Unified Communications: Persistency is Key


Unified Communications: Persistency is Key

By Todd Carothers, EVP of Sales & Marketing, CounterPath

The evolving technology landscape has, of course, provided more modern means of communication, extending pathways and meaningful mechanisms for eliciting better teamwork. As a result, persistency has become a defining characteristic of what we now call team collaboration.

Persistence is becoming an increasingly common element across both team collaboration and threaded communications (TC). It is something that can be synchronised one-to-one or many-to-many. A comprehensive record of the conversation is now always available despite meetings being scheduled or ad hoc.

Traditionally, a major flaw in most unified communications solutions, as well as messaging applications, was the lack of persistence and context. A team did not have the tools to preserve the full state of a session or conversation and return to it later or share it with new team members to better inform future decisions and actions.

Today, it is extremely common for most businesses to operate with a geographically-dispersed workforce. But whether they’re working from the office, at home, or travelling, it is vital employees have the ability to work as a team. With a persistent team collaboration solution, employees are given the power to connect, communicate and collaborate, no matter where they are in the world, at any time, on any device.

In today’s collaboration-focused business environment, having persistency of communications also enables new project participants to get up to speed faster and, more importantly, from a more informed position, immediately raising the value of their input.

An additional benefit of deploying a persistent unified communications strategy is that it ties everything together, allowing for a more communicative workforce which creates a more positive working environment, thus providing an overall enhanced experience from line of business all the way down to the end users.

A persistent solution provides access to a complete history of communication events, which allows collaborators to recapture the context of a conversation in one single thread, quickly and easily. It emphasises the user experience whilst combining the multitude of tools that collaborators use during sessions,

enabling users to re-live a meeting in full context and providing all who access the thread with the experience of ‘having been there’.

The “Persistency” Checklist

Although all of the above sounds great, acquiring the right collaboration solution in order to achieve persistency may not be as straightforward as you think. When faced with an overwhelming amount of choice in the marketplace, consider the following to determine which solution is best for your business:

  1. Employees have to want to use it – Investments only make sense if they get used, so ensuring your solution delivers a positive user experience is paramount when it comes to successful employee adoption.
  2. Enough tools in the box? Be sure to procure a UC solution with the right level of functionality, which includes file and photo sharing, voice and video calling, persistent chat, messaging and presence management.
  3. Scalability – Ensure the UC solution is flexible enough that it can cost-effectively scale as the organisation grows and/or user adoption spreads.
  4. Security – To keep all that new priceless IP safe, look for solutions with standards-based security protocols (TLS, SRTP).
  5. The choice is not all yours – Ensure the solution will be able to cope with end user preference for different device types, platforms and operating systems. Whichever persistent team collaboration solution you choose should not require your employees to change their preferred communications tools and devices. Rather, it should support and enhance them.

Persistence can open up transparent dialogue between employees, directly enhancing productivity and profitability. By creating opportunities for more transparency and information sharing, and for more improved collaboration opportunities, work becomes more meaningful and interactive. Get this right and your business could be transformed, giving it a greatly desired competitive advantage within the market.

Moving forward in 2018, we’ll increasingly see the expansion of persistence beyond traditional UC applications like conferencing and video. Apps and business process tools will begin to be added to the persistence layer, providing even greater value to enterprises.