Ever feel overwhelmed by communication coming at you from all angles? Today’s digital dispersion of communication methods rivals the legend of the Towel of Babel’s scattering of languages.
In the business world, colleagues speak to each other via telephone, videoconferencing, voice mail, instant messaging, email, social media, and fax. These different communication avenues can cause confusion and miscommunication unless merged through unified communications (UC) solutions.
Unified Communications: An Overview
You may be wondering, “What are unified communications?” First, you can think of it as a translator. Suppose you receive a voicemail and want to access the message through your email instead. UC systems translate and transpose the data for access across a wide variety of media.
Ultimately, unified communication is an integration service that provides consistent communication across multiple media types and devices.
The purpose of unified coms is to improve business practices and simplify the user experience through enhanced collaboration. Business communication optimization leads to shorter meetings and higher productivity levels.
How It Works
Unified coms solutions comprise:
· A cloud-based IP-PBX.
· Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) microphones, cameras, and phones.
· A multipoint control unit for videoconferencing on multiple devices and web conferencing features.
· An interface that combines communication channels.
· Text and voice applications.
· Social network tools.
All these technologies combine on one platform to assist the digital workforce.
What UC Brings to the Digital Workforce
UC solutions bring flexibility to the workforce by allowing workers to collaborate as a team without physically working together. UC expands the office to anywhere with internet access, enabling the workforce to interface via text message, file sharing, voice memo, or video conferencing.
Businesses that utilize unified coms as a service benefit from even greater flexibility and scalability since they do not have to host and operate UC independently on their servers.
Communication vs. Collaboration
Unified communications and collaboration go hand in hand because project collaboration cannot occur without clear communication services. For example, it would be impossible for team members to understand each other’s goals while dual-editing a project if they couldn’t first video call each other to talk strategy.
What Are the 3 Main Components of UCs?
A UC solution has three main components:
1. Presence: Have you ever set up a “Do Not Disturb” automatic message when vacating the office? Presence indicates if you are online or unable to receive communications.
2. User interface: Web-based user interfaces allow you to record your voicemail message, listen to your voicemail, and edit your phone settings — all from a web browser.
3. Integration with voice capabilities: You can quickly make a phone call by utilizing a click-to-conference or click-to-call button on any device.
Key Benefits of Unified Communications
Instead of investing in different communication tools and platforms, businesses turn to UC as their optimal solution for a multigenerational workforce that needs to collaborate efficiently.
One of the main benefits of unified coms is an increase in productivity. Onboarding new employees with numerous communication systems is taxing and time-consuming. Training employees in UC takes less time and thus generates productive employees more quickly.
By enhancing remote and virtual collaboration, UC systems nullify the need for business travel. Meetings occur over cloud technology instead of in a packed conference room, and businesses profit from the switch.
Businesses must continue to grow and innovate to stay relevant and lucrative. Unified coms solutions improve preexisting communication issues, increase organizational agility, streamline IT applications, reduce the likelihood of security risks, and look to the future, using AI in meeting transcriptions and scheduling.
Quality User Experience
Quality communication services and collaborative teamwork lead to fewer unresolved questions and issues throughout the workday. Fewer miscommunication issues result in lower stress levels for your employees and a better overall experience for your customers. For example, a unified communications system gives your employees the best chance to quickly locate files on the cloud and share them with your customers, negating the dreaded on-hold music and callback scheduling.
Features of a UC System
UC services remove the need for multiple passwords on several business apps. A unified coms system aims for convenience, making conferencing with your team simply a click away.
Other features of a unified coms system include advanced notifications. For example, if a staff member dials 911, the system sends notifications to essential personnel, keeping them abreast of the situation.
Instead of opening a web app for online messaging, using a desk phone for conversations, and utilizing a video-only application for meetings, conferencing on one platform is possible with united communications. You can easily escalate an online messaging conversation into a video chat without wasting time signing in to a different application.
Have you ever virtually edited a document in real-time with your peers? This level of collaboration is only achievable through solid communication — the kind available through UC systems.
With UC systems, there are no fax amount or fax size limits. You also gain customizable fax cover sheets, fax via email, and the ability to track your fax status in real-time.
With work-from-home jobs steadily rising, remote employees rely on UC features to complete their work successfully while managers utilize UC’s monitoring capabilities to ensure timesheet accuracy.
With a UC system’s presence feature, co-workers can know when to expect a reply by noting if you are online or reading your away message.
With UC systems, voice messages and emails combine in one mailbox for easy access.
Web-Based User Interface
UC systems also allow you to interact with software that runs on a remote server using a web browser.