Unified communications technology improves productivity, reduces costs, enhances customer service and increases revenue. Learn more about the benefits of UC.
Making life simpler and more convenient is always appealing. When you can do this in a business setting, in particular, there can be many benefits for efficiency, earnings, and employee engagement too. Here are several things you should know about the many ways unified communications technology helps streamline processes.
What is Unified Communications?
Unified Communications (UC), or unified communications and collaboration (UCC), brings together all of the communications tools your business may be using today in a single platform. More than simply replacing one phone system with a new solution, the move to UC offers your organization improved access to:
- Voice and telephony, including mobility support
- Meeting solutions – audio conferencing, video conferencing and web conferencing
- Messaging – email with voice mail and unified messaging
- Clients – including desktop clients and thin browser clients
- Communications-enabled applications – For example, integrated contact centers, communications platform as a service and work stream collaboration
Briefly, a UC solution is a single integrated platform allowing your users to collaborate more effectively in a multichannel environment. Streamlining communications among devices and people, UC enables efficient communication in whatever matter works at that moment, but with everyone on the same platform.
One more distinction to consider: UC typically refers to on-premise solutions while Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) sees your business selecting a cloud-delivered solution.
Gartner predicts UCaaS user spending, which reached $1.5 billion in 2017, will continue to increase and reach $2.8 billion by 2021.
Why Unified Communications?
A UC solution offers several core benefits:
- Improved productivity
- Reduced costs
- Enhanced customer service
- Increased revenue
Those sound good right? Let’s look at them in more detail to help you make your case.
Productivity — Communication is the lifeblood of your organization. With UC allowing employees to see the status of their co-workers in real time, using presence, the technology helps cut down on wasted time. Also, the UC solution can help team members see on which channels the individual is available for collaboration in order to choose the best one for the task at hand. For instance, this might be IM or video conferencing, and the same UC solution can handle the best choice.
Additionally, UC is consistently accessible from office desks, other locations at your business where work gets done, and from mobile locations. Thus, your team members can seamlessly communicate and collaborate wherever they may be at a given time of day. No matter when your users need to meet, the platform is available.
Cost Savings — Combining multiple communication functionalities in a single integrated platform can see businesses decrease spending on premises-based telephony and messaging, and eliminate the need for chat and video services too. At the same time, a cloud-based UC solution can put enterprise-level efficiency and professionalism within reach of the smallest business budget — and the technology can be easily scaled up and down to meet business need.
Let’s consider also the advantages for your IT department. Yes, they will be the ones responsible for deploying the platform, but with just one common environment to roll out they can save time and effort. At the same time, a cloud-based UC provider can take over responsibility for monitoring network usage and managing security.
Enhanced Customer Service — We mentioned already an advantage of presence — that your internal employees can quickly see who is available at a given moment. This can also help your communications with external users. After all, if someone wants to forward a call to another department, they can do so knowing that an individual is there and available, which reduces the customers’ wait time and saves them from having to leave messages. Or, more simply, with UC it becomes easier for an individual to reach out to a fellow team member on a separate channel — while still on the call with the customer — for the needed answer or information.
The efficiency of shared calendar access, instant messaging, and specific call routing tools are just the beginning of the benefits of UC. It’s also easy for employees to move throughout the organization (and off-site) without their customers detecting any difference. Extensions might be temporarily reassigned from a Seattle office to a Sedona one, with any desk phone (or even mobile phone) appearing to be the same direct line the customer usually calls.
Increased Revenue — UC is a technology that speeds up response time, boosts employee productivity, and improves customer loyalty — all of which are key to increased revenues.
Further, with the ability to save messages, contact center recordings, and conference calls, your business gains the ability to improve processes and better protect itself from legal or compliance concerns. With the insights gained from UC dashboard reporting, your leaders can also identify trends, opportunities for training, and possible pitfalls to avoid.