Cloud Collaboration Integrations: 5 Common Options to Consider

Integrations are a crucial part of any technology, and when it comes to your collaboration, they allow you to incorporate a whole range of additional features. cloud collaboration integrations

Regardless of what industry you’re in, you likely already do or could benefit from using some solutions in conjunction with your collaboration system.

So, when you’re considering contracting with a new cloud collaboration vendor, you need to ensure their platform will integrate with the systems you need.

There are many different options for cloud-hosted collaboration solutions, and each vendor has dozens of integrations.

However, during the cloud-hosted collaboration migrations where The KR Group has assisted our clients, we’ve noticed trends in what integrations are most requested. They include:

  1. Calendar and scheduling
  2. Contact Center
  3. CRM
  4. Meetings
  5. Singlewire InformaCast

In the following information, you’ll find a high-level overview of the integrations available from some of the most popular vendors – Cisco, Microsoft, Nextiva, Webex, RingCentral, and others). But, you’ll want to check if the specific provider you’re considering offers the integration you’re looking for.

 

Calendar and Scheduling Integrations

Maybe you’re like me and use your Outlook calendar to schedule everything, or perhaps you’re less reliant on it and primarily use it to remind you of important conference calls.

Either way, when you integrate your calendar with your phone system, you can simplify business operations.

How?

Instead of copying and pasting the cloud-hosted collaboration video call link into every scheduled appointment, you can click the integrated button and embed an invite for the virtual meeting.

Similarly, you can integrate self-scheduling solutions, such as Calendly, to work with your cloud-hosted collaboration meetings.

 

Contact Center

Contact center systems, which have more advanced features than their hunt group counterparts, are essential if you have a customer service department. (They can also be helpful if you don’t.) cloud collaboration integrations

Contact centers provide your call center agents with a ton of pertinent information about the customer they’re talking on the phone with. Here are a couple of examples we’ve seen at The KR Group:

  • A lawn service company receives a call from a customer asking why their monthly round of fertilizer hasn’t been applied. The agent has visibility into the customer’s profile to see if they never made their last payment. As a result, they can explain what’s going on with the customer’s account, collect a payment, and schedule the fertilizer treatment, and they never have to transfer the call.
  • A propane company call agent answers a customer call. Immediately, the customer’s profile shows up and shows it’s been several months since their last tank fill. The agent can quickly assess that this might be why you’re calling and then verify it and schedule service.

Not all cloud-hosted collaboration vendors have contact center integrations, and you’ll want to work with your IT consultant to ensure you sign up for a platform with this capability.

 

CRM

Contact center systems are helpful in giving your customer service representatives the insight they need to handle client calls efficiently. However, they’re not the only employees who need to view and track information with contacts.

As a result, many organizations also benefit from CRM (customer relationship management) software to organize and maintain a digital record of customer integrations.

You should integrate your CRM with your phone system so that when you make or receive a call from a lead or customer, it is automatically logged into your system, and your user can add any applicable notes.

Most cloud-hosted collaboration solutions integrate with various CRM solutions. Still, you’ll want to double-check the CRM platform you use is supported by the collaboration vendor you’re planning to use.

 

Meetings

Virtual meetings have become significantly more common in the past few years as the remote and hybrid workforce has become the norm.

As a result, cloud-hosted collaboration vendors have provided integrations to help employees adapt to the modern workplace.

Are you working from home with pets or children making a ruckus in the background? Noise reduction integrations keep the distraction to a minimum…at least for those on the other end of the call.

Are you on a video conference with someone who speaks another language or is hard to understand? Language translation and close captioning integrations help clarify communication when needed.

Are you virtually interviewing someone and want a chance to review the meeting? Recording integrations make this possible.

Some of these features are natively integrated into the platforms. For others, you’ll need to check with the vendor or your IT consultant on how to incorporate them into your cloud-hosted collaboration system.

 

Singlewire InformaCast Paging

When you move from an on-premises phone system to the cloud, you’ll lose native paging capabilities included by some platforms.

Before you rule yourself out as not a candidate for paging solutions, remember that paging is no longer making an overhead announcement or sending a simple message to a specific device.

Yes, you can still incorporate those features. However, paging has evolved to offer much more, including weather and safety alerts, app notifications, text message alerts, lock-down modes, emergency notifications, and many more. (You can learn more about the benefits of Singlewire InformaCast in this article.)

When you switch to a cloud-hosted phone system, your provider might offer paging. However, they don’t have the advanced options of InformaCast and can only page a single zone, which isn’t enough for many organizations. For example, schools, health care facilities, manufacturers, etc., need to reach multiple zones with paging

This is where integrating Singlewire InformaCast with your cloud collaboration solution is helpful.

You create the possibility to send overhead pages to multiple zones (individually or simultaneously). Plus, you can incorporate live, ad hoc, and prerecorded pages. These can all be done through various methods to ensure your users are informed and safe.

 

What if You Don’t See the Integration You Want?

cloud collaboration integrations As I advised at the beginning of the article, you’re not going to find every single integration available in this article. For that information, you’ll want to look at the prospective vendor’s information.

The most efficient way to do this is to talk to an IT consultant, like The KR Group, and ask them if they know of any cloud-hosted collaboration vendors that offer the integration you’re looking for.

If they can’t find an existing integration, they’ll work with you to find a cloud phone vendor who can create it or outsource the task to a developer.

Remember that you’ll need to pay for custom integrations since they aren’t pre-created.

Additionally, the integration isn’t guaranteed to be directly between the cloud-collaboration provider and the application you’re using; it might go through a third party. You’ll want to know this if you ever need to request support for your custom integration.

 

Key Takeaways for Cloud Collaboration Integrations

Bottom line: moving your phone system to the cloud should make your job easier and your organization more productive.

This means you need to find a phone provider who integrates with your business’s most important solutions. Some of the common ones you might consider are calendars, contact center, CRM, meeting add-ons, and Singlewire InformaCast.

But this might not be all the integrations you want.

If that’s the case, you can work with your IT consultant and phone vendor and build custom integrations for your organization’s needs.

To learn more about what cloud collaboration solution is right for you and get started with a demo, schedule time with one of our technology experts.

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