On my last post, I listed some downsides encountered during my first week as a full-time UC user. Since then, the list has only grown by one (inadvertently hanging-up on folks by closing the conversation window…. oops!) On the other hand, I have also grown my appreciation for the subtle ways in which UC can change your life for the better. Some are less obvious than others. At the risk of sounding like the inevitable Friday the 13th thirteenth movie sequel installment (it’s inevitable, there have been twelve already), without further ado, here are my…
Top 10 Unexpected Upsides of Moving to Unified Communications
- Paste-to-Call. Sure, click-to-call is better, but even if that application I’m using is not integrated to my UC platform, being able to copy a string of text and paste it onto the soft client is a time saver.
- Voice (e)Mail. Listening to e-mail on my drive to work (or when my PDA is non-cooperative) can be a timesaver (or a life saver, as the case may be).
- Eye Contact. In this era of short attention spans and multi-tasking, I love the extra mind share I get from folks on the other end of video calls. They know I’m watching so they’re on their best behavior (unless, of course, they figure it’s just me and simply don’t care).
- Instant Recall. A single log of all communications means not having to wonder whether I answered that sales question over e-mail, IM or a phone call (making it that much easier to reference things down the road).
- (e)Voice Mail. While automated transcriptions can sometimes result in comical messages, quite often they are sufficient (especially when stuck in a meeting) to get the substance of what is being said. This comes especially handy with long-winded folks who like to hear themselves talk (not that anyone leaving me voice messages would fall into that category… grin). If needed, I can always click to listen to the message itself.
- Sim Ring. There are many ways to make sure you never miss a call (call forwarding, sequential ringing, delegate ringing…) but I find the easiest for me is the brainless alternative. When someone calls, all my devices ring simultaneously so I never have to worry about where I am or remember to change a setting.
- Take-out calls. The dreaded 4:30 PM conference call has ceased to be an impediment to attending kids’ soccer games or picking-up groceries on the way home. Even though I started the call on my desk phone, when it runs over (as it inevitably will), seamless mid-call transfer to or from my cell phone means I am no longer tethered to my desk (even when I am tethered to it).
- Artificial Intelligence. I love the power of having the context of recent meetings, e-mails and documents at my fingertips when speaking with someone. When did we last talk? What meeting were we last in together? What was that document we shared and where is it? My IQ just shot-up a few points. This may be the single biggest productivity enhancer on the list.
- Instant Busy. As soon as I make a phone call, my presence indicator changes to busy, making the world think twice before calling (and letting them know IM is a better way to reach me).
- Street Cred. It’s possible to blog about UC as an outsider looking in, but there is something to be said for walking the walk.
Do you have any unexpected favorites I’ve missed?