In today’s business environment, resellers and solution providers have plenty of opportunity to help enterprise business customers align and integrate unified communications and collaboration with their business processes and technology. The ability to help customers achieve this integration will help them become more efficient, enhance the end-user experience, provide better insight and analysis of business processes, reduce overhead, and streamline functionality.
A communications-enabled business process (CEBP) describes a business process that is enabled because communications capabilities have been embedded into it. When unified communications (UC) is embedded as a layer into business processes, it becomes the tool that allows applications like Web services and service-oriented architecture to converge. In the simplest terms, as UC matures and new business applications are developed, business process integration and management will become more important for enterprise customers and more important for value-added resellers (VARs) that want to positively impact their customers’ business outcomes and end-user experiences. Here are some examples:
Finding the Right Knowledge Worker ─ Many organizations have run into situations where a coworker or client has an immediate need for specific information and is having trouble finding it. Without CEBP, the team would be required to dig through lists of numbers and through a large number of systems in order to try to find out who the best person to contact would be in order to resolve the issue. With a CEBP in place, the system would know automatically whom to contact and on what device and, based on presence information, could immediately send a message to that person or group indicating urgent need for help.
Automation Saves Time ─ Not all business processes will need to be enabled with UC tools; customers, with the guidance of their VARs, can determine which CEBPs will provide the most benefit and time savings. The UC tools most likely to be integrated into business processes include:
- Presence Status ─ With the use of presence, the process can understand where to locate an individual and can determine if he or she is busy or available or if information should be rerouted to someone else.
- Messaging ─ Whether through e-mail or instant messaging, this is a tried-and-true method of system notifications to key players that has worked well over time.
- Mobile Integration ─ Allows systems to present notifications to mobile users who are not often at their desks. This saves time trying to track specific users down in order to provide them information.
- Database Integration ─ When communications tools are added into things like CRM, ERP, and other data sources, CEBPs can use these databases in order to make different decisions about how to act. Examples of this are contact centers, where depending on how the customer chooses how to reach the business, the business process will route the call appropriately.
VARs should guide their enterprise business customers to choose a UC platform that will serve as a layer in the levels between their business process integration tools, providing the best opportunity for integration and engagement. UC should be seen as a development platform that can be used in order to support current and future business processes integration and tools. In order to determine which processes will benefit the most from being communications-enabled, identify processes that are labor-intensive and involve the most human downtime. This will create the best opportunity for success.
Does your company use or sell CEBP solutions? Are you aware that Ingram Micro has just entered into an agreement to distribute Teo Technologies Business Process Integration tools? Please comment below.