There are so many different methods of communication that we use today. With smartphones, instant messaging apps, video and voice conferencing, as well as multi-media messaging – it is easy for information to become lost or disorganized. What if there were a better way?
Unified communications allow you to integrate the many different forms of information that you share. Imagine no longer having to manage your Skype, email, voicemail, and other forms of messaging from separate programs and devices. Instead, you can unite them all into a single system, eliminating the hassle of constantly switching back and forth between different communication interfaces.
What Is Unified Communications?
Unified Communications (UC) refers to a technological architecture that utilizes integrated communication tools, allowing individuals and businesses to conduct all their communications in one centralized location.
UC creates a bridge between all computer-related communication technologies. Just as your smartphone can perform many functions as a single device, UC solutions bring together a vast array of business tools and communication channels. While Unified communications can include virtually any transfer of information, it typically encompasses at least the following aspects of communication.
- Messaging and multimedia services
- Real-time communication
- Data services
All forms of messaging can be incorporated into unified communications, including fax, email, voicemail, and all types of voice communication. Other multimedia messages such as video, animations, and pictures can also be included.
Real-time communications are those that occur in real time (as you may have guessed). Examples include paging, instant messaging, call screening, conferencing, Skype/Facetime, etc.
Data services refer to online services, web data, cloud storage, and anything else that allows for the storage or transfer of data.
Transactions include anything exchanged online such as online banking, enterprise solutions, e-commerce, digital currency, and so on.
So, what is unified communications? The answer is in the term. Unifying all forms of communication services is the essence of unified communications. Rather than relying on many different service providers, devices, and channels for professional communications, consolidating them all into a single, comprehensive system that creates a convenient solution rather than the complexity of a typical communication network.
Why You Should Choose Unified Communications
By now, some of the benefits of unified communications should start to become clear. But you may still find yourself asking the question, “why unified communications?”
Companies are switching to unified communications to increase the efficiency of their business processes and to better enable collaboration both within their organizations as well as with their partners and customers.
There are a number of strategic benefits to utilizing unified communications. Firstly, those who rely on staying connected while using mobile devices can quickly do so with their device of choice, even when outside the office.
The financial situation of a company also stands to improve upon successful implementation of unified communications. UC allows for enterprises to accommodate workers by enabling them to work remotely, reducing the quantity of physical workspace needed in the office. In addition, international human resources can be utilized without incurring substantial travel expenses or delays.
Video and web conference calls can allow for better interaction, leading to increased productivity and fewer miscommunications. This reduces the cost of telecoms, travel, and mistakes that could cost the company time or money (or both).
Whether working as a business or an individual, you find yourself responsible for fewer bills and registrations as a result of using unified communications. You can have a single provider for all of your services while being reachable at one consistent number.
The Wonderful World of Unified Communications
In short, unified communications involves the integration of multiple communication channels into a single system. Real-time communication, messaging services, data services, transactions, and more can all be brought into a comprehensive realm of functionality.
The benefits of this integration include reduced costs, greater flexibility, fewer mistakes and miscommunications, and much more. By choosing to go with unified communications, individuals and businesses alike find themselves achieving more and having fewer complications while cutting costs at the same time.
Learn about other innovative office technologies revamping the way business is done in our Trends in Technology Guide!