The end of ‘unified communications’ as we know it?

A recent report from Forrester Research suggests the future of collaboration involves taking UC to a new level — to something called CACC.

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The technology analysts at Forrester Research must rely on the fact that people in IT are basically averse to making rude noises in public. No one pronounces “UC”—short for unified communications—as “uck.” And probably no one will pronounce Forrester’s latest interpretation of UC—customer-activated communications and collaboration or CACC—as “cack.” But regardless of how you say it, CACC may be worthy of consideration.

According to a Forrester report, standard UC adoption could be at its peak. While 83 percent of “telecommunications decision-makers” feel that UC helps users solve problems more quickly, 38 percent of those telecom managers also say users aren’t aware of the UC features available to them.

The authors say now is the time for companies to consider taking the next step up from UC to truly reap the benefits and drive adoption of collaborative technologies. Forget UC. Instead, aim for CACC. It’s “a future vision of communications and collaboration technologies that will help optimize the operation of the customer experience ecosystem,” the report reads.

That’s a mouthful. More simply, Forrester says CACC involves:

  • Customers finding the right person to talk to quickly, and the most important messages appearing at the top of employees’ communications screens—all thanks to machine learning built into the CACC system.
  • Seamless transitions between messaging systems and real-time communications platforms (for instance, email and videoconferencing respectively) for enhanced customer experiences.
  • Users not having to leave one screen to communicate via another, since CACC embeds UC into business applications.

Together, these CACC features help employees communicate with customers and answer client questions more efficiently. According to the report, employee satisfaction rises when workers have powerful collaboration tools and access to business data.

How to make CACC work for you

Forrester makes two practical points for success with CACC. First, position the technology as a part of your overall business technology agenda, not as just another IT utility. “The ‘build it and they will come’ mentality will doom CACC to a lower position on the value chain of technology in the enterprise.” Second, tap your customer-service experts. “Find out where they see opportunities for [UC and collaboration] tools and the link to business value.”

CACC might be the next phase in UC’s advancement. It could also be a way for your business to truly understand its customers and capitalize on information sharing. As Forrester notes, these days “business success depends on building a customer-obsessed culture.” The more customer-focused your communications system is, the better off your organization will be.

Maybe you and your organization should consider CACC—or, as strange as it sounds, get cacking.

Image via Death To The Stock Photo

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