Good government is an inherently collaborative exercise. Federal, state and local agencies must communicate and work with other agencies, their constituents and private-sector organizations in order to fulfill a broad range of functions. The continued development of powerful unified communications (UC) platforms is helping drive this cooperative effort.
UC links essential communications tools such as voice, email, instant messaging and video into a single interface. Additionally, these technologies are integrated with various collaboration tools such as virtual white boards, real-time audio and video conferencing, and enhanced call control capabilities. Together, these tools can help agencies boost productivity, reduce costs and streamline operations.
A recent report by the Frost & Sullivan consulting firm finds that governments around the world are in various stages of UC implementation as part of their ongoing digital transformation. The firm says this effort is key to creating smart cities in which infrastructure, energy, transportation and public safety are tightly linked to boost efficiency and communication and to improve the lives and economies of their communities.
However, UC adoption has been slower than expected due to complexity. A variety of studies indicates that in both public and private sectors, users often to struggle to effectively use all the tools at their disposal. An IDC report notes that organizations are seeking “a better, more intuitive user experience” with improved integration of business processes and applications with communications.
ShoreTel Connect represents a big step in that direction. It is a unique, single solution and user interface that provides communications and collaboration from the cloud, onsite or a hybrid combination of both. Connect is designed to simplify the way organizations deploy, manage, scale and secure UC systems.
Unlike other UC solutions, which can create heavy support burdens on IT staff, ShoreTel Connect features integrated collaboration tools that are intuitive to master and require no complicated software downloads for participants. Users quickly become self-reliant in scheduling, managing and participating in conferences and online sharing sessions. They canengage and share with a single click without help from IT, and on the devices of their choice —PCs, Macs, and iOS and Android devices.
Tight integration with popular business applications such as Microsoft Outlook gives users an equally streamlined experience. Pressing the “Conference” button in the Outlook ribbon transforms a mere calendar appointment into a multimedia work session, automatically creating dial-in and web sharing information. And whether reviewing a spreadsheet or following a presentation, external participants can view the shared desktop over the web without needing to download additional applications or installing plug-ins.
ShoreTel’s open APIs encourage feature integration. Rather than silo particular features with standalone interfaces and protocols, ShoreTel brings them together for the most impact: presence AND mobility; instant messaging AND contact center. The result is truly unifiedcommunications that powers an uptick in performance and productivity.
UC platforms have the potential to transform government operations by improving responsiveness and creating new levels of connectivity among agencies, citizens and private-sector organizations. Let IPC show you how ShoreTel Connect makes it easier than ever to realize these benefits.