Many of us can remember a time when email and instant messaging were revolutionising workplaces around the world. The ability to send a message to someone in another office or another country was remarkable. However, we’ve come a long way since that moment. Instant, digital communication has become the norm. And while it’s much better than what we had before, the limited integration among the different systems we use, combined with a lack of user-friendly interfaces, means that we’re still wasting a lot of time, making us less efficient and less productive.
Enter Unified Communications or UC. This is a framework useful for thinking about how to integrate, connect and unify internal communication systems.
Gaining a high-level understanding of UC is relatively easy. We all want to make our communication in the workplace better, and we all have an inkling that technology can help us do it. But what exactly does UC entail? What would an already-implemented UC system look like? And how would it help your business be more productive and efficient?
Asynchronous and Synchronous Communication
First, it’s important to point out that UC deals with both asynchronous and synchronous communication. Synchronous communication takes place in real-time. Examples include video calls and instant messaging. On the other hand, asynchronous communication refers to the opposite, e.g. email
One Click Communication and Cross-Platform Integration
One of the main advantages to UC is that you can quickly and easily communicate with people across many different platforms. For example, if you’re looking over a document submitted by one of your team members and you have a question or want to clarify something, you should be able to click a button that instantly connects you with that person
BYOD/Mobile Ready Systems
When mobiles first became important parts of our lives, many companies offered a corporate mobile to employees, which was separate from their personal device. However, nowadays, people are much more interested in being able to use one device for everything. It’s easier to keep track of just one mobile, and if people are able to do everything they need on just one device, then they tend to be more productive.
UC systems will make it easy for you to establish a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, which will allow people to use the device they want without missing out on important company communications.
Most UC solutions will be Cloud-based systems, and this can only be good for your business. These help to make sure all important documents and files are in one, easy-to-use location, helping to reduce the time we spend tracking down the most recent version of what we’re working on
Why Your Business Needs Unified Communications
Many business leaders look at the different things UC provides and label them as “nice to have.” But integrated communication solutions are far more than a mere luxury. Instead, they are necessary to maximise the efficiency and productivity of your company, meaning the question isn’t whether or not you need UC, but rather, how do you want UC to work in your company?
Below are some of the most significant benefits UC provides.
1. Better employee experience
One of the key metrics for measuring the success of a new technology is user uptake. If users have a poor user experience and have to navigate multiple platforms, they will simply stop using it. Understanding your employees and providing excellent user experience will maximise user uptake.
2. Improved productivity
UC can help reduce the back and forth that often dominates internal communications, improving the time spent waiting for responses and creating a smoother workflow that allows for maximum productivity.
3. Cost savings
Transforming your communications into one integrated platform means you pay for fewer services and software, helping you get leaner and save some money. Managed services providers can manage this process for you by leveraging their relationship with vendors to improve your terms of service and reduce costs.
4. Improved contact centre efficiency
UC can help improve contact centres in a number of different ways. Specifically, it can help you better manage teams located in different parts of the world, e.g. annual leave planning and shift schedules for agents.
5. Better human resources
UC makes it easier for employees and managers to communicate, which means a happier, more content workforce. It also helps improve the onboarding process, both of which will help you adapt and employ effective retention strategies. High employee turnover can dampen employee morale and increase HR costs.
Some of the Risks
For as beneficial as UC can be, there are some risks involved you should be aware of so as to be able to mitigate them.
Make sure whichever UC provider you use takes all the necessary precautions by working alongside your internal compliance and risk managers to keep your systems and their users safe from hackers and other forms of cybercrime.
The GDPR roll out has lots of people worried about compliance. UC can help you deal with this by putting all of your communications in one place, making it easier to close any gaps and keep your entire operation up to date with the latest regulations.
3. Choosing the wrong UC provider
It’s important to work with someone who works with you to understand your needs and can provide you with solutions that truly work for your company. The wrong technology can add to the complexity of a UC system rather than improve it. It’s important to think carefully about your goals for UC transformation then agree with your UC provider how you will meet them.
Unified Communications in Action
Johnson & Johnson had
Connect Managed Services worked with them to deliver a digital transformation that enhanced their technologies. The solution was a global managed service that included the transfer of existing users.
The result was improved customer service through added stability and scale so Johnson & Johnson were able to expand their business without the worry of legacy technologies affecting their plans.
“Connect differentiates themselves on their collaboration, in the sense they work with us to find a solution rather than giving us one that might not be right for us”.
Director of EMEA, Johnson & Johnson
Connect Managed Services
It should be clear by now that UC is an initiative that can help streamline your company and optimise it for efficiency and productivity. However, a successful UC transition will be centred around the specific needs of your company. Connect Managed Services offers the guidance you need to implement these changes and help make them successful.
We are truly vendor-agnostic so we are able to offer unbiased, completely independent recommendations, helping make sure you get exactly what you need and nothing else.
If you need to improve your communication systems to be more unified and integrated, then get in touch today and we will help you identify the best path for you.