Phone Device as a ServiceAltiGen’s Mike Plumer, Vice President of Sales, was featured this week in CUInsight for his article Is your credit union operating in communication silos? Below is the article geared towards CU executives wishing to perfect their credit union communications platform using Skype for Business and Office 365:

There are many communication tools available to credit unions today: In the age of eDocuments, eSignatures and mobile lending, email has become a necessary and, often, primary communication function for many credit unions with their members. Additionally, credit union employees use email to communicate with colleagues and vendors on a daily basis. Phone calls continue to be used for member support, call centers, business partners and intra-CU communication when further clarification is needed. And today, many CU’s have started to use instant messaging to get quick answers between employees. Web meetings are also often used for employee training sessions in branches.

All of these methods of credit union communications serve a very important purpose, but too often rely on multiple vendors and applications, operating in silos. Your credit union can’t afford to operate in silos. It’s time for credit unions to integrate various methods used to communicate and collaborate and realize the benefits of increased productivity and simplified workflow that Unified Communications provides.

Microsoft Office 365 is rapidly being adopted by credit unions. A 2016 Gartner report estimated that 78% of organizations have adopted or plan to adopt the solution within the year. Further, O365’s ability to integrate your communication silos with its Skype for Business platform has proven to be a great way to improve communication efficiencies. Having these functions operate in conjunction with each other allows your employees to reach the right person at the right time and get immediate responses. For example:

Employees can share their desktop with a member or fellow employee during a conversation. This can significantly reduce the time spent completing a document.

Web Meetings can improve face to face communication between branches and potentially decrease travel time for managers needing to support other branches.

Employees are able to see the real time status of coworkers and securely instant message each other to ask a quick question. This decreases voice mail between employees and the time spent checking to see if someone is available.

If you have migrated to Office 365 or are planning to, we recommend Hosted Skype for Business for Office 365. With one service, you will be able to consolidate all of your communication needs, from IM to email, web meetings to phone calls. It takes all of your communication silos and combines them into one comprehensive solution. By eliminating the overlap of multiple vendors, most CU’s see improved performance and cost savings.

It benefits your CU to look for a solution that provides a complete, managed Skype for Business service that further extends those capabilities. Hosted Skype for Business with AltiGen Communications does just that, and can also include advanced communications features such as contact center, call recording, web chat with members and more. Even the more complicated demands of your credit union can operate within your eco-system and not in costly, separate silos. Integrating all your communication applications with a fully managed hosted solution allows your CU employees to work better, not harder.