What is Unified Communications (UC)?
By Corey Shields on Jul 28, 2020

What is Unified Communications (UC)?

There’s a lot that goes into running a successful business, but we can all agree that it would be impossible without communication. Being able to effectively communicate doesn’t just promote teamwork and increase productivity within a company, but it also enhances customer relations.

It’s safe to say that without it, all would be lost.

Since it plays such a crucial role in success, every modern-day business should be doing whatever it takes to communicate and collaborate as efficiently as possible. Investing in a Unified Communications solution like Ntiva Voice is one way to do this.


Today's Communication Struggle

The problem that many companies face is not a lack of communication, but instead, it’s the fact that there are too many communication tools out there. We live in an era where communications technology is constantly evolving, and sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with these changes.

This is where Unified Communications or UCaaS comes into play. With this solution, it’s all about unifying the many communication tools available into a single interface, making it easy to use, manage, and most importantly, communicate.

 

 

What is Unified Communications?

What is UC

 

Unified Communications, UC for short, is the process of integrating all communication and collaboration tools across an organization. UC solutions have been applied to small and medium-sized businesses as well as major enterprises.

In most cases, UC presents itself as cloud-based telephony that integrates with other business applications such as instant messaging, presence information, video chat, web conferencing, desktop sharing, online collaboration tools like SharePoint and OneDrive, mobility features, and more.

The lengthy list of communication tools above gives you an idea of how many resources are available to us to help us stay connected with fellow employees, upper management, customers, and clients. It’s a beautiful thing to have so many options, but on the flip side, it can cause a lot of headaches if these tools aren’t integrated properly.


The Main Components of UC Solutions

UC Third Party Applications

The world is becoming more connected each and every day, so there’s a lot that goes into successful UC. This is especially true since more and more companies are using a combination of on-premise and cloud-based IT services for data storage and staying connected.

The tricky part of UC is that every company has different needs when it comes to communication, but the main thing to remember is that the key element here is collaboration.

Promoting better communication practices is all about being able to collaborate on a deeper, more connected level. Collaboration through UC means that even organizations with employees spread across the globe will be able to effectively communicate with one another.

 

Aside from collaboration, here are 4 more key elements to finding success with UC:

  1. Availability
  2. Unified Messaging
  3. Mobility
  4. Integration

Availability

When employees are able to show that they’re either available or unavailable to chat, this is a game-changer in terms of efficiency. It allows each employee to make better communication-related decisions in order to save time and stay productive.

 For example, if you’re trying to reach someone but you can see that he/she is on a phone call, you can make the informed decision to send an instant message and not waste time calling and being sent straight to voicemail.

Unified Messaging

Of course unified messaging goes hand in hand with Unified Communications. This component involves integrating all messaging platforms, like voicemail, IM, email, fax, and whatever digital interfaces the company is using to stay in touch. We always recommend Microsoft Teams, since it is integrated into Office 365, which most organizations use every day!

Mobility

The modern-day workplace is becoming increasingly more mobile as remote work continues to grow. More companies are adopting an “anywhere, anytime” attitude, allowing their employees to work just about anywhere.

There are definitely challenges involved with remote work and BYOD policies, but utilizing a UC solution with mobility in mind can help to overcome them.  UC that supports mobility allows a user to communicate from any device in any location.

Integration

This last one links directly to collaboration, but integration takes it one step further. The majority of UC solutions fully integrate with third-party business applications as a way to deliver on process improvement.

Integrating UC with customer relationship management (CRM) is one example of this. It’s possible to integrate a CRM solution with UC so when one of your repeat customers or clients calls, you’ll be provided a pop-up of that individual’s info. This gives you the chance to provide more personalized service and keep your customers coming back in the future.


What Are the Benefits of UC?

What are the benefits of UC

 

Unifying your company’s communication needs doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. Actually, it should be just the opposite and save you money in the long run. The potential for money savings is 100% there with UC, and this is one of the greatest perks.

NTIVA Voice is proof of this. Traditional phone systems don’t come cheap and there are almost always added taxes and fees tacked on that can be quite the shock when payday rolls around. With our cloud-based UC solution, we believe in a no surprise payment model and straight-forward billing.

Saving money definitely has its appeal, but it’s not the only advantage of switching over to UC. Here are a few more ways that UC can help to improve your organization’s communication:

 

  • Enhanced Team Productivity: Connecting with team members through UC is linked to enhanced productivity, especially for teams that are spread out geographically.
  • Improved User Experience: A solid UC strategy can take the stress off of your employees and even reduce turnover in the company by giving more freedom to work and communicate in a way that works for them.
  • Reduced Administration & Better Reliability: A UC solution is much more reliable than the traditional phone system and it can easily be managed through an online portal.

 

Should Your Company Utilize UCaaS?

Communication is the life-blood of your entire business, and although you might be skeptical about outsourcing your company’s communication needs, it’s might be the best thing you ever did for your organization.

 

Even if you think you’ve got your SMB or enterprise communication down pat, chances are investing in UC can make a positive impact. Based on the benefits we covered above, there’s a lot that UC can do for you, so get in touch to learn more.

 

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