The ultimate aim of a truly unified communications solution is to make organizations more efficient, whilst simultaneously improving productivity.
As mobile and remote working become increasingly common, UC can empower organizations that employ staff across disparate locations and offices to continue to benefit from a single cohesive communications network as the traditional boundaries of the workplace are dismantled.
New methods of communications and messaging tools are everywhere. From smartphones, laptops, email to voice mail to instant messaging, text messaging and video conferencing, there’s a technology to meet every need. But these technologies aren’t designed to work together.
With UC, you can consolidate voice and data communications into a common network and retire legacy telephony systems to decrease the cost of voice communications.
Unified Communications is all about enabling different communications platforms and devices to operate in the same networking environment.
Here are just a few ways that UC is able to improve efficiency and increase profitability:
# 1: Gain Greater Mobility
Mobility in the workplace has become an increasingly important topic within recent years.
Offering employees greater mobility and the ability to work at home is also linked to increased productivity and greater job satisfaction.
However, with the rise of remote workers and the increased number of companies using hot desking, employees need to be able to answer their desk phone from a variety of devices and from wherever they are working. UC enables greater mobility in a number of ways, including the “one number” concept and the provision of soft phones.
With the one number concept employees are able to answer their desk phone from a soft phone on their PC, smartphone or tablet from wherever they may be working. Employees no longer need to give out their office mobile number, or worse their personal number, because they can take their phone number with them.
# 2: Communicate More Effectively
One the most cited benefits of Unified Communications is the presence feature. Knowing where your colleagues are and whether they are available in real time offers great benefits. By being able to view others’ presence information saves time and avoids unnecessary call attempts and transfers. If, for example, you want to transfer a client call to an extension, you can first check and see if that extension is busy and then make the transfer, or transfer the call to another extension. The presence feature also allows employees to inform their colleagues about their current status and controls how their calls are handled. For instance, if you are in a meeting you can set your status accordingly so that calls will be automatically diverted to another destination of your choice.
Research shows that half of the companies using a presence feature reported less telephone tag and fewer repeated messages, with employees saving as much as three hours per week, or 150 hours per year. If your average worker is earning $27 per hour, an office with 25 employees can recover more than $100,000 in productive work time annually.
Another communication enhancement of UC is the ability to receive your voice mail messages via email as an attached .wav file. This is a great time saver since you no longer need to phone into your voice mail system to listen to messages. Simply select the file from your email and listen to the message.
# 3: Boost Collaboration With Colleagues and Customers
With a UC solution it is possible to set up video conferences with a few clicks and collaborate with colleagues and customers around the world. Moreover, video conferencing can cut the cost, time and risk associated with business travel, making a significant difference to business overheads. With the emergence of browser-based technology, such as WebRTC, video conferencing has become even more flexible since there is no software to download.
Visual collaboration can provide a valuable and effective way of communicating with customers and suppliers, enabling businesses to give product demonstrations and presentations. The ability to discuss ideas and concepts face-to-face, in contrast to impersonal conference calls, can boost creative collaboration and enable businesses to make faster decisions. Non-verbal communication and visual interaction can help create successful conversations.
Instant messaging is another helpful UC feature for businesses. The informality and speed of instant messaging allows employees to share their thoughts more easily and cuts down on unnecessary internal emails. Instant messages can enable more productive collaboration, particularly when brainstorming ideas. Another key benefit of instant messaging is the ability to see a colleague’s presence status. With email, on the other hand, you have no indication of whether a person is at their desk or how long it will take for a response.
For more information on how UC can help you improve efficiency and profitability, please contact your High Tech Account Manager