Smart business managers admit that they don’t and can’t know everything about the technology that enables their business. Even Steve Jobs acknowledged that he didn’t have all the answers. He explained that his role was not to know everything about every technology out there, it was to see the big picture for his company and the products they were making and hold every facet of the business pointed towards that vision.
You may not be running a multi-billion-dollar enterprise (yet), but your role is similar. Although it may seem like you have to know everything about everything at all times, you really don’t. As the saying goes, the smartest person in the room is not the one with all the answers, it’s the one who knows where to get them. When it comes to upgrading your business communications system, the right technology partner can make getting the right answers a whole lot easier.
TRACKING TECHNOLOGY EVOLUTION IS A PARTNER’S RESPONSIBILITY
The IP-based communications systems and platforms your business relies on are sales and customer service enablers. They provide a variety of communications and collaboration options that maintain that vital link between employees, partners and customers. If the technology isn’t optimized to deliver the features and performance your employees need to work efficiently, you’re not maximizing your operation to address your full revenue potential.
But keeping up with the rapid pace of technological change can be a challenge. With so many options available and just as many performance claims from vendors, it can be difficult to wade through all the data sheets to find the hardware and software that fits your immediate business needs and future upgrade requirements. That’s where a tech-savvy technology partner can make a difference.
Deciphering all the technical claims about speeds and feeds is your partner’s job. A knowledgeable partner will be able to clearly explain the technology, the difference between an update and an upgrade, the reasons why you should be doing both and the best way to approach the process. At the same time, the partner will be able to speak to the security risks of staying with outdated technologies and also explain the security benefits that keeping current will deliver to your business. And if you’re at the stage where you are considering a move to the cloud, your technology partner will be able to help you understand the different cloud deployment models and make it easier to choose the one that best fits your operation.
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION SHOULD BE PAINLESS
The right partner should also be a trusted advisor who is fully aware of the system you already have, the updates and upgrades you can apply immediately to optimize it and the technology evolution the system vendor will follow into the future. With that information, the partner can match your business requirements with the right technology roadmap so that your business doesn’t get painted into a technology corner and isn’t left scrambling to add capabilities in an effort to catch up to the competition.
If your system is several versions behind, chances are that there are new capabilities that could benefit your operation immediately. Many on-premises systems, like Mitel MiVoice Business, are enhanced through regular updates that your partner should be aware of. Every minor software update or major upgrade refines existing capabilities or adds new features designed to streamline work processes and improve efficiency. By unlocking new features, you can take advantage of technology improvements, improve efficiency and increase productivity.
If your system is technologically up-to-date, there are probably infrastructure investments you can make to do more with what you already have, so that you don’t have to replace existing equipment or migrate to the cloud until you’re ready. So, for example, if you have the most current version of MiVoice business, now is a great time to replace disjointed tools with integrated solutions that seamlessly connect to your existing infrastructure. It’s also an ideal time to extend communication capabilities to enable more efficient mobile or remote working while ensuring productivity and tighter collaboration across your organization, anywhere, any time and on any device.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
By working with your partner to manage technology evolution in this way you can optimize the capabilities of your existing system, extend the life of your system and migrate to the cloud at your own pace. The right partner can help you make the incremental choices that will avoid disruptive forklift upgrades and enable a smooth integration of new technology as it is available.
In addition to ensuring you’re always current, a structured and strategic approach to updates and upgrades makes it easier to think about your communication system strategically. Technology integrations can be better planned to coincide with business strategies, such as new market initiatives or a shift to a more distributed or decentralized operation.
Most importantly, the carefully planned and scheduled integration of new technologies, capabilities and features will ensure your communication system is always ready to deliver the latest and greatest email, text, chat, screen-sharing and unified communication capabilities to every desktop, smartphone and handheld device in the office and to remote employees. It makes it easier for you increase productivity and compete in your market space.
MOVING THE ANXIETY UNITS
With all that in mind, take a hard look at your current technology partner and determine whether you’re getting the biggest bang for your communications system investment buck. Your technology partner should be more than a sales outlet for a vendor’s hardware and software, and more than an installer who sells the system, installs it and is never heard from again.
The right partner is an expert in the technology your business relies on, one who cares for your success and can work with you to prepare your business for the future. Through the planned, incremental and careful integration of updates and upgrades in new technologies, that partner can ensure your employees have all the communication tools they need to be as efficient, effective and productive as possible in all their business interactions.