While it’s true that technologies like VoIP, videoconferencing and chat are transforming the way businesses operate, if you really want to provide value to your customers, it’s time to get into the workflow collaboration game.
By taking standard UC technologies and adding integrations to critical systems such as CRM and ERP, it’s possible to not only improve communications and collaboration, but add efficiencies to workflows and processes.
Imagine a customer service process that includes multiple steps with multiple people having to communicate. Due to typical communication inefficiencies, 45 total minutes or work might be spread over 3 days. With automation and collaboration tools, that 45 minutes can be streamlined into a much shorter window, resulting in better time utilization for employees and a better customer service experience.
The result of a properly designed and implemented workflow collaboration solution can include reducing labor expenses, reducing errors and reducing other inefficiencies. In short, with clear ROIs, selling your customers on workflow collaboration and business process automation isn’t as difficult as you might think. Additionally, with continual refinements to the underlying UC technologies and a propensity of business systems to make integrations easier, workflow collaboration will only become better in 2018.
5G will take workflow collaboration into the field
To date, most workflow collaboration and business process automation involving UC technologies has been restricted to inside the four walls of organizations. However, as we get closer to 5G LTE technology, we can expect to see collaboration solutions used in the field, bringing about whole new levels of efficiency gains and cost reductions.
5G LTE promises much faster speeds (think around 10Gbps—compared to the 14Mbps speed of 4G LTE in the U.S.) and greater stability. Up to this point, 4G has been the bottleneck holding back many in-field workflow collaboration solutions from reaching their full potential. With faster speeds, we’ll finally be able to deliver to field workers the same—maybe even better—collaboration experiences possible in the office.
Imagine an oil rig worker who has to perform repair work. With 5G speeds, radio communications can be replaced with two-way video, allowing remote expertise to be accessed in the field to help with the repairs. This is just one simple example of how collaboration will be improved in the field. While 5G might still be a couple years away, mobile refinements are already taking place.
As you evaluate 2017—what went well and what didn’t—and look to 2018, consider adding workflow collaboration solutions to your portfolio. If you’re willing to get more deeply involved with customers and their business processes, you have a real opportunity to provide value and increase your revenue.