In this ever rapidly evolving technological world that we find ourselves in today, the number of techy terms and jargon thrown around is so overwhelming and almost impossible to keep up with. So we find ourselves in 2019 where everyone is talking about “Unified Communications” – another term, another vernacular, another frustratingly technical idiom that sees our intelligence levels rapidly dwindle from Einstein to Village Idiot!
What exactly is “Unified Communications” (UC) and what value will it add to our lives?
Simply put, UC is a term used to describe the business world’s efforts to integrate all the “apps”, or communication channels, if you will, to allow the user to have all this information easily accessible, irrespective of when or where he/she needs access – be it home, work, on the Gautrain – and how he/she needs access, e.g. laptop, tablet, smartphone or even the local pub!
UC blurs the demarcation lines between the communication channels. For example, a user can receive a voicemail message and can choose to access it through email or any phone. The sender’s status can be seen through presence information, and if online, a response can be sent immediately through chat message or video call. The objective is to unify and streamline those business procedures that involve human communications – it is an ongoing process of convergence that brings together vendors, technologies, applications, processes, and users.
This technology is a major step in the direction that organisations need to take in order to enhance and improve workflow in any workplace, encouraging better engagement and performance from employees. In fact, studies have shown that UC solutions can save companies up to 191 hours in terms of productivity.
The following benefits of UC in the business environment in summary:
Having the ability to consolidate all of your communication avenues into a single system is going to massively reduce your operating costs. Furthermore, video conferencing has the ability to dramatically reduce the costs associated with both internal and external meetings and conference calls, e.g. travel costs and employee downtime can be lessened as much as possible.
Increased employee productivity and working on the go
Work anywhere. Connect with partners and customers from the road, from home, or anywhere business takes you. On a UC plan, instant connectivity provides flexibility when it comes to where, when, and how business communications occur. In addition, with files stored in a secure cloud that everyone in the team can access, working on shared documents is simpler and faster than ever. Linking employees to the cloud is another way that UC can help to drive greater productivity. It is all part of a smarter way of working.
Communication is simple to manage
With UC, specific applications can be developed for company networks that secure company data and make bandwidth monitoring and management far easier to handle.
Also, with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that many companies are moving towards can make the security and management aspects of IT harder to deal with. However, a unified system mitigates this by pushing all users into the same, secure company communications network.
UC offers superior reliability by creating performance redundancies that protect against downtime. If one tool goes down, another is programmed to kick in.
In a nutshell, UC:
- Supports remote working
- Manages multiple tools and platforms
- Connects new employees to your system directly from any device
- Sync contacts and schedules with Microsoft Outlook
- Displays user status, e.g. busy
- Accesses video calls from your handset or smartphone
- Makes calls from wherever you are in the world
- Collaborates in real time
UC simplifies your life!