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Why is Unified Communications So Important?

Managing multiple communication tools can quickly become complicated for organizations. But with unified communications systems, you can easily manage all your tools for effective business communication. Keep reading to learn more about why unified communication is so important for companies today.

On any given day, we use multiple communication channels to get work done. From phone calls to video conferencing, texting, file sharing, and other digital methods. These tools are helping us communicate, connect and become more productive in our roles.

However, using multiple tools from different providers on different platforms can quickly become difficult for employees and IT teams to manage.

Luckily, that’s where unified communications come in.

What is Unified Communication?

Unified Communications (UC) combines your real-time communication tools and services into one simplified solution.

UC can include all types of digital tools, including

  • Phone

  • Video conferencing

  • Instant messaging

  • Fax

  • App integrations

  • and collaboration software

With UC, all your communication tools are connected and work together. This simplifies your communication channels by giving you a one user-interface that you can use across multiple devices. For example, when you receive a voicemail message, you can check it from your desk phone, mobile, or even your computer.

Types Of UC Systems

In terms of unified communications, you can choose an on-premise or a cloud-based solution.

  • On-premise UC: Your organization is responsible for all hardware and software maintenance and upgrades, but you have more customization options.

  • Cloud: With cloud-based UC, also known as Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS), the service provider manages and hosts your system, and you pay for this service on a subscription basis. UCaaS uses VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) technology to enable voice services.

Related: On-Prem vs Hosted Software — What’s The Difference?

What is included in A Unified Communications Solution?

UC systems typically have the following features:

  • PBX Phone System: a business telephone system

  • Call Management Features: like auto-attendant, call routing, call forwarding, and call recording

  • Presence Features: that let you know if colleagues are online and available to chat or take a call.

  • Video Conferencing: to allow participants to join meetings from anywhere.

  • Web Conferencing: live stream to host webinars, forums, seminars and other presentations with people outside of your organization.

  • Instant Messaging: to communicate with speed and efficiency with colleagues and clients

  • Integrations: to connect your business phone system with software like your CRM, ERP and other productivity tools.

Related: Traditional PBX vs Hosted PBX - What’s the Difference?

What Are The Benefits of Unified Communications?

Save On Costs

With unified communications, you can choose a cloud phone system, which transmits voice over the internet rather than phone lines. By doing this, you can avoid significant expenses associated with hardware and maintenance, and instead only pay a monthly subscription fee. Additionally, with all your tools combined in a single platform, you don’t need to pay multiple vendors, which can reduce your expenses.

Communicate Better With Colleagues

Because all employees communicate using the same platform, UC has presence features that allow you to see who is online, who is on a call, and who is available to receive a call. You can easily reach out to colleagues without wasting time or effort.

Enhanced Productivity and Collaboration

UC enables remote teams to collaborate easily, whether they work from home, on the go, or across the globe.

For instance, instead of waiting for everyone to be available for an in-person meeting, the team can use video conferencing and take part in the meeting from wherever they are.

Provide Better Service:

The ability to deliver quick responses is critical for departments like sales and customer service. With a UC system, you can use phone system integrations for your CRM (and other software) with your phone system. This way, agents can quickly access the customer information they need, including:

  • Previous correspondence (emails, messages, etc.)

  • Agent notes

  • Purchase history

  • Length of previous calls

  • And more.

This feature allows staff to respond to customer inquiries quickly and deliver excellent customer service.

Related: 6 Phone System Integrations To Make Work Easier

Enables Productive Remote Work:

With Unified Communications as a Service (UcaaS), everything is in the cloud, making it easy to support the rise in remote workers. With UCaaS, employees only need an internet connection to log in and use all the features of their business phone system, allowing them to maintain the same level of connectivity and effectiveness as in the office.

Related: What is Telecommuting? And Should my Company be Doing It?

Why Is Unified Communications So Important?

As UC solutions become more popular, the demand for it will continue to grow. And, it’s no wonder. There is a rising need for flexibility, productivity, and customer-centric solutions that support the changing workplace.

A study by Gartner shows that by 2024, 75% of enterprise users won't even use desk phones anymore. This finding shows the growing reliance on mobile devices, video conferencing, chat and other tools.

How Do I Know If I Need Unified Communications?

If you’re looking to manage your collaboration tools better, gain flexibility, and increase productivity and mobility, then your organization should take advantage of unified communications.

Here are some scenarios where UC could benefit your organization

  • If you have field workers who you need to stay connected with.

  • You use multiple, separate tools to keep in touch.

  • You’re looking to save on costs.

  • You have or want to implement remote or hybrid work.

  • You want to personalize and improve your client experience.

  • You have several departments that work together and need to collaborate.

UCaaS has become the preferred solution for growing organizations, allowing companies to save more and work smarter.

Curious about how you can start? Check out this step-by-step guide on how to find a cloud phone solution that meets your needs.