The Importance of Private, Reliable, Secure Business Communications
In the last post of our blog series we shared “Best Practices for Unified Communications Providers.” For our ninth and final post in this series we will go over best practices for the users of Unified Communications.
Part 9: Best Practices for Unified Communications Participants
Effective Unified Communications (UC) requires a collaborative partnership between solution providers and the people using the tools they create. Both sides of this relationship share an obligation to develop and implement best practices in their respective areas of operation. And people on each side play interdependent roles in ensuring business communications are private, reliable and secure.
We covered areas that providers handle in a previous post. Now, let’s discuss the participant’s two most important realms of responsibility – access and conduct:
Securely Manage Unified Communications Access
Judicious management of UC resources by participants fosters productive UC sessions:
Complex Codes for identifiers, passwords and PINs used by leaders and participants complement privacy, reliability and security measures on the part of providers. Here are tips for setting appropriate codes:
- For session identifiers, use a minimum of 10 digits
- For passwords and PINS, use a minimum of four digits
- Never make all digits the same (e.g., 1111111111, 7777777777) or use leading zeros (e.g., 000121, 00111)
- Avoid logical sequences (e.g., 12345, 775577, 1113333, and 50505050) and running more than three sequential digits in a row (e.g., 1234)
- Never use PINs inside passwords or vice versa
- Never use a public phone number or your own phone number as an identifier, password or PIN
Sharing and/or Publishing individual credentials of any kind increases the risks of breaches to privacy and security and should be avoided. By the same principle, credentials that can be altered should be changed on a regular basis. In general, only colleagues, customers and partners should be issued credentials for proprietary communications networks and be encouraged to keep them confidential.
Choosing Private, Secure Locations for conducting sessions not only reduces the risk of intrusion, but typically enhances the quality of interactions when collaborating. Simple steps such as closing doors and/or using handsets instead of speakerphones contribute to this cause.
Adhere to Private, Reliable, Secure Communications Conduct
Conscientious behavior by participants contributes to collaborative UC interactions:
Prepare for collaboration:
- Notifying participants of dates and times of appointments in a timely fashion when hosting, and confirming attendance in advance when joining as a guest
- Sending agendas and/or background materials to participants in a timely fashion when hosting and submitting agenda items background materials in advance when joining as a guest
- Silencing alerts by smartphones, tablets and laptops before initiating or joining a session
Exercise courtesy in collaboration:
- Finding a private, secure location to host or join a session
- Arriving early or on time for a session
- Conducting a roll call of participants and reviewing the agenda when hosting a session
- Introducing yourself when speaking in a session and encouraging others to do the same
- Refraining from using muting or hold features frequently unless necessary, as turning them on and off can delay the flow of interaction
Facilitate quality of collaboration:
- Dealing promptly with any noise or distractions on your connection or in your location
- Involving as many participants as reasonable in discussion when hosting and volunteering information and observations when joining as a guest
- Requesting feedback from participants frequently when hosting and offering feedback often when joining as a guest
- Agreeing to table topics and discussions not relevant to the agenda for later sessions
- Summarizing issues covered in a session when hosting and providing availability for follow-up sessions when joining as a guest
“Unified” Is the Leading Word in Our Business
Wave after wave of digital transformation rolling over our operations sets a grueling pace of continual adjustment for today’s businesses. What’s more, these innovative technologies -- with their expanding mobile capabilities and escalating use of artificial intelligence, may seem to detach and isolate us from our colleagues, customers and partners.
In response to these looming challenges, we adhere to an intentionally simple mission as UC providers. We remember that “unified” is the leading term in the solution’s name. And we endeavor to restrict technology to the background as a catalyst to productivity rather than an inhibitor. If our services enable people to collaborate with others, connecting them whenever needed, from wherever they may be, we’re optimistic about the next wave of digital transformation, and the countless more to come.