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Search and You Shall Find: Finding the right people in partner organizations

November 20, 2013

search-contacts_cropIn order to collaborate effectively, your employees must communicate in real-time with their colleagues across the different companies that form your organization’s business network. But, locating the contact information for their colleagues across different corporate boundaries can be frustrating and time consuming.

Short of federating your Active Directory (AD) with your partners, your employees are left with no choice but to find their way through 3rd party sources such as LinkedIn.

Research shows barriers to collaboration is resulting in nearly 200 hours per user, per year, in wasted productivity, and 46 percent of workers use LinkedIn for networking and finding colleagues.

But, what if instead of wasting hours on LinkedIn or page-clicking through company websites to find their colleagues, your end-users could search the “UC Phonebook” – a secure, centralized database containing highly reliable, validated and accurate contact information based on the employee profiles that are automatically updated by the participating companies.

Here’s how the UC Phonebook can make a big difference. Let’s say companies A, B, and C want their users to engage in real-time B2B UC collaboration. Once their UC platforms are federated, users in Company A want find their colleagues in Company B and C and vice-versa.

To find their colleagues, the users in company A, B and C, irrespective of their UC clients, simply add the following address to their contact list, To perform a search, users just double-click in their contact list to open a chat session. They then type the command “Search” in the chat window followed by a combination of first and/or last names, company domain name, title, or location.

The search results, matching the search criteria, will display as a chat reply. The users can then add the UC addresses of their colleagues directly to their contact list and invite them into a chat session.

As an example, the graphic below shows the results of a search initiated from Microsoft Lync for a contact with the last name of “Jones.” The search generated multiple results, listing all the available “Jones” in the participating member organizations. These results can be filtered further by company name, title (if available), and location.

UC Phonebook is available to all UC Exchange members. To participate in the UC Phonebook, UC Exchange members use the NextPlane Active Directory (AD) Sync tool to synchronize their Active Directory with the UC Phonebook.

The NextPlane Active Directory Sync utility adds, deletes, and updates user and groups in the UC Phonebook to match each participating company’s Active Directory (AD) Server. When synchronization occurs, any changes on the AD Server are reflected in the UC Phonebook.  Synchronization can be scheduled so that UC Phonebook users and groups are automatically kept up to date with the AD Server. Exclusion rules can be added to limit the synchronization to select users or groups in AD.

Just think what your company might be able to do with those extra 200 hours per user, per year in saved productivity if each employee could quickly and easily find their collaboration partners without having to search the Web!

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