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6 ways unified communications can help businesses achieve more

6 ways unified communications can help employees achieve more
 
 
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5 minutes

17th February 2023

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Unified communications (UC) drives efficiency and reduces costs for businesses. The opportunities to make an impact with UC have never been greater.

What is unified communications?

Unified communications (UC) is the process of bringing all your communication technologies together in one place. So people can do everything – calling, instant messaging, sharing documents, presenting and more – through one application, on one device.

 

It usually means replacing traditional telephony or PBX (private branch exchange) systems with new cloud-based technology that allows you to integrate all your communication services.

Why is unified communications coming into focus now?

The evolution of popular technologies like Microsoft Teams is making it easier to implement UC, while the explosion in remote and hybrid work means employees now need to be able to communicate seamlessly wherever they are.

 

Then there’s the analogue switch-off coming in 2025, forcing many businesses to replace legacy PBX systems with new digital solutions.

What are the six biggest benefits of UC?

1. Drive efficiency

Because employees can use a single system for all communication, effortlessly switching from one method to another, it reduces the need to work across multiple applications or devices. This means less digital friction caused by ‘context switching’, where people can waste time and lose focus as they switch between different apps.

 

At the team level, it’s far easier to coordinate work, avoiding misunderstandings and duplication of effort, wherever team members happen to be working. Features such as call recording and ongoing discussion threads help keep everyone on the same page.

 

For organisations, these collective gains in efficiency result in better process when it comes to things like online meetings, task and project management, customer service and more. It’s therefore no surprise that UC is often part of a wider digital transformation programme.

2. Reduce costs

Introducing unified communications reduces the tools that employees need to communicate and can eliminate reliance on certain hardware, which can significantly reduce your annual costs.

 

You may have multiple conferencing and collaboration solutions in place with overlapping functionalities. Or you may have legacy PBX systems based around inflexible desk phones. A new, unified solution could route calls through to existing laptops and mobile devices, while also removing recurring license fees for redundant software.

 

Depending on your UC solution and provider, you may also be able to reduce your costs through more flexible pricing (based on per user) and extras such as having security covered in your overall price.

3. Take collaboration to the next level

Unified communications lowers the barrier for successful collaboration, giving people the flexibility to choose the right tool for any scenario, from voice-only calls to real-time document collaboration, ongoing discussion threads or video meetings. Additional capabilities such as automated meeting transcriptions and even multi-lingual captioning supports teams working across multiple countries.

 

A team can easily set up a video meeting, for example, and even invite external people. They can view a previously circulated document. They can brainstorm ideas through a virtual whiteboarding session. They can record the whole meeting for people who cannot attend, while a real-time transcript can help a colleague who is living with a hearing disability. And all of this is possible through your phone.

 

And if you’re in the office, you can optimise meeting rooms to work with a chosen UC solution such as Microsoft Teams, with an ecosystem of specific hardware that can support a better meeting experience for in-person and virtual attendees.

4. Improve customer service

Unified communications significantly improves customer service. When a customer calls you, you can immediately direct them to the right team or person through a virtual receptionist. No more off-putting demands for the customer to call back on a different number.

 

Employees taking the call can then view customer details, have product information and even message colleagues to help resolve customer issues. And after a call, better communication between different service teams means customer problems can be resolved swiftly and successfully.

 

You can also start to provide more options for customers to contact you, including video calls, instant messaging and live chat.

5. Empower a remote, hybrid and mobile workforce

Unified communications lets employees communicate and collaborate from anywhere via a smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop.

 

Some organisations have a predominantly remote and mobile workforce. Drivers. Field engineers. Site inspectors. Social care staff. Builders. Cleaners. Sales people. Previously it could be difficult for these roles to communicate and collaborate with colleagues. Some had to return to an office to get things done.

 

UC transforms their ability to connect and stay in touch. The driver can check delivery details. A salesperson can find out about a late cancellation of an appointment. The builders on site can answer an important question there and then for a client.

 

The rise in hybrid working also means many office-based employees are now working from home for some of the week. UC provides the same seamless experience at home as in the office, whether you’re taking an external call, in a video conference or collaborating on a document in real-time.

6. Increase agility and flexibility

Legacy PBX solutions can hold organisations back by limiting the number of inbound and outbound calls or lines available, leading to significant problems through periods of change.

 

UC provides much greater agility in being able to scale up or down communications as required with costs incurred on a per user basis. So you can grow without impacting the smooth communication that is essential for everyday operations.

Talk to us

Learn more about our unified communications solution for small and medium-sized businesses here.

 

To explore the specific benefits it can bring to your organisation contact our team or call us on 0800 298 8848.