Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Importance of Managing Your Entire Communication Ecosystem

Communication facilities are the essential lifeline to every business. Survival is often dependent on whether the business communication infrastructure is functioning smoothly and effectively. A savvy business, especially during times of economic downturns, will look to consolidate, solidify and aggressively hunt for new opportunities.
Communication managers have always had the unenviable task of stretching funds while maximizing tightly controlled budgets. They must walk a tightrope to effectively manage current facilities while identifying and implementing new and innovative solutions that enhance business communications, improve the customer experience and increase productivity.

Traditional telephone reporting was generally based on a basic call log that provided nuggets of valuable information such as date, time, duration and digits dialed. This information could be monitored, processed and stored in a database for detailed reporting. There are many vendors of call accounting software that provided these tools for itemizing, reconciling and analyzing telephone activity.

In a complex ecosystem managers are often unaware of misuse, detrimental quality of service and or system hacks that can cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the organization and the bottom line. Communication management solutions can help shield companies from system overload and fraudulent activity. A comprehensive total unified communication management system can pinpoint bottlenecks and suspicious activity, formulate migration strategies and control telecom spend.

Core components such as call accounting can help reconcile carrier invoices with business activity. Some businesses make it a practice to bill employees for excessive non-business and long distance calls. In many cases, the call accounting system acts as a watchdog and reduces personal activity. This results in more right to business calls and greater productivity. Some studies suggest that proper telecom accountability can result in a 10% to 30% savings in telecom expenses. A study by the Aberdeen Group supports these assertions. "The telecommunications spending area is so wrought with inefficiency, in fact, most enterprises don't know how much they spend on telecom services, never mind how they can best manage those budgets." These survey results highlight the critical need for all encompassing total communication management software solutions that can provide concise metrics about calling patterns and comparative analysis of various plans.

With the adoption of IP-based telephone systems over traditional PBX systems, new complexities have arisen that change the way communication metrics are attained. Customers can share facilities and resources across multiple offices in different buildings, cities or time zones. The boundaries present in self contained traditional PBXs are no longer a barrier in dynamic IP-based communication networks.

SIP communications allow individuals to be connected to enterprise communication servers from their home office, cottage or anywhere around the globe. Contact centers can be transparently implemented across an enterprise that is physically sprawled in many locations and calls can be distributed without incurring additional long distance charges. SIP is an open protocol, and Voice over IP through SIP relies on a set of other open protocols and standards that facilitate communication. Individuals are no longer limited to an extension from a closed telephone switch but can now become subscribers in an enterprise ecosystem.

Traffic can now be routed over many different channels and can include voice and data multimedia communication. Call detail record logging has become much more elaborate than simply monitoring a serial port for CDR data. Call accounting for today's world needs to bring together the metrics from various communication facilities under one umbrella. These platforms may include mobile/wireless, video and call detail data from traditional and converged communication servers.

Cloud-based communication management can be a Software as a Service (SaaS) alternative to expending internal resources to manage costly in-house hardware and software. Often these services can be tailored to the needs of the customer. The focus can be strictly for basic incoming and outgoing telephone call tracking from a PBX system or all encompassing of the entire communication ecosystem. Some companies offer complete outsourcing services for remote data collection, network planning, traffic analysis, carrier/service comparisons, SIP / IP PBX reporting, workgroup reporting, auto attendant, mobile tracking, internet usage and more.

Founded in 1990, Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI) offers a wide range of products including call accounting, hotel billing, real-time dashboard, CRM integration, switch administration, emergency/event notification, mobile tracking and remote cloud-based telemanagement services. Our solutions harness telecom metrics to track, monitor and manage the performance of network facilities resulting in a more dynamic, responsive and productive communication ecosystem. For more information visit our website.