Tactical Advice

Establishing Open Lines of Communication Is Worth the Investment

Successful businesses rely on the technology solutions that foster collaboration on the go.
This story appears in the Winter 2014 issue of BizTech Magazine.
Establishing Open Lines of Communication Is Worth the Investment
Credit: Berndhard Lang/F1Online/ThinkStockPhotos

Every time I’m on the road checking email from the airport or on a conference call while at a coffee shop, I am thankful that my company has made investments in mobile devices and unified communications. Those technologies have made it easier to communicate, collaborate and connect. It allows me to better respond to problems, share ideas and be productive from anywhere. All of this equates to a happier workforce, which often leads to happier customers.

But this technology isn’t effective only for road warriors in hotel rooms or boardroom video conferences. For example, our cover story “Washington Redskins Go State-of-the-Art with iPad, UC and Wi-Fi Deployments” details the Washington Redskins’ recent communications overhaul. The team replaced its aging PBX phone system with state-of-the-art UC technology, rolled out iPad devices to substitute for paper playbooks and installed a new Wi-Fi network.

The first big test of the new phone system arrived with the 2012 NFL Draft, when team officials hunkered down at Redskins Park. “We crossed our fingers and had an engineer onsite in case of any glitches, but the phone system worked smoothly, with no downtime,” says Redskins IT Manager Sonny Sun.

Analytics company Mattersight turned to UC to streamline communications and collaboration, as detailed in “Mattersight Benefits from Moving UC Services to Microsoft Lync." But as CDW’s Jill Billhorn explains in “Technology Helps Businesses and Customers Find Their Shared Purposes," deploying UC technology isn’t just about enhancing internal communication — it also serves to build closer, long-lasting customer and partner relationships as well. To gain the advantages of UC, however, IT needs a thumbs-up from upper management before deployment. Learn how several IT experts got just that in “How to Sell Unified Communications to Your Boss."

Meanwhile, the line separating mobile employees from teleworkers has become so fine that for many businesses it no longer exists. Take office supplier Indoff: Its sales partners blur that line completely. As a result, says Director of IT Systems Shawn Faulkingham in “How Businesses Enable and Support Telework," “we just design our applications to work with whatever device you would like to bring to the table.”

Security is the focus of “Companies Take On Mobility with Tablet and MDM Combo," which describes how three small businesses meet the challenge of securing mobile devices. As Benjamin Robbins, one of SAP’s Top 50 Mobile Influencers, says, “Mobility is as much a cultural as technical change.” Read more of his thoughts in “How to Select an Enterprise Mobility Management Solution."

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About the Author

Ryan Petersen

Editor in Chief

Ryan has covered a variety of bases for BizTech since the magazine’s inception in 2005. As Editor in Chief, he works on creating editorial calendars, develops story ideas and is always on the lookout for new writing talent. Ryan previously worked at the Kane County Chronicle, the Moline Dispatch and the Rock Island Argus newspapers. Against his better judgment, Ryan is raising his children as Cubs fans. E-mail Ryan and follow him on Twitter.

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