Unified Communications

At its most simple, unified communications means integrating multiple forms of communication within a business setting. The term also encompasses the products that enable the assimilation of varied modes of connection. The necessary equipment, software, and services allow individuals to utilize voice calls, video chatting, internal and external messaging, voicemail, and digital content sharing.

 

Unified communication services and products can integrate with networks and systems, IT apps, and sometimes consumer apps and devices depending on the type of unified communication services a business provides and supports.

Benefits of Unified Communications

The great benefit of unified communications is that one platform provides everything a business’ employees require to communicate, connect, and collaborate effectively. This business component may seem like an unnecessary luxury; however, modernized and ever-evolving interfaces that assist in sharing files, video meetings, and voice conferencing make life easier for employers, employees, partners, and clients.

When you engage with unified communication services, your business yields:

 

  • Higher productivity (employees can connect in whichever mode they prefer)
  • Reduced costs (one overarching service instead of multiple)
  • Enhanced performance (communication and collaboration can occur instantaneously)
  • Improved user experience (providing employees with more options and freedom)

A thorough and well-vetted unified communications platform offers business solutions for internal and external communications. This assures that in-office and remote employees can connect through video, voice, or instant messaging–and of course, email–while also increasing the ways your business can remain in touch with customers, clients, shareholders, and suppliers.

 

Types of Unified Communications

The most commonly used forms of unified communications include voice over IP, video, and messaging–let’s take a look at each.

 

Voice Over IP (VoIP)

Voice over Internet Protocol, typically called VoIP, directs data–in this case, phone calls–over the internet to your desk phone or cell phone. Heavily used worldwide, VoIP has quickly replaced traditional phone systems in many companies, businesses, and corporations because it’s all-encompassing and easy to install.

 

VoIP:

  • Provides cost savings because call and video data are sent through the internet—two modes of communication through one source. Plus, you only pay for the services you use when it comes to VoIP.
  • Promotes flexibility and mobility;
  • Nurtures connectivity between remote workers, in-house employees, and staff around the world;
  • Integrates video calling, voicemail, click-to-call services, recording features, messaging, and availability information.

 

Video

In our technologically advanced world, we no longer merely rely on exchanging words but also use facial expressions, body language, and overall personal presentation to convey information.

Whether it’s a one-on-one meetup or a company-wide conference, video options bring people together and make them feel like more of a team, especially when many work in different time zones or from home. Seeing faces and coupling audio with visuals creates a more fulfilling and authentic experience, helping coworkers feel more in sync regardless of location. To summarize, video:

  • Reduces travel and commuting because “face-to-face” can happen anywhere;
  • Fosters collaboration and camaraderie—everyone can participate from home, a park, a coffee shop, or across an ocean;
  • Encourages both internal use and external connecting—you can effortlessly explore new relationships or projects with clients, potential new hires, and supporters.

Messaging

A vastly popular mode of unified communications is instant messaging. Through IM software, individuals can communicate in real-time and get answers and information instantly. But messaging apps do so much more than just provide an instantaneous connection between employees who are offices, floors, or buildings apart.

 

Messaging also:

  • Integrates with web and mobile apps;
  • Provides file-sharing options;
  • Enables people to see who’s (un)available
  • Records data for information governance;
  • Creates collaboration and team-building mentality;
  • (In most cases,) has replaced email.

 

 

FAQ

Any company can benefit from unified communications regardless of its size. Unified communications help a company streamline, grow, and effectively communicate in-house and with customers, clients, etc.

 

Messaging can do everything email can–send information, attach files, and integrate with apps–but messaging is faster, more effective, and more secure. It also shows a person’s availability, records data for easy reference, and facilitates team-building between departments, branches, and foreign subsidiaries.

 

Unified communications bundle multiple services into one platform, increasing productivity, collaboration, and multi-tasking. This saves employees time from having to jump from platform to platform while limiting costs to one platform instead of paying for several.