Communication is one of the major business components in any organization, without which, work cannot be performed effectively. Quicker (2008), observes that this has been made easy by the existence of internet services. Most business enterprises have shifted from using face to face type of communication to use of online business communication to get access to its employees. They believe that this method is easy to use and inexpensive both to the organization and the employees. Clampitt (2005) also supports by saying that use of online business communication is convenient as a lot of information can be made available to different employees within a short period of time. Feedback is also received instantly depending on the level of internet connection between the parties communicating together. Apart from this, online communication allows the employees to freely access any information that they want as long they are part of the organization and have the company's password.
Being in an online world, many businesses use this service to even communicate to their customers making it easy to get their feedbacks instantly. Business transaction made online has been recorded to be fast and convenient to the customers as their orders are received and acted upon immediately. Moreover, the internet has been proved to provide an easy and convenient way of marketing business products to a wide range of customers, irrespective of their geographical location. Scobles and Israel (2006), indicates that now days, people spend most of their time on the internet making online marketing industry to grow.
There are different tools that are used in the business world to solve communication problem with their employees or customers online. These include; project management and collaboration tool, business class instant messaging, web conferencing and collaboration, VOIP and unified communication and creating social network in the place of work. In addition to the above tools, a business may opt to use a Virtual Private Network in order to connect with its employees in whichever part of the organization at any given time. The method has been proved to be the most convenient compared to the other methods that are used to solve business communication problems within the organization.
In order to improve communication within an organization, Quicker (2008), notes that most organizations have come up with ways they can do this. He indicates that the organizations have come up with frequently asked page in which accounts for the most asked issues within the organization. This makes it for the management to solve some issues that might be of no use to address officially. Others use have an additional email link on their website to answer issues that cannot be resolved by the web support systems, provide a message board which allows employees to ask questions and get answered as they interact within themselves and lastly writing personal email addresses to the employees that have got issues to be resolved.
Focusing on the alternative tools used by businesses to solve communication problem within the organization, we have the use of desktop. It has been sampled by Kitchen and Schultz (2001) that in every 10 employees, there is at least four to six computers for work. These computers are used to enable communication between co-workers or with clients. More researches also indicate that most workers did some of their work while they were at home meaning that telecommunication is used to make sure that work is performed from whichever location. This means that the colleagues do not need to be in the same location for communication and work to be done.
Intranet is another alternative business-solving method, which involves the use of internet to communicate within a confined environment, e.g. a company, organization or a school. The difference between this and the internet is that, it is only confined within the organizational local connection area. Access is only given to employees of a specific company as long as they have the password although both the internet and intranet operate over a communication standard in that it connects its users over network. Some companies use this as a form of communication with clients and employees that are not within the local area connection. The extensions made are called extranet.
Companies that use this type of communication to solve business problems benefit from the fact that intranet are easy to run, implement and it's cheap. In order to host intranet connection, the company only needs to restructure the network settings thus saving the company the cost of buying new equipments and machines. The company also benefits from an improved communication and collaboration among the members working in the same company. The employees use a central website on the corporate intranet to get access to what others in the company are doing including tracking down their daily activities and progress. They can also share reports, ideas, videos and company records saving them the need to travel to obtain information within the organization. It is also used to maintain the culture of the company in that managers can maintain blogs on site which will give employees notice in case of an exciting new development or opportunity (Rybczynski, 2007).
Another tool that is used as an alternative means in solving communication problems within a business enterprise is the use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This is a type of communication that is done over long distances over the phone. It entails turning the analog signals into a digital data which is a form that can be transmitted over the internet. There are different ways of making a call using VoIP and this includes analog telephone adapter (ATA), IP phones and computer to computer us. ATA allows its users to communicate from their standard from into the internet using the VoIP. The device is made in such a way that it converts the analog signal from the phone and converts it into digital signals that can be used in the internet. IP phones are normal phones that have RJ-45 Ethernet connector instead of RJ-11 connector of normal phones. This type of phone connects to the router which then allows phone calls abroad through the internet. In the computer to computer connection, a company needs to have a microphone, internet connection, speaker, software and a sound card to be able to use it. Usually the service is free of charge no matter the distance that is covered and so this makes communication in an organization cheaper.
According to Clampitt (2005), the use of VoIP might be inconvenient to use especially when the power goes off. The device use is connected directly to source of power and when it goes off, and then it cannot be brought into use. Another limitation to its use is that the device is prone to viruses, hacking and it can only be used on phones that are IP addressed. Although currently there is many hurdles on how to make this method convenient, it is still unclear on when the solution will be found. Employees having this kind of phones can communicate but it limits those who are not accessible to IP addressed phones. The most advocated means of communication in the organization is the use of virtual private network (VPN). The use of VPN has been observed by Mc Farlene (2010), to be the best method of solving communication problems within an organization that is made up of many employees who are within the organization or very far from the organization. This is a type of communication that uses telecommunication infrastructure to enable its users to get an access to any information within the organization. The method is most convenient because it is cheap and can be accessed by any member of the organization irrespective of his/her position in company as long as you are part of the organization employee.
The method makes it unnecessary to use the expensive leased lines that are used to connect individuals to an organization intranet services if available. It is also advocated for use because it has secure protocols that ensure confidentiality of the information being transferred from one department to another. The network therefore gives companies a secure channel of communication that is cheap while at the same time increasing performance among employees and allowing remote users to have an access to important information within the company. Other than the mentioned pro's, the network exists on any standard data service that is in existence in that it is flexible in respect to data transmissions. The connection can be done or configured on cable lines, T1 lines, WIFI and any phone lines without the user knowing which line of connection that has been used. All these connection options are done prior to an organization preference that is depending on its reliability, cost or efficiency of performance.
The first benefit that is accrued t an organization on using this method to solve communication problems in an organization is that it saves an organization the data service costs by a higher percentage approximately over 60%. It does this by using a costly effective telecommunication solution that is cheaper than using leasing lines. It therefore makes it possible for an organization to save money by routing data from different departments using the same line of connection. Some of the VPN services can be monitored by the management in twenty four hours continuously increasing its reliability and security.
The second reason as to why VPN should be used by organizations is that it allows better performance among the members of the organization. The increased networking among the individuals allows ideas to be shared thereby creating an innovative environment. This then allows a better performance in the organization. The third reason is that it allows an improved scalability. This means that it can be installed over a variety of networks, configured and re-configured according to various stages of network growth. According to Mc Farlene (2010), the other methods of solving communication problems within the organization are often time consuming as it needs to be upgraded with every growth or change of technology.
The fourth reason as why this is the best means of solving communication problems in an organization is that it is highly flexible and most reliable. Its network connection is widely spread over large areas making it easily accessible to its users even in the remotest areas. Any available virtually data service option can be used to make sure that communication between two different locations is allowed. Reliability of the service is achieved when the use of VPN allows several independent carriers to be channeled through one major data channel making communication even much easier. This benefit is much appreciated by most telecommunication experts who look upon the service to transfer information to various departments within the same organization.
The use of VNP is also allows a greater access to mobile users. According to Marcus (2009), the most mobile users who are favored by this kind of service are the telecommuters. These are individuals who travel a lot from one region to another and still want to get an access to the company's information, email updates and records. Employees working from their homes are also in a position to access important information from the central management positions without the need to go to the office. The method is therefore convenient for them as it enables them to continue being productive while they are still at home.
Online project management is therefore an important aspect in any organization that wants to succeed in future. Organizations are required to look for effective and reliable ways to solve communication barriers that may exist. Communication between the management and thee employees is important as it allows and promotes productivity in the business. An organization that does not consider looking for appropriate means to communicate, is doomed to fail in the business industry.
With the above ambitions in mind, I therefore recommend the use of virtually private network as the best method of ensuring communication problems are solved within the organization while at the same time saving on costs incurred. According to Marcus (2009), VPN is more reliable in an organization that has a lot of its employees working in remote areas far from the main office. It also favors organizations that have most of its employees travelling a lot, on matters of business. The employees can still access their emails and data information's even without being present in the organizations office to do so.
From the above stated methods used to solve communication problems within an organization, it can be concluded that the best method is the use of Virtual Private Network. This is because it is the most cost saving and reliable, irrespective of the location of the user.