Communication is a constant activity that happens within an organisation through text messages, audio calls, video conferencing, file sharing, and more. We live in a world where technology is evolving to make different aspects of life more manageable. Unified Communications (UC) helps integrate or unify various forms of communication under one umbrella and aims to simplify communication within an organisation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are experiencing disruptions of regular working hours and working environments due to this interoperability. Small businesses and global corporations alike search for ways to keep continuity during uncertain times. The workplace is changing, too, with an increasing number of people working remotely or virtually. Unified communications platforms provide that functionality.
UC is a collection of solutions that aim to provide seamless communication between various internal and external channels. It includes services like instant messaging (IM), email, IP telephony (IPT), voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing, and much more. With UC, all communication services are fully integrated at the enterprise level, including internet protocol television (IPTV) and digital signage. It is a framework for communication to optimise business processes and improve user productivity while giving the workforce the flexibility it desires. A seamless communication experience provides a boost to the business for users via an integrated strategy.
The term Unified Communications was coined in the mid-1990s. It refers to products that provide a consistent user interface across multiple devices and media types.
Addressing an organisation’s communications needs by streamlining the collaboration process, UC allows more accessibility and more reliability, resulting in greater collaboration between team members. So, organisations need to consider unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) technology. A UC&C framework adds much-needed collaboration tools to a UC model. Screen sharing and real-time document creation and editing are two examples of these tools. Virtual collaboration is essential to your digital workforce. And a UC&C solution can help any business in various forms.
Improves Employees Efficiency
By integrating UC with your operations, you can increase productivity and reduce downtime by approximately 14 per cent. Decision-makers using UC tools improved their decision-making time by around 17 per cent, as they have more information and resources at their disposal. As a result, businesses achieve operational efficiency and better business outcomes by making important decisions faster. Having everything in one interface streamlines employee communications. Users can switch between channels without having to repeat themselves. The report by Forrester estimates that information workers can save 15 minutes per day by having all features in one easy-to-use interface.
For instance, using a platform like Vonage Business Communications will cut down the number of single services you require. Employees can conduct many of their tasks within the same application. Also, they can use documents during a video call and send messages through the chat feature in the call to establish transparency among the team. They can also make use of status features like “do not disturb” or “available”.
Reduces Errors Through Collaboration and Enhances the Human-Like Experience
Before the regular use of UC, errors could be made frequently. For instance, look at the potential flaws with emailing documents back and forth within a team. How can you assure that the current copy you are working on is the latest version edited with offline documents? How do you condense changes into one document?
With the help of UC, the team can work from the same master document. There are no more version control errors, like saving an old document over a newer one or keeping track of older documents. This will improve the accuracy and clarity of the team.
With remote working and virtual events still mainly in place worldwide, making human connections via video call has become a top priority for many businesses. Platforms that offer UC provide high-speed video conferencing and chat capabilities that give users a more human-like experience. It is also easy to invite external partners or clients to video meetings using a UC platform. This streamlines the process and improves the conference call experience for all involved.
Implementing the right UC solution can reduce costs. As well as savings on the system’s initial cost, long-term savings lead to a good return on investment. However, not all UC solutions are equal, and not all UC vendors can provide the same savings. When considering vendor quotes, SMBs need to be aware of critical differences in quotes that can add thousands of dollars to the cost of implementing UC solutions — in both the near-term and long-term and both hard and soft costs. Vendors typically provide quotes for base features but add fees for those that make UC so helpful, like mobility and third-party integrations that an SMB needs. Licence fees, maintenance, and upgrade costs also drive up prices down the road. Compare vendors for the most significant savings on overall operating costs in critical areas to avoid these expensive add-ons.
Fit for the future
As cutting-edge technologies such as the 5G network and IoT enable businesses to innovate faster, organisations must keep up with the changes to stay competitive. As UC systems develop, organisations should incorporate the latest technology. The business will be in good stead for the future if its infrastructure is up-to-date and business communication systems comply with the digital landscape.
A modern workplace is where teams work effectively and efficiently together and find better ways to connect and collaborate with coworkers, customers, and partners. UC unlocks the value of communication technology across an organisation, enabling people to work better from anywhere and make the most of the digital transformation initiatives.