As technology advances, businesses are being introduced to new and exciting ways to conduct their services.
From video conferencing to screen sharing, communication tools have never been so versatile, making it possible for you to increase your flexibility and enhance your professional capabilities.
However, the more tools you have, the more chance for something to go wrong! The use of multiple applications can cause a strain on your IT systems and affect their performance, which can lead to disruptions at times when it’s most inconvenient (such as right in the middle a meeting!).
Since the pandemic, the boom in WFH and hybrid workforces has emphasised the need for unified communication systems, ones that can better cope with the strain on your IT.
While implementing unified communications may seem like a no-brainer, it’s not all smooth sailing (more on this later).
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of a unified communication system and some of the factors you need to consider before you go ahead to arrange to migrate to a UC system.
What is unified communications?
Unified communications equipment, software and services collect your communication channels (voice, voicemail, video, content, messaging systems) into a single interface, allowing you to control, manage and fully integrate these channels.
This alleviates many of the issues that come with modern business comms, as it’s far more convenient having everything in one place!
Installing a unified communications system allows for the use of multiple communication tools without any complications or strain on your IT server, avoiding any interruption to your services – perfect!
What tools does unified communications support?
Unified communications supports an extensive list of applications, allowing you to use a wide range of communication tools without disruption. This may include:
– SMS messaging
– Screen sharing
– File sharing
– Collaborative calendar scheduling
Which vendors support unified communications?
Before you arrange for your IT infrastructure to be updated to a UC system, it’s worth finding out whether the communication tools you wish to use in the future are supported by your current vendor. If not, it’s easy to find an alternative.
UC systems are supported by numerous platforms, which means that you’ll rarely need to worry that a UC system won’t support your mission-critical programs.
Here are just a few examples of vendors that offer products compatible with unified communications:
If you have any doubts as to whether unified communications is right for your business, give our IT experts a shout for tailored advice.
What are the business benefits of unified communications?
Now that you know what unified communications is and how it works, it’s time to find out how UC can benefit your business.
One of the main benefits of upgrading to a UC supportive system is that it maximises productivity, allowing collaborations through multiple programmes and extending options for communication.
– Cuts down on wasted time
– Allows employees to see the status of co-workers (whether they’re busy or available for a call)
– Empowers employees to work effectively both in the office and remotely
The whole point of UC is that it’s designed around the employee, not the desk, meaning that your people can be productive wherever they are.
Become more flexible
With remote & hybrid working becoming normalised, IT flexibility is becoming more and more important.
Unified communications is a key part of this flexibility, as it allows for the use of multiple communication programs on various devices, including mobiles.
No matter whether you’re in the office, at a café or at home, you’ll be able to have the same level of access and productivity that you’d see in the office.
Boost customer service
Your business likely uses a cloud-based platform in one form or another, which is why integrating your cloud-based customer service software with your other communication platforms is highly beneficial.
By collecting everything into one place, your customer service team can access the resources they need while they simultaneously engage with customers.
Gone are the days of ‘can I call you back?’ – unified communications allows you to streamline your customer service & enjoy a higher chance of a speedy resolution.
Strengthen IT security
Running an assortment of applications across a variety of devices is an inherent security risk (more places for vulnerabilities to show).
In a unified platform, all applications interwork together, comms are seamless and programs don’t need to authenticate every single time as they’re all on the same platform.
This also applies to patches – it’s much easier to patch a single entity than 10s of individual pieces of software!
What are the current issues with unified communications?
All hardware is in short supply at the moment, lots of laptops, routers, switches, PCs, FortiGates and so on are low in stock, making lead times extremely long (6+ months, in some cases).
As a result of these supply issues, we highly recommend planning ahead and getting your IT & unified communications systems sorted well in advance, especially when it comes to office moves or new system migrations.
Not only this, but as new hardware is generally inflating in price, the sooner you source it, the cheaper it’ll be.
Unified communications prove a boon to business of all shapes and sizes, and there are some serious benefits to be had, however, we highly recommend getting it sorted sooner rather than later. Costs are going up and we can’t be certain when supply issues will come to an end.
IT Support & unified communications implementation with Nebula IT
Our team at Nebula are here to maximise your organisational potential, offering tailored software and system solutions to transform your communication and IT.
Transitioning to any new software/hardware system can often cause disruption to your business. Our team of experts have worked on systems like yours time and time again, meaning that we can provide you with the most seamless integration possible – the best solution for both you and your customers.
If you have any further questions, or need some specialist advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts today.