Take a moment and think about all of the things you could do, right this very second, with a single tap on that smartphone in your pocket. You can see what all of your friends are doing, right now, in real-time. You can send a message to anyone you know, anywhere in the world. You can video chat with someone. You can get the news of the world in an instant, delivered in any format you want. You can dig through and share an endless sea of photographs, videos, amusing anecdotes or silly meme photos from your closest friends or complete strangers on the other side of the world. Smartphones and tablets have delivered instant access to so much information and so many people that it’s easy to forget just how fantastically impossible these features would’ve seemed ten years ago.
It seems strange, then, that collaboration tools have been stuck in such an old mindset of connecting us for so long. If you receive a web conferencing invite today or pull up their audio connection interface, you’re going to be affronted with terms that are archaic by today’s standards, words like “toll-free” and “audio PIN,” words signifying a by-gone age of dialing-in, of star codes and pound signs. As a Millennial (or whatever it is I’m being called this week), I didn’t have much prior experience with web conferencing, and the first time I was presented with a solution that expected me to dial-in I was frankly a little aghast.
You want me to what? Dial a number? I haven’t “dialed” a number since 2007 except to add it to a contact list so I never have to dial it again. Even if I have to look up a number today, all I do is tap it and my phone does the work for me.
And that is the key – technology does the work for us now — and that belief is the impetus behind GlobalMeet®’s Connect Me and Auto-Connect™ features.
Chasing Instant Collaboration
Now, let’s get something out of the way: yes, I’m well aware that both GlobalMeet® and iMeet® offer dial-in options, complete with the numbers and passcodes that I just told you were archaic ideas. Of course they still have their place — the same way my smartphone still lets me dial a phone number. GlobalMeet allows these options, but doesn’t limit users to the old-school methods. With features like Connect Me and Auto-Connect™, you never have to use them again. It’s couldn’t be simpler:
- Enter in your phone number, click Connect Me, and the meeting calls you. The end. No number to dial. No passcode. One-click instant collaboration, just like tapping an icon on your smartphone.
- Set up Auto-Connect and you don’t even have to work that hard. The next time you launch GlobalMeet, your audio connects over VoIP automatically.
Now you’re speaking my language. In a world where my friend’s status updates and tweets are sent straight to my phone or where Google Now automatically tells me when to leave for work based on current traffic conditions, I’m used to technology coming to me and meeting me in the world I “live” in, not the other way around. Companies should embrace collaboration technology that facilitates the kinds of instant communication experiences and the ease-of-access that we’re all increasingly accustomed to thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. Mobile experiences used to be dictated by desktop ones, but it’s increasingly the opposite — just look at Apple bringing the App Store to Mac Desktops and Laptops or the entire design of Windows 8.
The Business Case for Smarter Technology
Providing your employees with intuitive, easy-to-use software features like Connect Me and Auto-Connect certainly keeps them happier, facilitates easier communication and collaboration and prevents your teams from splintering and chasing their own conferencing solution (a common problem for IT leaders). But let’s be honest here: cost-savings are still very much top-of-mind when embracing a new software solution or infrastructure platform, and by embracing VoIP through features like Auto-Connect, companies can see significant expense reductions.
VoIP allows companies to shed unnecessary office space and the associated overhead and allows them to freely operate beyond the bounds of a physical location. Features like call forwarding allow seamless integration with your existing cellphones or local access numbers. In fact, there’s a very real chance you’ve used or been exposed to a VoIP system without even realizing it. As traditional PSTN infrastructures continue to decline while VoIP services are seeing explosive growth, the evolution from legacy phone systems to VoIP-powered communications isn’t only inevitable, it’s already happening.
Smartphones are already disrupting the stalwart desk phone and tablets have started edging out laptops as the remote worker device of choice. Why shouldn’t your collaboration be powered by tomorrow’s technologies instead of yesterday’s? By wrapping a VoIP system in simple, user-friendly technologies like Connect Me and Auto-Connect you can create happier, more productive employees while bringing costs down at the same time, the Holy Grail of any new business solution.