Whether it’s speaking to citizens on the phone, web-conferencing with staff in different locations, or sharing files with partners, effective daily communication is paramount to governments of all shapes and sizes.
Unified communications consolidates a variety of communication methods under one platform. Through a single interface that can be accessed from any device and any location, employees can transition seamlessly between multiple communication applications.
The benefits of unified communications has local and state governments adopting the technology as a means to fight the contradictory pressures of declining budgets and rising citizen expectations. This blog post will examine how unified communication solutions are helping governments improve processes and better serve citizens while still reducing costs.
How can Unified Communications Help Improve Processes in Government?
For government agencies, meeting in-person can become impractical or too time consuming, but with unified communications location becomes irrelevant with the integration of email, voice and instant messaging. Whether working from the office, home or in the field, all civil staff can have access to the same functionality and information through the real-time capabilities that can be harnessed through unified communications. By utilizing unified communications tools there is no need for governments to have civil staff spend needless time travelling to a central location.
For example, department heads even have the ability to hold meetings with teams based in a variety of different locations. Virtual meetings can be utilized through multi-way instant chat messages or video conferencing sessions to provide more flexibility on when and how often a meeting can occur.
How can Unified Communications Enable Governments to Better Serve Citizens?
Unified communications are a critical component for government agencies wishing to improve citizen engagement and service. As described above, when agencies commit to utilizing a technology such as unified communications they are first and foremost likely to see an improvement in internal processes, as solutions like unified communications help government processes become more streamlined a positive and tangible result will be servicing citizens more efficiently.
For example, unified communications tools allow government staff and citizens with requests requiring specific expertise to locate the correct individual to address the issue. Unified communications can ensure citizens are directed to the right staff and departments, while avoiding being passed from one person to the next. Unified communications informs colleagues if the appropriate government employee is even available to deal with the issue and also provides information on where the employee is located.
Citizens have become accustomed to the around-the-clock service they now receive from private enterprises and as a result citizen expectations when it comes to government services is increasing. Citizens are demanding that their needs be addressed efficiently and transparently. Unified communications allows for citizen requests to be submitted through a variety of communication channels enabling citizens to engage with their government agencies 24 hours, 7 days a week. Government agencies can use unified communication tools to update citizens on the progress of their requests in on-demand and in real-time.
How can Unified Communications Help Governments Reduce Costs?
Government agencies challenged with complex and costly legacy systems can simplify infrastructure demands by integrating unified communications into existing processes, all communication capabilities can essentially be managed and deployed in one easy-to-use interface and platform when utilizing unified communications solutions.
Unified communications can be especially important to government agencies as nonessential travel budgets become more scrutinized. Unified communications help support a remote and mobile workforce, solutions like instant messaging and video conferencing can help keep government staff members connected and informed while avoiding unnecessary travel costs.
Time is money, therefore it is important to note that unified communications can also assist in decreasing the demand IT infrastructure has on an agency’s internal IT team. A hosted unified communication solution for example can be maintained by the service provider, which in turn frees up the government agency’s internal IT team to work on other issues or initiatives of higher priority.
Even though government budgets will rise and fall with changes to our economic climate, the demand citizens place on government agencies to provide transparent and efficient services is consistently increasing. Unified communications provides government agencies with attainable tools that reduce internal spending while at the same time actually improving processes and engagement with citizens.