What is Unified Communications?

When you think about communication issues in your office, do you think about how some emails you get are virtually unintelligible? Or do you think about how long you end up playing phone tag with someone who sits just down the hall?

If it’s the latter, unified communications, also known as UC, could be a valuable solution for you.

Keep reading to learn what unified communications is and how it can help your business thrive.

What Unified Communications Isn’t

Before we dive into what unified communications is and how it can help your business grow and thrive, let’s address what UC is not. UC is not one product that you can pull off a shelf and implement into your daily operations with the push of a button. Rather, UC is the way that multiple platforms and tools work together seamlessly for maximum benefit to your organization.

Unified Communications Is…

For many business, UC represents a significant opportunity to change they way they think about communications, customer support, and collaboration.  

Existing Systems Working Together

The name unified communications reveals a lot of what it is, if you know how to interpret the term. UC is how disparate communications systems -- like hosted VoIP, instant messaging, video conferencing, and more -- can be made to function as one seamless system. The integration of these different technologies makes it easier to reach different people within an organization, easier to communicate with employees who are not physically present in the office, and easier for employees to keep track of their internal and external communications.

A Way to Increase Productivity

There are a number of benefits to implementing a unified communications system, but chief among them is the way UC promotes productivity and efficiency. By allowing users to quickly and easily move between different applications and modes of communication, UC saves a tremendous amount of time. The impact a good UC system can have on remote and traveling employees is also tremendous, allowing users outside of the office to be just as reachable as those who work in the office.

Another key feature of UC that can boost productivity is the ability of users to see when other users are available via phone, mobile, or instant message. The presence functionality means less time trying to reach someone and waiting on responses, and more time actually working.

A Collaborative Tool

Whether you have employees spread across the world, a core sales team that’s frequently on the road, or clients that you need to loop into a lot of projects, collaboration is key. UC facilitates collaboration by allowing users to, for example, start a video conference at the touch of a button and feel secure in knowing the connection will go through, the user is available, and the quality will be exceptional. This type of ease of use makes it that much simpler to talk, chat, brainstorm, and collaborate with other users.

Better for Customers

The experience that your customers have when they call you is paramount to your company’s reputation. UC can improve customer service and overall customer experience. Again, the presence functionality means that customers are only transferred to users who are available to talke. Further, when a UC system integrates CRM, sales and service reps can easily keep track of customer calls, including notes about previous contacts and problems, making service that much more efficient.

A unified communications partner will take a holistic view of all the communications technology that you use every day and find the best solutions for your organization.