Unified communications (or UC for short) is a term increasingly thrown about the digital landscape. Unified Communications Strategies, industry experts in UC, define it as, "Communications integrated to optimise business processes."
In short, it's a way for businesses to save time in internal or external communication, which in turn helps drive productivity and customer satisfaction. However, UC does much more than simply save a few hours of work each day.
In this article we'll go into what exactly unified communication is, how it works, and why it's a blessing in disguise for employees satisfaction and productivity.
What is UC?
At its most basic, UC is an integration tool. The ways businesses communicate is constantly in flux - new methods (such as VoIP, video and chat) have to rub shoulders with more traditional methods (email and phone calling). The way we communicate today won't necessarily be the way we communicate two years from now. To focus too much on any one form comes at the detriment to the others, and in our hyper-connected world, this can spell disaster for productivity and customer engagement. Clients now expect businesses to open themselves up to new forms of communication, and with the emergence of the mobile workforce, internal systems need a way to stay in touch with remote employees.
UC is the ribbon that ties all these modes of communication together. It's a solution that combines the different ways we communicate into a single, common location. There are varying forms of UC, but they all strive for the same thing: The improvement of business communication to drive efficiency and productivity.
How does it work?
In order to incorporate things like email and VoIP - starkly different but necessary communication platforms - UC requires an application to pool these resources together into a singular location. This is facilitated using either in-house servers, the cloud, or a combination of the two.
At Fonality, this means taking advantage of our Heads Up Display (HUD). Available on PC, mobile or even as a web application, HUD lets you do all your normal communication activities from a single location and more. Here are just some of the things an integrated communications platform can do:
- Instant message, chat or email.
- Audio and video conferencing.
- Answer and transfer calls.
- Retrieve and review voicemail - even have voicemail transcribed to email or text.
- Connect between mobile devices and PC.
- Real-time screen sharing.
- Instantly know if an employee is available online or not.
What are the benefits?
UC is a solution that combines the different ways we communicate into a single, common location.
The culmination of integrated communication channels is a system that affords businesses flexibility, better responsiveness and increased productivity.
From a time-saving perspective, by taking advantage of UC, users can save up to two hours per day that would normally be spent chasing up emails or phone calls. The time saved goes directly towards increasing productivity in the workplace, letting employees get back to doing what they do best.
UC also helps facilitate the new generation of mobile workers. By managing your communication channels through a single web-based application, employees are able to access everything they need and can work anywhere there's an internet connection. UC fosters collaboration, letting employees work together in a myriad of ways, not constrained by traditional methods.
From a consumer perspective, HUD puts the functionality of a call centre into a single place, allowing employees to operate in a seamless fashion, improving customer service and satisfaction.
No matter what platforms your business uses, UC holds the potential to unlock the next level of communication. To find out more about how UC can improve your business, get in touch with the team at Fonality today.