Perhaps you have heard the buzz surrounding Unified Communications (UC). It centers around the telecommunications industry, mobility, flexibility, integration, information and everyone seems to have a different definition or if not a different definition a different take on UC. The definition, or rather the use of UC, that might mean the most to you and your company is probably different from another company. For example, a Customer Service organization might find value in real-time call queue monitoring or Call Center analytics where a Sales organization might be more focused on mobility, chat or soft phone applications. Regardless of the specific use case, the main benefit of UC is better support for all users resulting in increased productivity.
What is Unified Communications?
Unified Communications is the integration of enterprise communication services via a common platform that improves, enhances and facilitates better overall connectivity, information and end-to-end solutions. UC service enable users to manage their communications from one platform rather than separate systems.
What is the value of Unified Communications?
The value of UC is improved productivity through connectivity, real-time information, collaboration, flexibility and mobility. The need for UC is being driven by businesses who need more than just business phone service. While there is still the need for voice calling, UC offers a platform that integrates other communications along with voice.
What are some examples of Unified Communications?
Examples of UC include the ability to make and receive calls from your office phone number from either your computer or mobile device for a unified experience no matter what device you’re using. Non-voice examples include text or chat, cloud faxing and integrated messaging including voicemail-to-email.
Work anytime, anywhere. You are no longer tied to the office for voice calls or other UC platform functionality. Support your field workforce with communication tools that increase productivity. Provide flexible options for onsite staff to work remotely from time-to-time. The biggest features that support mobility for Unified Communications are a Mobile app and Web Portal that seamlessly integrates with your Desk Phone.
For example, from your Mobile app or Web Portal you can do the following:
- Make & receive calls from your business phone number using your mobile device or PC to keep your professional identity.
- Check Voicemail remotely with a press of a button. No more calling and entering a PIN
- View Voicemail Transcription
- View Call History including missed calls
- One-touch callback dialing or click-to-call from VM or Call History
No need to buy and maintain a separate phone system. Connect multiple business locations under a single UC platform rather than having a separate phone system at each location. Allows for some centralization and efficiency. Calls can easily be transferred between office location. Calling another office location is as simple as dialing an extension.
- Other UC features that support flexibility include an Auto Attendant that can direct calls to the correct department or extension quickly. Call Groups where multiple extensions ring simultaneously so sales or support calls aren’t missed.
No system capacity issues. Expand as you grow without adding expensive equipment or maintenance costs. Your phone system is hosted in the cloud and maintain the equipment so you can worry about your business and not your phone system.
- Features that support scalability include Month-to-Month service where you can scale up or scale down as your business ebbs and flows without having to worry about contracts or paying for what you don’t use.
- Your Hosted Voice with UC provider should upgrade and maintain your service so there is No Maintenance costs or headaches for you to manage.
Ability to connect and integrate with CRMs, Help Desk applications and ERP systems. Gain access to a full sales and automation platform to improve your team’s productivity.
- Features that support connectivity include Business Systems Integration where you have options to connect your phone systems with different business system options.
- SMS/Chat: Chat with your teammates and text clients from within a Web Portal from your business phone number. Maintain your professional identity as you communicate.
- Web Phone Client: Allows users to make and receive calls using their business phone number from their computer or mobile device allowing them to stay connected even when they are in the field or working remotely.
Costs for Unified Communications can be thousands of dollars less than traditional onsite phone systems. Low upfront costs that are typically 10-20% of traditional phone system since there is no onsite switching equipment to purchase. Monthly pricing for the service is typically simple and predictable. UC will typically have lower overall TCO and no maintenance costs.
- Features that support affordability include Month-to-Month service plans available, Lower Capital Expenses because there is little onsite equipment besides the desk phone handsets themselves, Ongoing Support and No Maintenance fees means you don’t have to a phone contractor when something goes wrong.
In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven business environment, your voice service provider should offer more than just voice communications (making and receiving calls). There are a variety of scenarios that business communications needs to encompass: multiple offices, a mobile workforce, field employees, remote workers, and call center support. In order to support diverse teams, increase efficiency and avoid communications gaps, companies need a voice solution that extends, integrates and connects.
Level365 offers a complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution with enterprise voice. Our service helps companies embrace a mobile workforce with seamless integration of business voice communications among desk phones, computers, and mobile devices so work can be done anytime, anywhere. Our UC platform extends beyond voice with communication services including Chat/SMS, Presence, Analytics, Cloud Faxing, Business System Integrations and more.