Unified Communications Featured Article

What is Unified Communications?

June 27, 2012

Unified communications (UC) is a term that encompasses countless next-generation solutions that are allowing businesses of all sizes around the globe to transition to the almighty cloud. According to an article from Unified Communications Strategies, UC is defined as all communications that are integrated to optimize business processes.

As more and more companies let employees work from anywhere in the world, unified communications are essential as they allow complete workforces to become increasingly mobile. Encompassing unified messaging, collaboration, instant messaging and real-time communications, UC brings multiple benefits to companies across all verticals. Unified messaging lets users’ access voice, e-mail, fax and other types of media from a single mailbox via any device they are using. Collaboration systems are comprised of key applications including calendaring, scheduling, workflow, integrated voice response (IVR), and other enterprise applications that help all divisions of an enterprise remain on the same page and communicate in a highly effective manner.

Some of the benefits given to a firm that implements a unified communications suite include: increased scalability that can used to meet both the current and growing needs of customers; reducing expenses typically associated with communication channels, and an increase in productivity.

In a recent blog post, statistics in regarding unified communications show that when leveraging these robust systems:

  • 75 percent of the time wasted by the average employee can be saved
  • 50 percent of the time wasted on employees trying to contact customers and colleagues can be eliminated
  • 25 percent of the time wasted by employees trying to get information can be used to complete other business-related tasks

 It is important to highlight that even when leveraging UC, companies must be aware that this back end infrastructure needs to be easy to install and manage, thus enabling businesses to see a large array of benefits from their newly implemented seamlessly integrated solutions as well as ROI.

Additionally, when transitioning to a UC environment, what were once seen as obstacles such as continuous version and feature upgrades can be taken care of by the provider without any affect to the service or business operations. Also, issues such as security and redundancy are now the provider’s responsibility and they can offer an increasingly reliable, quality service with the help of database replication, backup lines, etc.

When applying a cloud-based offering, users can now forgo any upfront investment or any upgrade fees, due to the fact that with unified communications – everything is taken care of. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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