In today’s hyper-connected world, Unified Communications systems are fast becoming an important part of the business strategy of both medium-sized companies and large corporations. So, in this article, we will explore the advantages of using a UC system for your business.
A platform to rule them all
But first, let’s make sure we are all familiar with what the phrase Unified Communications actually means. The term refers to a platform that integrates a number of communication technologies, from phone systems to video conferencing and desktop sharing.
The obvious advantage of using a UC system is that employees don’t need to log in and out of different apps to send messages, emails or voicemail, wasting precious time. A Unified Communications solution is usually customized to suit specific business needs and to include all the communication services users require. It generally offers support for a significant number of features like: Voice, Unified Messaging, Desktop Sharing, Presence, Voicemail, Chat, Fax, Conferencing, Video Conferencing and Interactive voice response. Moreover, it can integrate with some of your business’s essential platforms such as email, web applications, CRM systems, customer support software and everything in between.
Making an impact
The goal of any Unified Communications system is to encourage business growth by promoting better internal and external communication, and by ensuring quick access to resources available through other integrated applications. And the best thing about this type of system is that it can be optimized to make each interaction more comfortable, leading to more collaboration and a more productive work environment. For instance, when an employee wants to contact a coworker, he or she can initiate a call or start chatting with a single click in the browser window. Effectiveness can be further amplified through integration with other systems. In fact, a great way to keep a record of calls, even when you don’t want them forwarded, is to instruct the system to send a notification email.
Unified Communications can also help employees communicate more effectively with customers, sales prospects or business partners
However, the business world is a competitive place where results matter as much as the resources allocated for achieving them. In fact, a recent study by CompTIA concluded that 61% of companies prioritize cost reduction in their communications systems, while also wanting to improve consumer engagement and employee productivity. So, it’s reassuring to know that a Unified Communications system actually helps companies reduce costs. Businesses can implement a UC solution at a fraction of the cost of a traditional phone system and this type of system is also easier to manage for IT Teams, freeing up time for more important tasks.
Why choose Unified Communications?
UC systems are essential tools for companies who want to harness the full potential of their employees. Let’s look more closely at how improved communication can actually help support business growth. There are countless benefits, but we will only pinpoint the most important five.
1. Improved productivity
When employees are able to communicate using a single all-encompassing tool, the time that would have been wasted going from the video conferencing app to the email app will be used for more important work. Integration of different systems and business apps frees up even more time, and by automating certain processes within the system, everyone can communicate and operate effectively, leading to more productive workdays.
2. Lower Administrative Costs
As remote work becomes more and more common, providing the right support for remote employees and collaborators becomes crucial. According to a study by Bentley University (The Millennial Mind Goes to Work), 39% of millennials say that the ability to work remotely would help increase their productivity. So, implementing an UC system can have an even greater impact in the near future, by encouraging mobility and granting remote workers access to the same communication features and system resources as their in-house colleagues.
Moreover, a UC system enables employees to stay connected to clients from any location, even when travelling for business. Firms can choose to allow employees to use their own mobile devices for accessing their work communication system so that companies are no longer required to purchase devices for the entire workforce, and workers are not compelled to carry around and monitor more than one device.
3. Reduced Operational Costs
UC systems are based on VoIP technology. This technology merges voice, video, and data into a single connection, using up fewer resources than an analog or digital connection. With a Unified Communications system, you can forget about certain expenses, such as long-distance fees. Plus, your company does not need to contract the services of a technician every time a modification needs to be implemented in the system, thanks to the permissions granted to system admins.
In fact, system administrators benefit immensely from the upgrade to UC solutions. Unified Communication systems offer features that enable admins to work more effectively. Even when working with a tight budget, administrators don’t have to worry about making the transition to UC, because most systems support interconnectivity with older equipment, so, hardware can be updated as the needed budget becomes available. Moreover, UC systems can be configured using APIs, which makes it easier to integrate with a variety of business tools. Consequently, the switch would definitely be beneficial for administrators looking for more flexibility.
4. Enhance Collaboration
Employees are much more likely to interact with their coworkers and ask for their support or opinion when they have all the contact information they need in one place. It’s easier to start a conversation when you can send them an Instant Message directly from the UC interface or click to call. Plus, you know that person is available thanks to the status availability feature. The UC system also enables collaboration on shared resources. For instance, when the Unified Communications system integrates a CRM system, different employees can update the same contact records as needed.
5. Secure your Communications
Like any other Internet-based technology, VoIP can be vulnerable to threats from other networks. That said, Unified Communications systems are well-equipped for keeping them in check. They usually include build-in security features or provide session border controllers.
The future of business communication is here
Unified Communications systems offer more features and more flexibility than traditional phone systems. They integrate into a single, intuitive, platform all the needed communication channels that employees might need in order to collaborate more effectively, and even include powerful integrations that help automate tasks, so everyone can be more productive. With features that enable remote workers to be at their best and make everyone feel like part of the team, Unified Communications systems are more than a tech trend, they’re a glimpse into the future of business communication. So, take your first step towards a more connected future.