When Communications Collide
“Just send me a text”. How many times have you heard someone say that? We now live in an age where we want instant gratification, answers on the spot, and we don’t even bother sending an email when we can IM (instant message) a co-worker to get what we need. With all the methods of communication today, the term “Unified Communications” is a great way of coining a term for the many ways we work today.
In a nutshell, Unified Communications (UC) is an arsenal of tools that simplifies our ability to make contact with (and be contacted by) co-workers, colleagues, customers, suppliers, etc. made possible by IP telephony and the integration of computers, telephones and network capabilities. Typically, UC is made up of these 5 elements:
- IP Telephony
- Instant Messaging (IM)
- Audio/Video Conferencing
- Unified Messaging
What makes UC so great is the variety of ways you can get there. Every UC application can be accessed through a personal computer, Smartphone, tablet or mobile computing device. This has come about as a result of the changing ways we live and work, and the balancing act that takes place that allows us to satisfy both. We want to be able to access the company network when we’re working from home, or the beach or the slopes. For those that work in the field, they want to be able to manage their personal computing device with the same features and functionality their desk phone would provide. With text, chat, voice and video we are able to satisfy every preference for communication that exists today.
Benefits of UC
Unified Communications not only provides the flexibility we need to perform our daily responsibilities, but it increases our productivity and co-worker collaboration as well. For customer-facing employees, we value transparency. When today’s workforce spans the globe with schedules as busy as ever, we want to shield our customers from what is and instead be able to respond and be as accessible as if we are right down the street. The result? Increased customer satisfaction, improved productivity and a motivated workforce.
Many features of UC allow work to increase productivity. For example, when we can easily be reached with automatic call forwarding (such as the find me/follow me feature), we can be more responsive to customers and internal team members. For project teams, video chat and conference virtually minimizes travel expenses and scheduling conflicts; this can mean the difference between meeting project deadlines and missing the boat. The less time spent trying to round everyone up to collaborate effectively, the more productive and cost-effective our efforts will be.
Is it time for you to consider UC?
Implementing unified communications in your organization is not only an investment in a new system, but an investment in your business. In a relatively short period of time, the total cost of ownership is reduced when you experience:
- Labor savings
- Increased productivity
- Reduced equipment costs & travel expenses
- Increased customer satisfaction
If you’re experiencing any of the following, then it might be time invest in UC:
- Are you struggling to serve your customers adequately due to worker bandwidth?
- Do you operate with separate phone systems in each of your locations?
- Is call routing difficult or operating inconsistently?
- Are you exceeding expense budgets to send workers where they need to go?
Increasing the effectiveness of your workforce is easy when you have the tools to operate quickly and easily and with very little user training.
Tags: BYOD, Bring your own device, ShoreTel, UC, unified communications, integrated communications, voice & data, mobile communications, conferencing, smart phones, tablets, data security, cloud computing, video conferencing, web chat, IM, instant messaging, unified messaging, VoIP, telephony