What are Unified Communications Systems?

Gone are the days when businesses depend exclusively on their telecommunications networks to send and accept calls. Many telecommunications network operators have extended their offerings into digital messaging networks, providing workers a multitude of ways, all from one location, to communicate with others outside and within the workplace.

Unified Communications is not a single component but a collection of elements including: Call Control and Multimodal Communications, Instant Messaging, Presence, Unified Messaging Access and Personal Assistant Meeting (Audio, Internet and Video) Collaboration Tools, Mobility, Business Process Implementation (BPI) Technology to allow business process automation.

Unified communications, sometimes referred to as UCaaS, enables businesses to foster more collaborative and flexible work. Unified communications brings all the networking channels together into one powerful network, incorporating voice calls, text messages, e-mail and video conferencing.

How does Unified Communications Systems work for Businesses ?

The problem is that communication has been greatly fragmented in recent years, owing to the proliferation of mobile devices and the rise of social media. Like everyone else, hard-working professionals communicate with their smartphones via carrier-based calls and multiple email accounts, including one that is checked only once a week. Users must place voicemails that they can receive simultaneously with an email, or chat with others in the organization.

Unified Communications Systems work for Businesses

We work in a more collaborative way today than we did years ago. Staff spend a large amount of time working in internationally dispersed teams. The need to work as a mobile workforce from anywhere, anywhere, has become the rule, not the exception.

For the best end-user experience, workers need streamlined communication resources that are accessible across all platforms and without media discontinuity. With a collection of devices and social resources the next generation of workforce is already mobile-enabled. Ensuring that the company deploys appealing job resources is essential to meeting customer needs and recruiting top talent.

Therefore, with the pace of today’s market climate, it is crucial to handle the daily abundance of information in a coordinated manner – this implies collaborative conceptual work in projects, as a team. This makes more productive work for the teams.

Enter UCaaS (which stands for Unified Communications Service), which integrates communication into a cloud model and integrates cloud-based software and applications. The aim of unified communication is to incorporate software that facilitates synchronous and asynchronous communication, so that the end user can access all of his information, irrespective of which device is used. A unified communication environment is typically supported by one or more back-end systems, often referred to as the UC platform, a platform that facilitates service integration, and a front-end client that provides access.

Uniform communication is a way for companies to integrate the way they communicate, whether through phone calls, e-mails, text messages or other forms of communication. A coherent Unified Communication System (UC) can benefit an organization in many ways, whether in terms of better customer service, higher productivity, or more. Unified Communications is the process of integrating the way a company communicates, even when the call is outside the daily routine.

Uniform communication helps systems work together in real time and integrates systems that users may already be using. Unified Communications systems allow better performance and internal coordination, contributing to improved consumer experiences afterward. In the current business world, this is crucial because face-to-face experiences are on a downward spiral, while foreign sales are on the rise.Unified Communications promotes better contact and thus makes consumers happy and more likely to show loyalty.

If your organization is unsure whether it will make the transition, here are some of the benefits and reasons to do so

What are the Benefits and functions of Unified Communications Systems?

Implementing the right unified communications (UC) technology offers a range of features and benefits that were previously only affordable to large corporations.

Collaboration

Collaboration has become increasingly important — and daunting — for companies as workers become geographically more widespread. UC systems should allow users to interact with each other in different ways.

Presence

Presence helps individuals to monitor their availability and to make informed choices about contact. Users will see who's available and pick the most suitable means of communication. That saves time, especially in highly distributed businesses. For example, users who see the person they are trying to reach can send an instant message on the phone.

Centralized Messaging

UC solutions also provide centralized messaging, which includes the incorporation of voicemail, fax, email, text communicating and other electronic media used by communicating users. Messages can be accessed from their preferred app, whether it's the email client, UC client, or over the phone, and users can see their messages to decide the messages they'll listen to first.

Mobility

An important feature of UC for today's mobile staff is mobility support, meaning users can access apps on any device and from anywhere. Given the rapid increase in mobile workforce and the movement towards "bring-your-own-device," support for mobile technology is particularly critical for today's UC platforms.

Contact Center

UC technologies will dramatically improve the environment of the contact center to improve service and deliver operational efficiency. They enable companies to serve their customers in the medium of their choice (e.g., voice, email, Web chat, or SMS), monitor and respond to social media, keep customers well informed, provide estimated wait- messages and continuous queue position updates, and provide interactive voice response self.

Integration

Most UC systems can integrate with business applications from third parties to provide improvement in business processes. For example, integration of customer relationship management (CRM) systems can provide a pop-up of customer information while calling, so that the best personalized service can be delivered.

Enhanced user experience

A strong UC plan will inspire your staff and even reduce the organization's turnover by giving people the flexibility they want to work.

Reduced cost

Small businesses are under enormous pressure to hold costs down. As remote work becomes more commonplace, UC offers a cost-effective, cloud-based way for small businesses to access expertise from around the world. Companies don't have to pay for too much physical office space for remote staff, resulting in decreased running costs. By connecting and working together immediately, you can help build stronger relationships, saving you travel costs and commuting time. In addition, converting all communications into a single platform allows you to pay for fewer services and software.

Increased Productivity

By bundling services, companies have the opportunity to increase their productivity across all their functions. UCC systems with the ability to hold conferences across a variety of devices enable business owners, employees and customers to move between them in real time.

Competitive Advantage

According to a survey, companies that use unified communications report that cloud telephony systems help them stay ahead of the competition and respond quickly to their customer needs. By providing comprehensive cloud telephony, businesses can provide a consistent and hassle-free service.

In short, a Unified Communications (UC) solution is a system for everything.

How can you Implement UC in your company?

UC is about breaking down the barriers between a huge, scattered workforce. UC will at the right time put people together with the process for improved communication tools, through the right channels. UC may be the path forward for many companies in today’s digitally-transforming world, but it all starts with the right strategy:

implement-Unified-Communications
Consider your current environment:

start with understanding your existing communication network, and what you need to develop on top of it. Many businesses would have already made significant investments in on-premise equipment and desk phones. That means they need a UC plan that can exploit the current hardware.

Assess the workforce:

Make sure you know what your workers need in an organizational setting to perform well. Many companies may need to offer various rates of access and enhanced services to all market groups, based on their daily tasks. For example, your marketing team may need their UC tools to integrate with a CRM system which requires access to analytics by a tech team.

Get the right vendor support:

Eventually, businesses need to select the right UC vendor to help them through their digital transformation. During the “vision” stage of the UC journey, vendor alignment and interoperability must be identified.

What should you consider when getting a UC for your business?

Checklist to UC Buyer

1. Why Buy UC?

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when they launch a UC service starts by asking themselves “how” they can get started with UC rather than “why” they’re going on this journey. Before you start looking for technology, get your business leaders together and speak about how you can use UC to make your company more effective. The response to “Why should we add UC” should never be just “because our rivals have it.” You need the why before you can start determining how.

2. Would it really help you deliver better customer service?

Ask yourself if this will help you offer a better all-around customer experience before you invest in any specific UC strategy. To gain from consumer feedback and predictive technology, does it need to be incorporated with your CRM program? Does your UC service need an integrated call center solution? The more you learn how your CX and UC approaches work together, the more effective your investment will be.

3. Do you have a Strategy for Implementation?

As good as the right UC approach can be, you will never see the full potential of your strategy until you have the right plan in place for adoption. You’ll need to make sure you know how to carry out the latest programs and upgrades to the team.

Ask yourself: 

  • Who would use the UC services you provide?
  • What kinds of things do they do every day?
  • Where will UC improve their existing processes?
  • What applications are the teams now using, and how do they integrate them into new strategies?
  • How many of your workers are mobile, or on the path, and would need cloud-based access to UC services?

4. Which kind of deployment will be appropriate for you?

As mentioned above there is no single strategy for implementing a UC service. Many smaller companies that are just starting their communication plan for the first time can consider adopting a full-hosted cloud model easier. After all, UC on the cloud comes with no initial investment or installation to worry about, which is ideal for companies on a tight budget. At the same time, the cloud offers the scalability and versatility that many organizations need in the agile environment.

5. Do you need Call Center functionality?

Building a fully “unified” communication platform means finding a way to resolve the interconnection distance between both external and internal structures. Also, a UC approach begins by combining the various tools which an internal team uses to communicate and collaborate throughout the day. A UC solution can also support an omnichannel approach to customer service-something that is becoming increasingly relevant in the modern market. Unified Communications provides the employees with a presence on everything from social media to web chat, email, and more, in an atmosphere where the customer needs the channel they want to be able to speak to you.

6.  Is your UC Mobile Service Enabled?

The remote workforce is on the rise, with 50 per cent of all UK staff in a position to consider a flexible work schedule by 2020. It is not just the UK but also supports this form of working. Companies across the globe have started to find that remote employees are more productive, happier and more effective than their office colleagues.

As the remote workplace becomes ever more popular, today’s UC strategies need to be ready to suit a variety of working strategies. This means that any computer you wish to run on a smartphone or tablet as well as a desktop or laptop will function.

If you have an existing mobility plan in place, or you are beginning to adapt your organizational climate to fit the needs of a digital workforce, the UC approach needs to be prepared to explore the mobility potential.

 

7. What endpoints are you going to need, and what accessories?

While investing in a cloud-based UC approach is a fantastic way to minimize your contact stack’s initial outlay with the correct selection of endpoints and accessories, you will also need to think carefully about how to make the most of your UC system.

8. What essential IT services does it integrate with?

Although there are several different factors that can make or break a good UC implementation, few things are more important than integrating them into the modern landscape. If you’re building a UC strategy from scratch or designing a solution that fits with your existing on-site infrastructure, you need a framework that’s flexible enough to fit seamlessly with the services you rely on everyday.

9. Will this be compatible with your existing telecommunication system?

As already mentioned, the design of an integration-friendly UC strategy requires many components. Once you’ve assured that your customers can access a simple and secure workflow with resources that fit with their current CRM, email, and file storage strategies, you’ll need to ensure that your existing hardware works securely and efficiently with your new communication strategy. Your UC applications and endpoints need to work together seamlessly to deliver the best communication strategy.

10.   Have you done compliance, security and privacy?

Finally, it is important to ensure that any improvements you make to your smooth communication stack don’t come at the cost of excellent security and enforcement.

Why Choose Btelecoms for your UC Solutions?

With our solution, voice and data services can operate across all devices over a single network connection. We offer the benefits of advanced voice and data technology while managing it in a secure, secure, and cost-effective way for business users and customers.

 At Btelecoms, we are always looking for ways to be more productive and provide a better experience for our customers and partners. Unified Communications helps you do your job faster, smarter and with less effort. Forget the old-fashioned phone calls, text messages or emails, organisations are getting better at helping their end users and customers. Let us help you.

Call us today on PHONEXXX or fill out contact form to begin.

FAQ

The term “Unified Communications” refers to systems that allow organizations to access the communications resources they need through a single application or service. That means businesses will use the same UI (User Interface) for instant messaging, email, faxing, VoIP, and video collaboration. UC services can also provide services such as call tracking, recording, and efficiency. UC&C adds collaboration features to the UC mix, such as file sharing resources, screen sharing, scheduling, and calendars.

WebRTC is another concept which is widely used in UC&C discussions. Web Real-Time Communication is a free and open-source technology designed to provide real-time communication solutions for mobile apps and web browsers using simple APIs or “application programming interfaces.” For businesses wishing to access UC&C without installing any additional software or equipment, WebRTC enables video and audio communication to function on a web page, in a peer-to-server manner. WebRTC removes the need for Native Applications and Plugins.