Unified communications software is advancing at a pace and taking voice over Internet protocol () technology to the next level. The technology is transforming ordinary business phones and desktop computers into a virtual communications platform. The next generation of unified VoIP promises more features and collaboration tools to enhance the way we work and communicate. There are many benefits including increased productivity, reduced travel and cost savings. However, perhaps the central benefit and contribution of unified communications technology is integration, as it brings together all available communication modalities and makes them available on a robust multimedia interface. Some businesses still need to be convinced of the overall benefits of UC, so for their benefit, here are five reasons why unified communications technology can help businesses to prosper.
Unified communications (UC) creates a platform where business partners, co-workers and clients can collaborate and share news and opinions using advanced data sharing and communications devices. Some of the benefits include exchanging and discussing ideas, sharing data and documents instantly, and editing a document in real time. There are lots of practical examples of how UC virtual collaboration tools can benefit businesses, for instance online white boards and a shared document repository. UC is often defined and referred to as unified communications and collaboration, and the reason for that is its pivotal role in facilitating virtual teamwork.
UC enhances business communications by bringing all available devices and modalities together in one place. It isn’t just a matter of easy access: the implications go way beyond that. UC allows businesses to seamlessly transition from one communication modalities to another – live. With a simple click of a mouse you can escalate communications: you can send an instant message (IM), and escalate into a phone call or even a conference call, allowing you to bring others into the discussion. The graphic user interface facilitates the transition.
Because UC operates across all communications devices, users enjoy unprecedented remote access to the system. You can connect to a company’s internal network via wireless using a PDA, laptop, net book, or home computer. Unified messaging ensures that all your messages whether voice or email, reach you in your chosen format.
Business process integration
UC expands the integration between data and communications applications, promoting continuity across all business processes. By using the Unified Communications interface a business can access all the available process applications like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and other data management and reporting utilities.
A unique innovation of UC technology is the real-time ‘presence’ interface, which allows a business to view the availability of all other users and their communication preferences. This is efficient and reduces the time wasted tracking down the available users and leaving messages. For example, a customer support specialist can use the presence application to identify an available expert qualified to answer a particular customer question.