Latest Posts - 18 Feb 2019
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Unified communications systems are scalable solutions that can be implemented in a variety of business environments (contact centres, SMEs, Enterprises, GP practices etc.) to provide payoffs for companies large or small. At the simplest level, unified communications (UC) add value by improving productivity; however the greatest returns come from integrating the technology into business applications throughout the company. This approach transforms workflow by introducing business capabilities and combining resources in a way that is only possible with UC systems.
What is UC?
The premise of UC is the ability for anyone to send and receive information in real-time, on any media. In the early days of UC, systems covered telephone, voicemail, email and fax. More latterly, instant messaging, video and web services have been included within UC platforms. The main measure of effectiveness for these systems is their ability to reduce the time it takes for messages to transmit through the system and reach the recipient, reducing inactivity.
A key tool of UC is presence detection (or presence awareness) which is the ability to see the availability of other users – be they within the same building, working remotely, or on the move. This feature enables employees to collaborate during the working day, regardless of location. The interactive directory permits any combination of voice, text, file, or video information exchange within a period of a few minutes. For example, a customer service representative can answer a caller’s technical question immediately by contacting a specialist who happens to be travelling. Eliminating delays such as ‘phone tag' (when individuals, attempting to contact each other by phone, repeatedly trade messages) provides customers with exceptional response times that improve efficiency within the organisation.
Bring your own device (BYOD) and UC
This growing trend, which encompasses Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) and Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC), encourages company employees to work on the device they choose. An employee’s mobile device may well be newer and more advanced than the equipment deployed by many IT departments (!) so it's hardly surprising that the rapid adoption of lightweight tablets, iPads and large-screened phones are changing the way that people want to work.
As UC solutions adapt to support this growing trend, integration and security issues that existed in its infancy no longer need to be a headache for IT departments. With applications such as ShoreTel Mobility, which uses encryption and authentication techniques and Sophos mobile control software, data stored on mobile devices can be protected and even ‘wiped’, if the device is lost or stolen.
Key business benefits of introducing UC
A VoIP system offers capabilities unavailable in older, traditional PBX-based systems, such as mobility, voicemail transcribed via text or email, and video chat. Combine this increased functionality with the versatility of UC and you’ll see significant improvements in performance, business processes and customer service. Offering fast and versatile message handling via phone, email, smartphone, tablet, IM, and fax; UC can consolidate operations that are currently limited by communications gaps. Furthermore, the ability to communicate through any device (PC, mobile phone, or tablet) provides ultimate flexibility.
When an organisation adopts a UC system, the company sees improvements in three key areas:
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"We were impressed with how Incom looked to help us save money, improve our flexibility to manage seasonal demands and increase our efficiencies. "
"The staff at Incom have all been professional and supportive during the transition and made the switchover as seamless as possible from a user perspective."