Unified Communications – or UC – is a buzz term that you’re likely to come across when looking into ways in which you can improve communications within your office; particularly if you have a number of offices or if you have employees that work remotely.
Wikipedia defines Unified Communications (UC) as the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). It’s a technology that is being constantly developed and improved upon, and you can read more about the history of UC here.
As it is such a revolution in terms of communicating in your business, it’s changing the way in which a normal office environment interacts, and even the way it functions. We’ve looked at some of those key changes.
UC makes it easier for employees to work anywhere
The world of work we live in is changing rapidly, and we need technology that will help us when we’re out and about away from the office more and more. We now live in a global workplace without time zones or office hours. The widespread adoption of business collaboration software, coupled with the inexorable shift of voice calls away from the PBX to mobile devices, reduced the importance of hard-wired desk phones and highlighted the growing need for Unified Communications to support the advanced communications requirements of today’s ‘always on’ mobile workforce.
They’re enabling employers to save money on office space and technologies
Unified Communications means that all members of your team can share and access valuable company data on their own devices, and they can communicate with one another and with clients via their devices too. Therefore the need for more office space or more office devices like computer and telephones may not be necessary anymore. This is therefore a great way for companies to cut back on spending, too.
They reduce travel time thanks to video technologies
Many modern organisations have moved from the traditional conference room to a newer, more casual, more flexible format, in which video calls can be made to anywhere across the globe. Integrating video conferencing with unified communications enables users to initiate video connections through presence, much like they do with instant messaging. There’s a great article regarding video quality and the important of unified communications for companies like Netflix.
Employees are able to connect with each other more easily
As briefly mentioned above, a huge benefit of switching to a UC system is the fact that your employees will be able to connect with each other more easily, and also more quickly. When receiving a call from a client, for example, they’ll be able to transfer them over to the requested person at the click of a button, which shows a great level of professionalism for your company, as well as of course being generally really useful for you and the client.