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Choosing Unified Communications for Your Business

Unified Communications (UC) is the integration of communication services such as telephony, call conferencing, voicemail, and more into one platform. Offered through a single provider, unified communications solutions are managed through a unified user interface. This allows all employees to work under one system with access to real-time features and data for better productivity.

A number of the top-rated VoIP service providers below also offer unified communication systems. Most providers offer a basic VoIP phone service, which can be further customized with other add-on communication services.  If you are looking for a business VoIP solution, you might want to consider taking it to the next level with unified communications.

using unified communications to connect

What is Unified Communications?

Unified Communications is a communication solution that integrates voice, video, messaging, and more.

Unified Communications, often referenced simply as UC, is the combination of real-time services into one user-friendly channel or interface.

UC is not itself a single product; rather, it is a combination of a number of different channels and elements that help to foster productivity in the workplace. UC solutions often include instant messaging, video, conferencing, mobile applications, integrations, and voice all in one tool to help facilitate collaboration and effective communication across all channels. Instead of switching between different tools or applications, employees can use one centralized spot to keep all of their office communications organized. Plus, one of the best advantages of a UC solution is that employees can access it regardless of the device they are using (desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device). This allows for fluid communication and collaboration across all fronts.

UC also brings a number of new features and tools to the workplace. One of these key features is 'presence', where employees can see the status (online, busy, do not disturb, etc.) of coworkers within their business. This helps employees communicate more effectively and allows them to tailor their questions, inquiries, or communication methods accordingly. Another big feature of UC is mobility. This includes the use of mobile apps on smartphones and tablets, in addition to the option to work across a number of devices. With UC, the user experience is the same regardless of the platform or operating system you choose, helping to reduce the learning curve and to make for a good user experience.

employee using mobile phone and laptop for voip

Is a Unified Communications Solution Applicable to My Business?

Unified Communications can help businesses stay connected and communicating in a number of ways.

Here are some typical use cases for a UC solution:

  1. Your employees utilize a number of different applications and tools outside of your standard VoIP system. A UC solution could help unify these because most (if not all) UC solutions offer integrations with today's top business applications.
  2. You have a number of different employees in different sites (or maybe even remote employees). By choosing a UC solution, all of your employees, regardless of their location, have a space in which they can communicate and collaborate in real-time.
  3. You are looking to improve employee productivity. With UC, all channels of communication are readily accessible in real-time. 
  4. You need a secure solution. Whether it is for data storage, encrypted calls, or more, a UC solution can afford your business the safety and security it needs.
  5. You want to save money. UC solutions offer cost reduction through improved productivity, enhanced mobility, and better flexibility with your communication system.

 

comparing financial sheets and overall costs

How Will a Unified Communications Solution Save My Business Money?

A UC solution can help you unify all communication channels into one simple solution.

Unified communications solutions are among the many services offered by VoIP providers. IP telephony uses internet technology to make calls; that same technology makes internet faxing, web conferencing, email, and instant messaging possible. Since they all function with that similar base, it becomes easy to unify communications. When integrated, unified communications increase flexibility and productivity. In addition, unified communications can create huge savings compared to the costs of piecing together services provided by separate companies.

One of the major savings associated with a UC solution isn't monetary at all. This is because UC helps your employees (and thus your business) save time. Because UC combines all channels into one easy-to-use solution, there's no need to switch between applications, browser tabs, or devices. With a UC solution, employees can access all of their conversations, voicemails, shared documents, and more from wherever and on whatever device they choose. Although the initial time savings may seem incremental, your business will find a lot more time to allocate elsewhere.

Businesses using a UC solution will also enjoy a reduction in their monthly communications costs. With UC, businesses will save on software licenses, backup storage, legacy equipment, and more. Plus, UC helps reduce travel costs with the help of video conferencing and real-time collaboration. And, choosing a hosted UC proivder will allow a business to save money on IT staff and system maintenance because all troubleshooting, upgrades, and upkeep is handled by the provider.

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