Modernizing Your Communication Stack For Better Connection

Deploying new technology: one part science, one part art

It has also become increasingly clear that integrating these technologies into the working lives of employees requires a delicate combination of science and art. Organizations are ecosystems of technologies and workflows. Simply deploying another application into the fray rarely yields the desired results…and can have counterproductive impacts.

The Core Elements of Modern Communication

The key to building a productive communication stack is to understand the different key components. Here are the five key technologies organizations should have in their modern communication stack.

Technology #1 — Email

Email is the tried and tested core of digital communication. While modern chat tools have been reducing intra-team email volume, for correspondence between departments or with external actors such as clients and vendors email still reigns supreme.

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Gmail

Technology #2 — Chat/Instant Messaging

Modern chat (or instant messaging) aims to digitize the art of conversation, where parties can speak and receive a response a few seconds later, mirroring the rapid banter of the water cooler or talking at your desk with a colleague.

  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams

Technology #3 — Voice

While we may live in a world with self-driving cars (almost at least…), organizations still need to consider the good-old phone call — especially for call centers and support teams. There are times when you just need to pick up the phone and call a colleague or client. Modern telephony solutions typically leverage VoIP (Voice of Internet Protocol) to bring additional features to users such as call recording, encryption and data analysis for team management and compliance audits.

  • RingCentral
  • 8X8
  • Nextiva

Technology #4 — Video Conferencing

At the end of the day, humans are visually biased. Video communication is a modern addition to the traditional communication stack that allows us to better communicate and allows more nonverbal communication to come through to the “listener”. Video conference tools also allow for virtual presentations, keeping everyone focused on the same materials.

  • Zoom
  • BlueJeans
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams
  • GoToMeeting
  • Simple to use interfaces are critical to ensuring that every meeting doesn’t start ten minutes late due to “technical challenges”.
  • Evaluate the web, mobile, and desktop application experiences. It’s likely your team will need to leverage each of these from time to time and quality can vary widely between applications by the same vendors.
  • Consider the experience for external attendees: do they have to download another application? Can they leverage the full set of features? Will it work in their security environment? Nothing is worse than having to boot up another conferencing solution because someone couldn’t see the screen share!

Technology #5 — A Modern People Directory

Communication tools can only add value if your team members can get in touch with the right colleague. With cross-functional teams, distributed workforces, and a seemingly revolving door of internal transfers, promotions, and new joins, navigating the people side of the organization is a massive challenge.

  • We’re a bit biased here, but Sift is a pretty great enterprise solution.

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