When you hear the term Unified Communications the first thing you might think is what are you unifying…right? Most small businesses use a phone system of some sort for voice communications. Some may use instant messaging for internal communications, still others might use video conferencing, mobile, desktop sharing, presence management. You get the picture? There are many different systems that companies use to communicate both internally as well as externally with customers and vendors. Unified Communications or UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is a delivery model in which a variety of communications and collaboration applications and services are outsourced to a 3rd party provider and delivered over an IP network….usually the Internet.
Why Invest in Unified Communications?
The world we live in runs at the speed of real-time, where continents and oceans separate business partners and offices but not business. The evolution of communication and business has made collaboration mission critical. The days of single traditional phone calls are dwindling. Customers want to text, view webinars, communicate over video. In short your clients expect any business large or small to have the tools and communications options of large enterprise and they want to be able to communicate with you whenever they want however they want and anywhere they want. Unified Communications gives you that capability. Unified Communications also simplifies management with a single interface for all the applications you use. It also gives users a single interface to access all messages. They can hear voicemails, answer emails, send faxes, engage in video conferences whether in the office or on the road from a single application.
What are the benefits?
- Reduced Cost - By outsourcing the management of your system to a 3rd party provider you no longer need in-house expertise to manage a phone system, your IT expertise can be focused on other projects. Once Unified Communications is deployed and your running all your applications over your Internet or data network you are able to eliminate the cost of multiple phone lines or voice T1s.
- Easier for IT to manage - With unified communications you typically manage systems through a single web interface. Rather than monitoring multiple systems, there's only one to manage. Likewise, since all communications run through the Internet or data network you won't have to diagnose problems between the data and phone network or worry about old phone equipment.
- Agility - Users can access a hosted UC system via web browser or mobile app so they can work from anywhere. Location aware services allow other users to reach team members whether they're working at home, on the road or at a customer location. Hosted UC also allows companies to communicate in more ways with clients such as SMS text, video, screen share, and of course voice calls.
- Offer better customer service - No matter what industry you're in, technology advances have left customers expecting a high level of customer service. Unified communications allows your business to improve sales processes, provide better connectivity to clients in order to provide better customer service, and simply offer a superior overall communication experience, which ultimately drives more revenue for your organization.
Businesses are now using more tools and better technology for their operations (CRM, project management, customer service, email etc) and workers are becoming less and less tied to a desk. Regular old phone systems don't cater to either of those issues. Hosted VoIP with Unified Communications is the next step that makes sense for modern businesses. More than just a telephony solution, Hosted UC is a strategic investment that brings together voice, data, video, security and mobility into a single, smart solution to make your organization more agile and competitive in the marketplace.
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