Enterprise communication needs true real-time capabilities, but one size doesn’t fit all.
Enterprise collaboration tools are proliferating but most remain closed communities. To increase value, they need to break out to real-time communications platforms that meet regulatory requirements and can fully interoperate with any network. Gintel is enabling the convergence of disparate collaboration tools with full fixed and mobile interworking, allowing operators to support their customers and to add value.
Enterprise communications platforms have proliferated, largely driven by the need to enable collaboration between teams and within companies. There is a host of new platforms that combine project management with chat and task tracking features. These can help expedite internal communications.
In many ways, these build upon the capabilities familiar to all, of Skype. By combining instant messaging / chat with additional features, such as task and file management, a more complete offer can be created. Some of these integrate basic voice communications so that users can move from exchanging messages and other notifications to a call.
However, it must be noted that few of these, including Skype, can be viewed as true communications services. Indeed, most make this abundantly clear, with warning messages displayed on startup. That’s because they do not meet regulatory requirements for interconnection to public networks. Any voice communication is thus internal to the closed user group of adopters in the enterprise.
The interest in this area is growing rapidly – and new solutions are emerging all the time as developers try to cater for the needs of different segments and functions across industries. Some of these seek to specifically address what are seen as shortcomings with more established solutions, pointing to the highly specific needs of manufacturing and engineering, for example. It is clear that this is not a “winner takes all” situation – enterprises and businesses will adopt whatever platform suits their needs, and many will run multiple solutions, according to the needs of different teams and departments.
So, what’s happening is that the enterprise collaboration domain is fragmenting, rapidly. At the same time, some are recognising this and are building solutions to interconnect different platforms – essentially creating interfaces between the APIs of one solution and those of another – which allows some cross communication. The result provides some synchronisation, extending one closed community to another. While useful, this does not solve the inherent problem of closed communities – breakout to public domains.
And that’s where we come in. Gintel’s Easy Business Communications Suite provides deep integration with closed platforms that enable them to interact with public networks, such as the PSTN and PLMN. This means that users of one collaboration tool can extend their reach to conventional communications tools and also more easily collaborate with users outside their networks – partner or customer companies, for example. It also means that businesses can choose the platform they need while ensuring that they are not isolated from other essential communications channels.
Because we provide true real-time telephony and interaction capabilities, users can obtain the reliability, dependability and reach of national and international communications networks while continuing to enjoy the benefits of their chosen solutions. In fact, this is nothing new – we started this journey some years ago, bringing Skype for Business to mobile users (and vice versa) – so it’s really just an evolution is this approach which reflects the changing nature of today’s enterprise collaboration landscape.
What’s the key lesson from this? Operators need to recognise that their business customers may have adopted a wide range of platforms to enhance internal collaboration. They have an opportunity to offer true internetworking via breakout to mobile and fixed integration, irrespective of the platforms adopted.
The message should be “we can help you integrate your preferred collaboration tools with existing and legacy networks, extending your reach and delivering more value for your business. It should not be “take our solution and only our solution”, because enterprises will continue to be attracted to the capabilities of new and emerging collaboration tools, particularly as more emerge for specific niches.
So, if you want to offer a realistic, compelling proposition to your customers, then we can help. We’ll provide the breakout functions while enabling your customers to capitalise on the best of breed closed collaboration platforms for their business.