It’s a simple and powerful way to streamline communications from multiple phones and computers. It can help small and medium businesses improve customer service, increase productivity, and reap significant savings.
Effective use of the latest communication technologies can help you gain a competitive advantage and keep your business growing. Instant messaging (IM), mobile Web applications, IP telephony, and a dozen other tools—each have a contribution to make. The real challenge is to integrate these disparate applications in a cost-effective way that makes it easy for you and your employees to communicate effectively.
Unified Communications (UC) integrates telephone, computer and networking systems, software, and services, enabling your entire staff to work efficiently, whether they're in the office or on the road. Typically, UC solutions can work with analog, digital, IP, SIP, and wireless technologies, so users can communicate using the device that's most appropriate at the time. But not all UC solutions support every technology, so be sure to ask for what you need upfront.
In today's competitive business environment, building customer loyalty is of supreme importance. As your workforce grows increasingly mobile, so do the challenges of ensuring good customer service and employee productivity. Whether your staff is working from home, stuck at the airport or in between meetings, communicating in a timely manner can be a challenge. Effective use of Unified Communications ensures that your business will never miss a customer call or an important message.
UC enables users to take calls or receive messages on the device of their choice. For example, you can receive voicemail on your office phone or access it through e-mail or your cell phone. Calls to your office can ring simultaneously on any other phone (mobile, remote office, home). You can even make calls using your Internet-connected laptop. This 'single number access' capability helps ensure you and your team stay connected by making it easier for customers to get in touch with you, wherever you are.
Unified Communications also makes it easy for workgroups and teams to collaborate more effectively. Conference calls can be easily scheduled or setup 'on the fly,' and participants can quickly join a conference using a cell phone, smartphone, or computer with an Internet connection. The conferencing application can even be set up to automatically call the meeting host and participants instead of having everyone dial in, making it easier to set up impromptu sessions with dispersed workgroups and mobile colleagues.
UC also easily adds productivity-enhancing rich-media capabilities to conferencing, including recorded audio, graphics, presentations, and video.
Today, many small and medium businesses (SMBs) are considering UC to reap the collaboration, productivity, customer service and cost-savings benefits the technology can deliver. 'In a recent survey North American SMB executives indicated they planned to reduce travel costs in order to stay competitive in a down economy,' said Anthony Bartolo, vice president and general manager, SME Communications, Avaya. The report discussed SMB's need for enhanced collaboration, communications and networking technologies, particularly if these technologies can help leverage current investments. 'UC can help small businesses do more with less, without driving up (and often lowering) operating costs and capital expenses," noted Bartolo.
Unified Communications can be easily adapted to changing needs and can be expanded as your business grows. It can help you deliver the best possible customer service, increase employee productivity and reduce costs.