Unified communications (UC) is about connecting employees, business partners and clients with information in an efficient, collaborative workplace. Today’s users expect complete compatibility across all interfaces, including tablets and smart devices. A communication framework that can accomplish these aims must be reliable, secure and, above all, extremely versatile.
If implemented successfully, UC will yield results across an entire company. The existing business will adapt more immediately to market changes, and new products will be envisioned and brought to market in a much shorter time frame.
Three approaches to unified communications that stand out as presenting the greatest, most effective opportunities for the forward looking company are: expanded voice systems, enhanced desktop functionality and communications-enabled business processes. However, every business situation is unique and faces its own set of challenges as it relates to UC adoption. Selecting a partner that can provide a customized approach utilizing any number of techniques is the ideal way to meet your specific requirements.
Expanded Voice Systems
Voice communication systems are easily the most used (and sometimes overlooked) communication tool. The addition of web collaboration, audio and video conferencing, presence, instant message, support for mobile devices and the integration of business applications can substantially improve the usefulness of your voice communications system. These options are varied but always versatile, scalable and cost effective. This approach also allows you to take advantage of your voice system and integrate elements of UC with installed desktop applications.
Enhanced Desktop Functionality
You can choose to add elements of unified communications (instant message, presence, and click-to-call) to desktop applications such as e-mail and calendar. Desktop applications are an obvious necessity to any successful business, as they provide the interface to, and are the focus of, all the information systems of the business. This information is the lifeline of your business, and enhancing access to them is imperative.
Communications-Enabled Business Processes (CEBP)
A picture is worth a thousand words. This statement is as true in business as anywhere else. Integrating your core business applications with your communications network can allow your employees, partners and clients to experience rather than just read the information you want communicated. Simply put, representations of complicated or highly technical information can be portrayed as images. Everyone from sales associates to senior management will benefit tremendously from the ability to quickly grasp and adapt to this information and use it to act more decisively.
These benefits encompass all business departments and industries. Every department will be able to make rapid, informed decisions based on the same information and, if needed, further detail is always available on the system. Industries as diverse as manufacturing and education as well as government offices can be confident in their ability to communicate across every user interface.
While the market definition of UC seems to be ever evolving, the drivers remain constant. The value of UC is most evident when one recognizes the vast amounts of information that are communicated across formerly separate communications technologies. But the true value is reaped when, as a result of UC implementation, innovation, collaboration and teamwork are all enhanced and significantly increase the efficiency of a business.