Your business is a living, breathing machine and every part is essential. You have employees who need to perform duties in collaboration with other departments. You have a network that needs to meet your specific communication and data requirements. And, you have an infrastructure that must support your technical and physical needs. For your business to run at optimal strength, all of these elements have to work together. With unified communications, you guarantee that the machine of your business is well-oiled and powered for maximum results.
If it helps, you can think of unified communication as an internet of things (IoT) specifically for your business, with an emphasis on bettering collaboration across platforms. Unified communications includes integrating your VoIP, video conferencing, presence, and messaging platforms to make work easier, more flexible and more effective.
One of the primary benefits of unified communications is the ability to adapt your business to an increasingly mobile, and multi-device workforce.
The Problem with Standing Still
Here’s how a morning might look without unified communications:
Bill’s business has some traditional tools like email and business phones, but it has no solid solution for instant communication.
Bill has scheduled a meeting with his client, Barbara. On the morning of the meeting, he confirms the appointment with Barbara’s secretary via his office landline telephone. En route, he misses an email to his work computer which states that Barbara needs to cancel the meeting because her morning meeting ran long. Bill’s colleague also sends an office email requesting last-minute approval of a document.
When Bill shows up and Barbara is out to lunch, he’s wasted his time. In business, we all know that time is money. On top of that, he was unaware he needed to approve the document from his co-worker in time for her to use it in her own meeting. And finally, he’s now realized that he missed out on another opportunity at work because he didn’t see an invite to lunch with his boss on the internal messaging system.
Working Easier, On-the-go
How a morning looks with unified communications:
Bill’s business has utilized a unified communications solution. With all his tools and applications connected, he can have important information as soon as it is available.
Before he leaves, Bill switches his email to text-to-speech. While he’s driving, he hears the message from Barbara asking for a meeting cancellation. He’s able to speak his reply immediately, which is then emailed to Barbara requesting a reschedule.
When he stops at a coffee shop en route back to the office, he’s also able to view the document from his co-worker on his mobile device and sign off in real-time via the company’s shared cloud folder. Finally, Bill receives another voice notification of his boss’s chat request for lunch. He has plenty of time to work on other duties before lunch, and his meeting has been successfully rescheduled.
This is just one morning for one employee. Think of how much time is saved across your entire business when employees are able to communicate in real time by pairing traditional productivity and communication tools like email with modern technology like VoIP and the cloud.
Unified communications can also mirror communications across all devices.
So, for instance, if Bill wants to collaborate through a direct message system on his laptop, but then continue the conversation from his cell phone when he moves to work remotely –and then even save the exchange to the cloud, as needed – no part of the conversation is lost, because it all happens in real time across all devices.
Mirroring with unified communications also provides a redundancy so that important information is always received. If you have an important client, you can set a notification so that all voicemail from them is also emailed to you for a digital backup to reference later.
Keep it BYOD-friendly
The bring your own device (BYOD) trend is increasing across the board. In a recent poll, 72% of businesses reported that they were permitting BYOD or planning to do so in the immediate future. This means that you don’t always have control over which operating system, type, or even brand employees will use. Fortunately, a good unified communications solution always integrates with your team’s preferred devices.
A recent industry report found that “employees who believe their workplace effectively uses mobile tech are more creative, satisfied, and productive at work.” Easy of communication means ease of workflow.
This becomes particularly helpful with multiple employees working across multiple platforms in different locations. Bill might join the video conference via his laptop on the office VoIP, while Tim calls in on a cell phone, and Helena uses a tablet connected to WiFi. With unified communications, employees can collaborate across miles, across networks and across applications.
Unified Communications from TFE
Ensuring that your company can collaborate in real time will increase productivity and improve workflow, not to mention enhancing customer results. Unified communications create a real-time work environment where it is easier than ever to share information and work together on a common goal.
If you’d like more information on how unified communications can help your business, feel free to contact us.