What Is Unified Communications, and How Does It Boost Productivity?

By September 12, 2017 Productivity

Business telephone systems have come a long way since the days of the humble landline, especially given the shift toward internet-based communications. Many companies are looking to move away from these costly and complicated telephony infrastructures in search of a single integrated platform that provides centralized management and more efficient collaboration between different departments.

Thanks to the rise of unified communications, it’s now possible even for smaller businesses to enjoy using features that were once available only to the largest enterprises with complex PBX infrastructures.

What Is Unified Communications?

UC refers to an integrated set of business tools designed to provide employees with easy access to a range of communication applications and methods — such as video, voice, fax, SMS and email — using a single centralized platform. As the phrase suggests, UC packages are generally sold and supported as a single platform enabling companies to use integrated voice, video and data in all their business communications.

These platforms also provide integration across multiple devices, including conventional deskphones, VoIP phones, mail servers and smartphones. User accounts themselves are typically managed over the web.

Greater Mobility

Long gone are the days of being stuck in front of a deskphone in a dingy office cubicle. Today, the workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, with more and more people working either at home or on the move.

Since UC is effectively a centralized, web-based platform, it allows employees to answer phone calls from a variety of devices, including their own mobile phones. This is because UC uses softphones, which are applications that allow users to make voice and video calls and even send instant messages over the internet. With more companies implementing bring-your-own-device policies, UC has become crucial for improving productivity and collaboration all while doing away with geographical limits.

Improved Collaboration

Teamwork is critical for the success of any business. Without it, employees won’t be able to work together effectively, and the scope for costly issues widens dramatically.

Many leaders consider improved employee collaboration to be one of the most important business drivers for UC, particularly when it comes to instant messaging and video conferencing. Instead of relying on the limited functionality of landline phones, employees will be able choose a variety of different methods for getting in touch with their colleagues and customers ranging from video calls to remote desktop sharing. Instant messaging is also an enormously helpful UC tool because it provides a quick, simple and informal way for employees to share their thoughts without getting bogged down in countless emails.

Effective Communication

A more communicative workforce is a more productive one. UC allows employees to know where their colleagues are and what they’re doing in real time instead of having to call to see whether they’re picking up the phone. This saves time and reduces unnecessary call transfers, which makes it particularly suitable for companies with multiple offices or those that have a large remote workforce.

Presence features built in to UC platforms also allow users to set status updates, just like in popular instant messaging applications. For example, if someone is in the middle of a meeting and doesn’t want to be disrupted, they can simply change their status to ‘away’ and let the system automatically reroute calls or provide an automated assistant.

Your ability to communicate is the lifeblood of your business, so if you’re looking for a smarter way to talk and collaborate with your colleagues and customers, then unified communications offers the perfect solution. Contact Truewater today to start saving and get talking with the latest VoIP and UC solutions.

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Truewater was established in 2001 with the vision of bringing enterprise class IT support to small and medium sized businesses.