What is Unified Communications?
As the world evolves into an ever more online place, some companies are finding that traditional communication methods are no longer providing the level of connectedness they need.
Clients expect their correspondence to be answered increasingly quickly, and employees need systems that allow them to carry out their duties in the most efficient way possible. As operational schedules and corporate budgets remain tight, achieving both of these through traditional communication systems is becoming more and more of a challenge.
This is where Unified Communications comes in. Integrating voice, video, data, mobility products and applications, Unified Communications is an IP-based system that is promising to revolutionize the way we communicate.
The whole system is designed to optimize business processes for more streamlined operations, with one line of communication possible over a range of devices. Emails may be listened to as voicemail, SMS may be shown on a laptop screen, and faxes may be read as emails; all before being automatically archived.
Once the devices are connected, the process is seamless and the possibilities endless.
Advantages of Unified Communications
The major advantage of adopting a Unified Communications system can be summed up in one word: efficiency. From saving time and effort to helping to minimize costs, a properly installed Unified Communications system is one of the single most effective productivity tools in which a company can invest.
The continued adoption of Unified Communications by small, medium and large businesses has been driven by two recent developments in the way we work.
As more employees operate remotely, the need for a communications system that integrates an office with those in the field becomes a concern. Added to the propensity for people to want to use their own devices instead of carrying separate work phones and tablets, Unified Communications has become a unified solution to more than one issue.
With the improved efficiency, reduced costs, and increased revenue brought about by an improvement in the customer service given, Unified Communications is proving a boon to those companies who have already converted.
Unified Communications Terms
For those interested in adopting Unified Communications in their own company, there may be a few technical terms that have yet to be encountered. Before contacting a supplier to discuss whether Unified Communications is feasible for your business, learning a few terms and acronyms is advised.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) means employees having the ability to integrate their own smartphones and tablets into the company's Unified Communications system. Saving on costs for extra handsets and allowing staff to carry only one device, Unified Communications can even work across Android and iOS within the same system.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is an important feature of any new phone system installed. Allowing for full customization of a system, Open APIs can easily be integrated with software specific to your needs. The ability for a phone system's functionality to be extended by using API technology means potential increases in usability, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) allows for a seamless connection to be made between a deskphone and a mobile. Offering the ability to set one phone number for both devices means the customer is never aware the call may be being taken remotely, while the ability to transfer calls even while they are in progress means never being tied to a desk while speaking to a client.
Unified Communications (UC) is an IP-based system that combines as many communication methods as your business requires. Interactive Voice Response, voicemail, instant messaging, fax, social media, web applications and email are all supported, helping to drive the adoption rate of Unified Communications among businesses.
Helping with efficiency, increasing productivity, reducing costs and providing a future-proof investment for companies who rely on reliable and streamlined communication, Unified Communications is one of the most practical and effective business investments available today.