A unified communications and collaboration system can help improve just about every type of business in a variety of important ways. Before getting into the specifics of how this type of system can help, it is important to understand what is meant by a unified communications and collaboration program.
This type of system will vary in how it is implemented, but the basic idea is to have two or more communications options integrated into one system, which allows for a more streamlined communication option. It is typically used to improve communication within a company, but can also be expanded to provide options for employees to communicate with clients, vendors, or just about anyone else. Without unified communications and collaboration, most companies will have some or all of these different communications options for employees:
- Telephones – This is one of the most common ways people in businesses communicate to internal and external individuals. Phone service via the internet can also be a cost-friendly and intuitive option for your business.
- Instant Messaging – The instant message has quickly moved from a casual tool used online to a key business resource.
- E-Mail – E-mail is another popular communication tool that millions of people use every day. It is also commonly considered to be very disruptive since people are checking it frequently throughout the day.
- Conferences – Conferences can take place over the phone, or in person, but they are typically set up in order to share critical information or training.
- In Person Communication – Communicating with other people within the office is very common, and important, in almost all industries.
There are other methods of communication and collaboration used in businesses, and they can all be included in a unified communication program, if done properly. Integrating some or all of these different methods of communication will take significant planning and effort, however, in the long run it will provide the business with significant benefits in terms of efficiency, accuracy and more.
When considering adding a unified communication and collaboration system to any business, it is important to look at what types of potential benefits the company will enjoy. In most cases, the benefits will be seen in how this type of communications system eliminates many of the problems and inefficiencies found in the way people are communicating today. The following are some of the most significant problems, and how adding an improved communication and collaboration program can fix them.
- Business Competition – For small and medium sized businesses, one of the biggest obstacles is the fact that there are typically larger companies competing in the same industry. These larger corporations will have all the best communications systems in place, which could give them an advantage. Improving the communication strategies in a small or medium sized business will put the company on a more level playing field.
- Top Employees are Swamped – In almost all businesses or departments there are a few employees who are always in high demand. This could be because of their specific skillset, experience or knowledge. When they are constantly getting inundated with phone calls, IM’s, emails and other requests for their attention, it is difficult for them to get anything done.
- IT Resources – For almost all of these types of communication, the IT department needs to set it up and manage it on its own. Integrating these systems together reduces the total number of responsibilities for the technical staff.
These are just a few of the most common issues with operating each line of communication on its own. The solutions provided by a unified communications and collaboration system can be quite helpful to any business.
Benefits of Unified Communications
When a company implements a unified communications strategy, they are likely to enjoy a wide range of different benefits. The following are three of the most significant benefits a company will realize:
- Lower Costs – When a company only has to manage one main communications system, it can be done with far fewer resources. In addition, it is possible to encourage everyone to use the most cost effective methods of communication.
- Improved Service – All company employees, as well as customers, vendors and others, can work together in a much more efficient way. Contacting people by phone is often very inefficient, but using an email might get the right answers, much more quickly.
- Improved Efficiency – When people are able to communicate clearly and with the right tools everyone can operate more efficiently.
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