Managing Mobile Mania

As users bring their own technology to the workplace, companies look to unified communications to tie it all together.

In the space of just a few years, Art Johnston has gone from thinking of unified communications as optional to viewing it as "a strategy that we need to implement to be competitive."

As CIO at Argo Turboserve Corp. (ATC), a Lyndhurst, N.J.-based company that provides customized supply chain management and nuclear engineering services, Johnston understands the importance of ensuring that a company's employees are able to access all their communications tools at any time, from any place.

"Our value-add to customers is in getting them immediate responses, solutions and answers," he explains. "The one thing we don't want to have is 'We'll get back to you' as an answer."

Establishing integrated, always-there communications is a tall order, considering that about half of ATC's 200 employees conduct most of their business on smartphones and tablets.

That's where unified communications comes into play.

UC brings together all of the disparate pieces of hardware and software tools that people use to stay connected -- from old-fashioned telephones to mobile video chat -- and makes those channels available anytime, anywhere, from any device.

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