Much like cloud computing and big data before it, unified communications is the latest tech buzzword doing the rounds of Irish boardrooms. Just when you have gotten up to speed on the latest technology that is transforming business, another one crops up.
Fortunately, at Blueface we are up to speed on the latest tech terms and can help explain unified communications or UC as it’s known. But what is unified communications and how does it benefit you?
By answering those two simple questions we will help you understand unified communications and most importantly, show you why is it worth considering UC for your business.
What is unified communications?
Firstly, unified communications is the integration of real-time communications services across multiple mediums such as fixed line phones, mobiles and PC’s.
Simply put, that means that it is now possible to get all your business communications services from one provider and set them up so that they work seamlessly together.
What are the benefits of unified communications (UC)?
Let’s cut through the tech jargon and examine how UC can impact your business on a day to day basis.
1. Improved efficiency & productivity
Unifying communications makes it easier for people to do their job by saving time on simple work tasks. The ability to have incoming calls route to wherever you are; your office phone, mobile or a phone application on your computer. This reduces the possibility of missing that important phone call.
Two technologies that are now out of date are fax and voicemail. Rather than manually retrieve paper from a fax machine or listen to a voicemail by dialing up a number, Blueface delivers both these types of messages directly to your email in the form of a PDF and audio file respectively.
Not only does unified communications allow employees to work more efficiently but also wherever they want to. Now people can work remotely easily without the need for any special set-up from their IT department. A desk phone simply connects back into the central company cloud PBX phone system.
2. Reduced costs
Unified communications make use of Voice over IP technology in order to integrate different communications platforms. This differs from traditional telephony which has historically relied on the rental of analogue phone lines from the service provider.
These line rental costs no longer need to appear on your bill, substantially reducing the recurring operating costs of your phone system. Typically a move to UC will achieve 40% in real cost savings for an SME.
3. Better customer service
If a customer gets in touch with your business, they usually want to be put in contact with a particular person or department and they want this to be done as quickly as possible.
With unified communications even if you’re away from your desk or out of office you can still be available to your customers by redirecting your fixed number to your mobile device.
If you can’t answer the call, ring groups can be set up to send the call to the next most suitable recipient(s). Ring groups set conditions for incoming calls. For example – you can set up your phone system so that if your main sales line is not answered, the call will be forwarded on to your sales manager automatically.
We’ve all experienced being put on hold only to be told that the person we are looking for is unavailable. With unified communications you can see the presence of whether the person is available or not.
Also another facility of unified comms is rich presence, with this facility you can see the availability of colleagues, so the customer doesn’t need to be placed on hold if they are unavailable. This can be as simple as seeing a red light for a colleague that’s on a call.
If you’re transferring calls, short internal number dialing makes call transfer simple, especially if the intended recipients is in a different office on the other side of the country, or even the globe. A good unified communications provider will allow you to sync contacts from a central portal across your corporate network.
4. Less administration
With unified communications, it’s possible with some companies to have one communications provider for your business needs. This means less account managers, technical support numbers, contracts and bills to worry about.
All administration is streamlined, as well as a common point of contact for all of your communications.
5. Enable a mobile and remote workforce
The way in which work is done is changing. Remote and mobile working is becoming increasingly popular within organisations and with employees.
As far back as 2011, CBI data from the UK, showed that over 59% of firms had remote workers. Unified communications enables remote working.
VoIP phones from Blueface are plug and play. This means that all you need is a broadband connection to work while still being contactable via the same phone number.
Some applications such as Microsoft’s Skype for Business, combine voice and video, instant messaging and rich presence.
The benefits of unified communications for organisations are endless. From productivity, to cost, to customer service – the system you choose can give your business an advantage and your customers a better experience with your organisation.
Find out more about how unified communications from Blueface can help your business.
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