You probably know you need Unified Communications, if not, you soon will.
We can help you make sense out of the voodoo of tying it all together and making it work.
Unified communications (UC) is a business and marketing concept describing the integration of enterprise communication services such as instant messaging, presence information, voice, audio, web & video conferencing, desktop sharing, data sharing (including web connected electronic interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax).
Communications applications and services are typically used in a standalone fashion, there is a lot of inefficiency, duplicated effort and wasted time. Not only does this lower workplace productivity, it also reduces the return on investment (ROI) for the underlying technologies.
In short, UC offers the competitive advantage of having a single system to manage multiple tools, such as phone, video conferencing, instant messaging, voicemail, email, fax, customer service, and more. Think of it as the Swiss Army knife of communications.
This makes businesses more productive and helps smaller companies take advantage of features that make them appear larger and more competitive. If businesses believe their current approach to managing communications is limiting both individual and operational performance, then they need UC.
The popularity of Unified Communications among businesses can be attributed in large part to the fact that it “levels the playing field” for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).
Unified Communication solutions make it possible for SMBs to do things and manage trends that were once considered to only apply to larger organizations.
Specifically, the two most recent trends driving Unified Communications adoption include:
• Mobility – the requirement for a communications system to more seamlessly integrate a corporate office with its mobile or remote workers; and
• BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – the need for an organization’s communications system to work with employees’ personal devices that are being used with or in place of standard, IT-approved, corporate devices (smart phones and tablets being the most common devices).
Businesses are now using more tools and better technology for their operations (email, CRM, customer service, etc.) and workers are becoming less and less tied to a desk. Regular old phone systems don’t cater to either of those issues, so Unified Communications is the only “next step” that makes sense for modern businesses looking for a phone system.
If executed properly, the primary benefits of implementing UC as a total telecommunications solution include:
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to Unified Communications is the amount of money it can save businesses. Simply put, Unified Communications is a more advanced technology that operates using more cost-effective resources, and those savings are passed along to the businesses that use Unified Communication solutions.
Unified Communications allow your business to improve sales processes, provide better customer service, and simply offer a superior overall communication experience, which ultimately drives more revenue for your organization.
As your company reduces the number of individual systems used for various types of communication, your business is able to operate more efficiently. Plus the cost savings (above) you’ll experience with Unified Communications will also contribute to making business more efficiency.
Better customer service
No matter what industry you’re in, technology advances have left customers and communities expecting a high level of customer service. Unified Communications give your business the ability to provide this level of cutting-edge customer service so you can meet and exceed expectations.
This is where UC has the greatest impact, since all employees use communications applications. For internal communication, presence is the key catalyst, since it allows employees to see the status of co-workers in real time. Not only does this technology cut down on wasted time, but by knowing which modes and team members are available, employees can choose the best form of communication for the task at hand.
Unified communications benefits employees by empowering them to work effectively from any broadband-accessible location -- and today, that's a key driver for personal productivity. For most employees, the desk is just one of many locations where work gets done, and UC is built around where the end user is, rather than where the desk phone is.
With today's disparate workforces and decentralized operations, teams rarely meet in-person all at once. This is where unified communications benefits businesses is the consistent end-user experience, where everyone is using the same applications and can easily collaborate in real time. Again, with presence, other users can be added quickly to conversations when needed. Higher-end UC services will have a strong video component -- including high-definition video conferencing -- and this can help reduce the need for travel to attend a meeting in person.
Another key benefit is the persistent nature of UC -- it's always available, so ad hoc meetings are never a problem. Conventional conferencing systems are reservation-based and not ideal for informal collaboration -- a mode that many employees prefer given their busy schedules.
When both employees and teams are more productive, the organization will be as well. This use case reflects the strategic value of UC, as these results have an additive impact on the business as a whole.
Unified communications benefits IT staff by deploying applications in a common environment. The use of third-party applications reduces the IT department's ability to monitor network usage for bandwidth management and data security.
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