cloud communications solution provides a simple and practical way to deliver integrated communications within an enterprise. With their communications problems now in their rear-view mirrors, companies can focus on the journey ahead, with their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
To learn more about how a cloud solution can help solve your enterprise’s communications integration problems, see RingCentral’s white paper, “Enabling the New Connected Workspace.”
Originally published May 31, 2016, updated Aug 12, 2020