In case all IT terms sound the same to you, “ unified communications ” (UC) is a business technology term that could use a little clarification. We use it to describe the integration of business communication tools – such as instant messaging, video conferencing, email, voicemail, and presence software – for an interconnected system of devices and apps to enhance overall business communication.
We’ve all been in that situation where we send out an important email and sit around tapping our feet waiting for the response to arrive back in our inbox. It’s like Tom Petty famously sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.” If you’ve experienced this common hiccup, then you can bet your employees have as well. It turns out, that if your employees are stuck waiting for things to move and happen, they are probably not achieving as much.
With unified communications, the goal is to achieve results and collaboration in real time across different devices. Here are a couple of ways that UC can increase productivity and flexibility in your business.
The first benefit of unified communications that you’ll notice right away is an increase in productivity. Let’s go back to our situation from before. You’re waiting for an answer from a co-worker and time has run out. Traditionally, you would leave the office for your meeting and get the answer when you returned later in the day – or even tomorrow.
With unified communications, you can constantly communicate in real time. The purpose of integrating your communications is to make it easier to communicate in different ways almost seamlessly on a common platform. So, let’s say you sent that email out, but your co-worker decides to get back to you via voicemail. No problem. The user interface on your mobile phone is the same one on your desktop, so you can answer the call from anywhere, including on the road or from your home office laptop.
But what if he decided to send you an instant message? You can actually receive that as an email or voicemail, too.
With all of your communication tools in the same place, you guarantee that everyone can communicate faster and solve problems as they arrive. With more complete and responsive interaction, the work everyone produces will pay off in greater results across your operation.
The ability to work flexibly from anywhere has never been more important, which has lead to the increased popularity of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend. In fact, a recent study showed that 87% of companies expect their employees to use their personal devices for work purposes. Another huge benefit of unified communications is that it provides a uniform interface across devices.
Think of how much easier business communication would be if you could operate your work computer, tablets, phones, laptops, email, video conferencing and instant messaging under the same interface. And what if a conversation you had on one could pick up right where you left off on the other?
Unified communications allows BYOD-friendly companies to let their staff work remotely and then transition to the office more easily than ever. One common example we see is an employee having a back-and-forth SMS conversation with their client on the phone and then picking it up on the laptop so they can multitask on other projects.
With unified communications, it’s no wonder that employees who effectively use mobile tech feel more creative, satisfied, and productive at work. When your staff are more fulfilled in their work, they are typically more committed and consistent in supporting the goals of the company and your customers.
Better Collaboration with Unified Communications
When considering implementing a unified communications solution in your business, you really only need to ask yourself two questions:
- How can my business benefit from increased productivity?
- How much can my business benefit from more flexible communication?
If you’d like to learn how to introduce unified communications in your business, please call us or shoot us a message.