Mature organizations sometimes get bad reputations when it comes to the adoption of new technology. With a certain amount of success and a certain number of years under their belts, detractors say, established companies can find themselves shackled by success, comfortably treading water as application programming interfaces (APIs) or other innovations paddle on by.
There's a problem with this line of thinking, however: It's false. When it comes to the tremendous power of a communication API, a unified communications platform, or any other revolutionary technology — older businesses are more than capable of leading the charge and doing things their newer counterparts can only hope to emulate in the process.
Here are potential factors behind this phenomenon, and ways companies of all maturity levels can embrace communication innovations.
Mature Businesses and the Adoption of New Technology
Like many popular misconceptions, the idea that established organizations shun advanced communication technology in business doesn't survive scrutiny. In reality, mature companies have the luxury of experience, which can be hugely helpful as they decide what they need from their technologies. Further, an established company is more likely to have the resources it needs to realize its vision without compromise.
If anything, it may be the definition of innovation that needs a refresh. Whether they're building tools to suit new products or simply trying to make a splash, bushy-tailed newcomers are quick to reinvent the wheel. By contrast, established companies tend to leverage tools that give existing processes a technological facelift. While the former may make waves and grab headlines, the latter arguably has the greater capacity for day-to-day impact.
In this sense, the supposedly "stagnant" companies often have the experience and resources needed to strike when a potential upgrade's benefits are apparent, and enough cushion to play wait-and-see when the upside is less clear. That aversion to change that people talk about is actually a measured approach to technological innovation.
Exploring Communication API Integration
Things get exciting when you apply these ideas to the burgeoning world of communication APIs. Using "off-the-shelf" code, the upgrades an established business makes can be as simple or complex as needed. Since APIs are designed to provide powerful features at a fraction of the development cost and time, organizations can implement large changes at far lower cost than building from the ground up. Compared to the "decision fatigue" and lack of practical experience newer organizations may face in choosing a suite of tools, the mature business's edge here is as obvious as it is large.
Established companies tend to know their customers as well. For example, a business with troves of CRM data may use communications APIs to build more meaningful relationships with clientele. A simple screen that pops up with a customer's last five orders or the reasons for her most recent call may be all it takes to improve key performance indicators, create added conversions, and enhance the overall experience. APIs allow mature companies to dive into these improvements feetfirst, compared to the slow phase a newer company must slog through.
Mature companies know the channels in which their customers prefer to communicate. Although older businesses have a reputation of being social media-averse, the right APIs can allow them to tap into their existing social followings, integrating popular messaging services into their current slate of customer contact formats. This can lead to better relationships and improved loyalty, with APIs making adoption of new technology faster and less expensive.
Operational complexity — a challenge any mature business encounters as it grows upward and outward — is also a factor worth considering. Using communications APIs, companies can centralize communication from within the very tools they've developed, making it easier than ever to turn complex structures into cohesive business organisms. Presence tools allow employees to see whether colleagues across the office or across the country are available for chats, for instance. Meanwhile, voice communication APIs enable roving sales representatives to make and receive calls from their office extension no matter where their travels take them.
New Company, Old Practices: Using APIs to Play Catch-Up
Of course, established companies are far from the only ones using communication APIs to great effect. For younger businesses, the ability to quickly bring powerful capabilities to internal and customer-facing solutions is a massive equalizer. Young companies with innovative approaches to front- or back-end processes, for example, can use APIs to "level out" — adding expected features to the slate of innovations they need. Or, a new company with multiregional presence could use APIs to enable it to text promotional updates or appointment reminders from local numbers wherever they operate.
Communication APIs are powerful and accessible enough for established players and up-and-comers alike to benefit greatly from their use. In a business world where a single competitive advantage can guarantee success — and where the lack of expected features can signal doom — these advantages make powerful allies. Check for yourself and see what a communications API can do to bolster your organization.
Read the white paper to learn more about the role mature organizations play in communications innovation, and contact Vonage Business to learn how you can apply this to your company.