If your company hasn’t begun using unified communications (UC), or if you’re unfamiliar with it, you’re missing out on the professional presence, lower overhead and higher productivity it can provide. UC is where data, video and voice services meet, and with it, workers can collaborate more easily.
Unified communications is broken down into five key components: unified messaging, instant messaging, smartphones, videoconferencing and presence technologies. It streamlines your business communications by combining all forms into one system. It can make your business appear larger by allowing everyone to stay connected wherever they are.
Here are five ways that UC can help your business.
- Better collaboration: Unified communication is a way for clients, customers and co-workers to work together using advanced communication and data-sharing devices. With UC, people can share ideas and documents in an instant, edit in real time, and a lot more. Tools like document repositories and online “white boards” are great examples.
- More effective communication: UC makes business communications easier by bringing all forms into one place. It’s so much more than easier access — with UC, you can switch from one form of communication to another seamlessly. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can turn an IM session into a phone call or videoconference, facilitated by a GUI (graphic user interface).
- Simpler access: Since unified communication is meant to work across all devices, users can access the system from anywhere. Workers can connect to your company’s intranet with a laptop, tablet, smartphone or PC, and messages (SMS, email and voicemail) will reach them in their chosen format.
- Integrated processes: UC is an excellent way to promote business continuity. Via the user interface you can access applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management and enterprise resource planning.
- Greater presence: One of the best things about unified communications is their ability to monitor user availability in real time. This feature reduces the amount of time you’ll spend finding users and leaving messages. For instance, a customer support technician could use this application to route a customer inquiry to the most knowledgeable representative.
These are just some of the many advantages of unified communications technology. UC can increase your company’s productivity, cut down on travel, and help your bottom line. UC is growing by leaps and bounds, and the next crop of unified VoIP products will undoubtedly bring more features and tools that will change the way we communicate.
Wayne Barker writes for Mainte, – which offers complete voice and data solutions, from IP telephony to data networking. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.