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The digital world has transformed communication. Phoning and emailing have given way to social media posts and live chats with humans and bots.
So how can business benefit from this and collaborate more effectively with its stakeholders?

It is clear that people consume and share information using a variety of tools, platforms, and devices. With technology enabling them to start a discussion on one platform and continuing it on another, true omni-channel communication and collaboration have finally arrived. While some might baulk at the idea of searching, listening, reading, typing, and talking at the same time, this is the reality of being a hyper-connected person.

Even in South Africa, with its traditionally high cost of mobile data and smart devices, information is shared faster than ever. And while communication and device costs are far from perfect, they have certainly become more affordable. This in turn, has made it possible for more people to take advantage of the omni-channel environment. For companies, it means renewed pressure to engage with customers using their preferred channels. The mantra for the connected business should be to meet customer expectations on any device, using any mode, irrespective of place and time.

Of course, a vital component of this environment is being able to use solutions that support real-time collaboration such as group chat, video conferencing, and application and screen sharing. And because content is a fundamental aspect of customer expectations, a decent CMS (content management system) should be integrated into the solution as well.

But this content extends beyond just communication. A CMS enables individuals and groups to share files and other information internally as well as externally. This results in more secure, efficient, and user-friendly team-team based content collaboration.

Additionally, presence management and search features that can tap across information rich employee profiles, chat history, and content, make it easy to find the right person and information to get work done faster. Combine this with integrated enterprise grade internet protocol telephony and unified messaging that support a number of endpoint devices, then you have almost the perfect solution.

Looking beyond solutions, decision-makers need to be more acutely aware of the shift in culture and technology that has taken place over the past decade. Technology has made people more accessible, and communication and collaboration tools and social media have had a major impact on culture and how we communicate. In certain respects, social, cultural, and spatial differences have all but been eliminated in the connected environment.

With such exciting things as virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D technologies starting to arrive, there is no stopping the changes taking place in the new communication and collaboration era.

Ian Goss-Ross is the CEO of Elingo.
Technology

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