No business truly works alone. It typically takes an army of service providers, contractors and other third parties to keep one entity running. Communication is the cornerstone of any successful business partnership, but divergent platforms and tools can quickly come between an organization and its goals.
These challenges aren’t limited to external interactions. As organizations grow, merge and acquire, once seamless systems can become a fragmented nightmare. As we discussed in our Q&A with Farzin Shahidi of NextPlane, Unified Communication federation is an obvious choice in these situations, allowing firms to hold on to their existing platforms and pursue a hybrid approach to collaboration.
What is a federated communications strategy?
A federation is a collection of individual entities into a group that is governed by one body. In the case of federating a communications strategy, it means taking all of your platforms across which the business communicates and placing them within the same governance platform.
This will allow you to have greater flexibility and control over platforms within and across your company.
So when is the prime time to pursue federation? If your firm is grappling with any of the following situations, it may be time to consider a federated UC strategy:
1. Mergers and acquisitions.
During a merger or acquisition, it’s unlikely that both firms rely on the same UC vendor solution. But a cohesive internal communication strategy is paramount throughout this chaotic process in order to help maintain productivity and customer service.
Especially in large organizations, federation allows firms to leave existing communication infrastructure in place until a permanent strategy can be determined.
2. Globalization projects.
Any multinational organization must sustain continuity across its satellite offices and staff. But due to regulatory guidelines, regional standards, office autonomy and other variables, even the most organized global operations can breakdown fast.
For product launches, industry events or even all-company planning meetings, it’s critical for firms to ensure open lines of communication between offices. Despite geographic boundaries, staff should be able to communicate as easily across borders as they can across the hall.
3. You’re extending your resources.
When working with an external marketing agency or consulting firm, frequent, reliable interaction between organizations is required. Close and timely communication can make the difference in hitting key project milestones and staying on budget. Federation allows these partners to integrate more deeply into your firm’s operations, clearing the hurdles to more effective cooperation by providing a more efficient way to work together.
As firms seek to take down the barriers to effective communication between their staff and business partners, federation is becomingly an increasingly attractive choice. Sometimes the hardest part is recognizing that your business needs a fix in the first place.
Has your firm employed a federation strategy? What inspired your decision? Share your experiences below.