With advancing times, businesses are facing extreme levels of competition. It’s a race that doesn’t end, and the goal is to surpass others. Participating in this race isn’t a trifle, staying in it is.
For a business to keep running, it’s essential that the firm:
- Nurtures creativity
- Tackles complicated problems and daily issues
- Welcomes the positive impact
These have to be done simultaneously. If you’re able to combine innovative ideas with a well-planned strategy in one collaborative team, then only you will achieve the desired results.
COLLABORATIVE COMMUNICATION – What is it?
A layman defines collaborative communication as the type of communication in which every individual involved in the communication and their needs matter equally. The basic concept behind it is that we observe this type of communication only when the individuals feel valued, the team hears their voice and see their presence.
To understand collaborative communication better, one can break down the term into “collaboration” or “collaborative team” and “communication.” A collaborative team is that in which a group of people work towards a common goal while sharing common beliefs and outlooks. These communications are open-ended in nature.
Hence, we identify collaborative communication as an efficient, effective communication system, where individuals work towards one common goal.
Like any other job, collaborative communication needs a proper technique. Individuals need to equip themselves with a certain skill set to bring it about. Usually, organizations ignore the importance of these skills. This eventually results in ineffective and failed communication among working individuals. Just like any other skills utilized in the workplace, these skills are essential as well-
- Getting along with people: a superpower
The ability to get along with others forms the starting point for any collaborator. It grants an individual the ability to work well with all sorts of individuals, communicate easily, and get the best out of others.
- Ability to listen
Essentially, collaboration needs a minimum of 2 people. They should work together and in doing so, respectfully listen to what the other has to say. It’s an essential skill when there’s a difference in opinions.
- Possessing an open mind
One should be open to new ideas. The difference in ideas from members is inevitable while working in a team. One should be able to consider different approaches to have efficient collaborative communication.
- Respecting others’ contribution
No matter the extent of contribution, it has to be respected. One has to respect every member’s contribution, without comparing them.
- Ability to send and receive constructive feedback and criticism
Exchanging ideas and collaborating to complete tasks require members to be able to send and receive all sorts of constructive feedback and criticism. Giving and seeking input from others ease the completion of tasks efficiently.
- Problem-solving abilities
Identifying obstacles and overcoming them efficiently by coming up with innovative solutions is an important attribute of a good collaborator.
- Ability to see the bigger picture
It is important to understand that group achievement trumps any individual achievements. They should prioritize their main goals, and their own goals should be kept secondary.
- Willing to compromise
Sometimes when things don’t go your way, you have to compromise with what you get. Compromising and making concessions is essential if they need to reach a consensus on the best probable solution to a problem.
- Decent organizing abilities
Good organizational skills are very important to run an organization in the first place. It makes use of different project management tools. It takes skills to keep an organization running.
- Committed and Enthusiastic approach
In the end, a collaborator should be committed and reek of enthusiasm. They should be willing, and most importantly, able to invest the required time and energy to accomplish goals, complete tasks on time, and fulfill all expected duties.
Apart from this, there are lots of other skills that aid collaborative communication.
COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM AS A SERVICE (CPaaS)
Communications Platform as a Service or CPaaS is basically a cloud-based delivery model. It enables an organization to add real-time communication (RTC) capabilities (voice, video, messaging, a combination of all 3, etc.) to business applications. It is possible only on deploying Application Program Interfaces or APIs. These APIs deliver communication capabilities like Short Message Service or SMS, Multimedia Messaging Service or MMS, video, and telephony. Various features such as notifications, one-click-call, multi-factor authentication, etc. can be included in business applications like a sales software, thereby enhancing their capabilities.
When organizations and firms wish to embed communications into their business applications, when cloud service providers wish to add communications capabilities to their services, they resort to deploying CPaaS. These communications platforms include APIs, which are standards-based, Java or .NET libraries, and software developer’s kits. They’re needed to build applications on different platforms. Also, these CPaaS providers can offer fully functional communication features that come pre-packaged and one can simply drop them into applications.
Originally, start-ups like Twilio, TokBox, and Plivo drove the CPaaS market. These start-ups offer APIs to embed communications. This market has witnessed the arrival of Legacy Unified Communications (UC) vendors. They showed up with new services, including Genband’s Kandy and Avaya’s Breeze. The other vendors now acquire start-ups – Cisco acquired Tropo, Vonage acquired Nexmo, etc.
What are the benefits of using CPaaS?
There are numerous advantages to CPaaS, with seemingly insignificant disadvantages or drawbacks. Some significant advantages are as follows:
- CPaaS providers use cloud technology to enable a company to develop and install communication features. This saves human resources, infrastructure, marketing, etc.
- They offer affordable pricing models. Developers pay only for the service required by them.
- They allow multi-tenancy, i.e., the ability for multiple users to use a service at the same time (each of them in a separate and safe environment).
- They offer technical support. Developers can use e-tutorials, guides, etc. to find the answers to their questions or access anytime live support.
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS (UC)
Popularly known by its abbreviation UC, ‘Unified Communications‘ refers to a phone system tasked with integrating or unifying multiple communication methods inside a business.
A business might communicate in various ways – phone calls, video conferences, one-tap messaging, emails, SMS, and the list doesn’t end. So, a Unified Communications solution aims at bringing together each and every way a business communicates and then lets them communicate with each other. This lets them work together in one system, thus making the business much more efficient and smooth.
The key features of a UC system are:
- Mobility- Allows connection no matter the location. Making and receiving calls, chatting, etc. are offered.
- Presence- lets others know of the availability/unavailability of a user to communicate. DND, Active, etc. are some of the indicators.
- Web-based UI- Offered by selected UC platforms. They provide full call control from the web browsers; thus, enabling users to customize phone settings and others.
- Conferencing- Enables users to meet and speak virtually from multiple locations.
- Collaboration- Expands communication abilities, offering flexible working options.
- Unified messaging- Letting users manage different types of messages from a single application, and also switch communication modes as feasible.
Unified Communications gives a user a competitive edge by reducing significantly the number of independent tools, platforms, solutions, etc. needed to make communication.
With time, different businesses are opting for UC solutions over prevalent traditional phone systems. This is because UC solutions offer a better way to future-proof their investments, all while staying in touch with scientific and technological advancements. Primary benefits include:
- Improved efficiency
- Low costs, increased revenue
- Better and efficient customer service