Collaboration technologies, like unified communications, video and web conferencing tools, social software and mobile applications are considered crucial for organizations looking to reach new markets and consumers. The Huffington Post recently highlighted how these options can benefit businesses in a variety of ways, including to improve customer interactions.
"The way you handle customer interactions is more critical than ever to the future of your organization," the Huffington Post explained. "Collaboration allows customer-service representatives to work from anywhere. And social media monitoring helps companies listen to what customers are saying and respond quickly to their feedback."
The news provider also suggested that collaboration technologies can connect businesses with customers, suppliers, other vendors and investors regardless of location. The report provided an example of such capabilities, saying that a manufacturer can source products from a partner in a certain country and then assemble the materials in another. However, communication is always needed, especially considering the fact that different departments will be operating in many parts of the globe.
To put it simply, the Huffington Post asserted that organizations with collaboration options in place can ultimately "transform" their industry, building upon others' improvements.
"Highly personalized banking, telemedicine, distance learning and distributed research and development are just a few examples of what's possible today," the report stated. "Like the internet before it, collaboration has the potential to transform every industry. It's a question of who gets there first."
SMBs turning to collaboration technologies
Small and medium-sized businesses may lack the budgets of larger competitors, but many SMBs are turning to collaboration technologies to level the playing field. Market research firm IDC conducted a study of SMBs in the United States and found that these organizations are projected to spend more than $138 billion for information technology solutions in 2012. These companies are expected to allocate funding for unified communications, cloud computing, computers and software.
IDC also noted that the 8 million SMBs in the United States will account for nearly 25 percent of worldwide SMB IT budgets this year, as well as more than 10 percent of all technology spending globally.
Vendors that meet the changing financial requirements of U.S. SMBs stand to benefit the most in 2012 and in future years, IDC research manager Justin Jaffe noted.