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Jul 13, 2012

Information relevance key to streamlining internal communications

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Increasing the relevance of information presented to employees can increase productivity and reduce the time spent on managing different communications media, says telecommunications company Unison strategic business development director Keith Jones.

“Mobility is not equal to productivity, which is dependent on the employee’s work behaviour. Productivity can be increased by reducing the time employees spend sifting through messages to find the relevant information needed to conduct business. This can be done by filtering and rerouting messages, as well as mobilising the workforce to free them from the constraints of time and place.

“This means an effective telecommunication cost and device management programme can reduce costs for companies by holding employees responsible for nonbusiness communication costs and monitoring business telecommunication contracts. It can also improve productivity by helping to shape employee behaviour and increase the relevance of communications for each employee, which reduces time spent decoding messages,” he says.

“For example, a person on the road may find more relevance in a telephone conversation than a lengthy email, while a person doing a long-term project may find more relevance in the detail of an email than a telephone call. Thus, filtering messages increases their relevance and usability.”

Unison’s Enterprise Communications Management programme rationalises expenses of telecommunications by tracking all contracts, devices, costs, users and departments, says Unison product manager Riaan Laubscher.

“By tracking all service providers, devices and contracts in real time, the programme enables companies to manage telecommunication costs proactively and hold users to account, which will change their behaviour. This functionality is also necessary when users define their own communication filters, which will increase the relevance of communications for that user,” he explains.

Further, mobility can enable employees to be more productive by allowing them access to various communications media, regardless of their location. Employees increasingly expect to use their own devices and are also questioning the relevance of being office-bound, given the range of communication media and mobile devices, says Jones.

“The relevance of electronic communications is determined by the intention of the user. For example, a person searching for couches using [search-engine giant] Google will be more willing to scrutinise advertisements of couch sales than a person using [social network] Facebook to communicate with friends and family who happens to see a couch advertisement,” he explains.

Consequently, consumers increasingly determine the success of corporate communications and marketing strategies. The relevance of advertising remains important and businesses must consider mobility as a key aspect of advertising. Companies must still spend according to their target audience, but must also consider the relevance of advertisements to convert an audience into customers effectively, says Jones.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
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