You have lists of contacts all over the place-in your e-mail, instant messaging, your phone directory and more. It would be extremely convenient to have those contacts aggregated in one view, with the ability to know when any of those contacts becomes available. Sure, there are instant messaging (IM) clients that give you that capability, but you are limited to contacts within your small business – especially if you protect your data network with a firewall (as you should).
Applications that work in conjunction with your communications system to bridge that gap are readily available, letting you have a dashboard for all your communications – messaging, voice, e-mail – even SMS! All of your contacts – internal employees or important external contacts – can be contacted with a simple click of your mouse:
· See who is available in real time: the presence status of people inside and outside your organization. (Many UC solutions for small business only provide presence status of contacts inside your organization)
· Take advantage of enhanced features like ‘Pounce’ – which provides immediate notification when a contact has become available
· Take advantage of calendars: hover over a contact and it will display what time they will finish their meeting or when they will be back in the office
· You are on the phone with someone and have to call them back. Schedule the call from the current call dialog box and automatically add it to your Outlook Calendar
· Missed calls? Now you can keep track of them and see the contact details and current presence status so you can quickly and easily connect
A great example of this type of application is Advatel’s InTouch tool. InTouch is a simple plug-in for your email client, and doesn’t require separate servers, minimizing installation time and keeping cost low. The enhanced productivity you gain enables you to operate ‘faster than the speed of business’ – increasing your competitive edge, and ensuring your always on top of collaborating with your most important contacts