Communications Innovations Your Business May Not Be Using, by Rob Walton

IP_business_phone_systems_communication_innovations.jpgBusiness communications technology has evolved drastically over the past decade. When we started VTSL nearly 10 years ago, there were only a handful of business VoIP providers in the UK, and VoIP was still considered a ‘new’ technology. Nowadays IP business phone systems are seen as standard. The same is true of several other communications innovations, all which have the power to improve efficiency and collaboration at your organisation—some of which you may not be using.

Desktop Video Collaboration

You do not need to subscribe to an expensive video conferencing service or hire a specialist company to have desktop collaboration and video conferencing in your office, home or various sites. All you need is a wide angle camera, flat screen TV and a very affordable application like Google Hangouts, Skype for Business or Zoom.

These applications are surprisingly easy to use, requiring virtually no training for staff, and will mean that you can share desktops, deliver media-rich presentations and have group meetings across various locations with ease.


In case you think chat is for the younger generations—think again. Chat is an invaluable method of communication in the working environment. Quicker than email, or even picking up the phone, chat allows your team to get questions answered, deliver messages and communicate with groups instantaneously. Moreover, chat provides an effective way of coaching or training staff who are on the phone. By sending a chat message, a supervisor or mentor can provide a new employee with real-time tips, feedback and even assist with difficult questions they may be asked.

Slack is one of the most popular business chat applications, and has divided chats by type of ‘channel’.  You can create channels (groups) for different areas of your business in which people involved on the same project can quickly communicate and send files. You can also have a direct channel to an individual, or a private channel when you want to share sensitive information. Depending on what version you get however, Slack can be expensive, and we find Google chat (free) works really well too.

Phones (including softclients)

No matter how much communications technology has evolved the past 10 years, nothing is more effective in sorting an issue out quickly then picking up the phone and speaking directly to the parties involved. Yet in this day in age, you actually don’t have to pick up a thing. With IP business phone systems, and softphone clients for your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone, you can use any device as your office phone—making and receiving calls from your office number from anywhere, just as if you were sitting at your desk. Yesterday while waiting for a meeting to start at a client site, I was able to carry on working in the reception area, taking and making calls just as if I was in the VTSL office. I could transfer calls, get transferred calls, pick up voicemail, etc, saving precious time.

Unified Communications

Unified communications is being able to access communications mediums in whatever application you are working. For example, if you are working in your CRM system, and want to make a call, you can do that with unified communications. Likewise, if you want to start a chat, you should be able to do that from or your email client. With unified communications voicemail can be sent to email, and business directories accessed from smartphones. It is yet another innovation that businesses can adopt that is low risk and low cost that will improve efficiency and collaboration.

The big question we find ourselves asking today is: What will the communications innovations of the next 10 years be?

Any ideas, please leave a comment.


 About VTSL

VTSL is a hosted communications provider specialising in IP business phone systems and unified communications for businesses looking to get ahead. VTSL has nearly 10 years of experience and was one of the first to market with a VOIP phone service that guaranteed voice quality. Now with a range of products from Fibre connectivity to Salesforce integration, VTSL are market leaders in converged communications solutions. Learn more by calling 020 7078 3200.

Topics: New technology, Telecoms