It seems like there’s always a new buzzword making its way around the business world. So when you hear your HR team talking about “Unified Communications”, you might be tempted to dismiss it as just another fun phrase, here today, gone tomorrow.
But, Unified Communications can actually be an incredibly powerful tool in improving productivity for both your employees and your company.
But what is it?
Let’s take you through the basics. We’ll show you the ins and outs of this new technology and help you see how it can benefit your business.
What is Unified Communications
Unified Communications are exactly what they sound like: a way to unify the communication methods in your business.
Consider this: in a given workday, you might handle a dozen customer calls, shoot an IM over to HR, have a video conference with the sales team, and send an email down to purchasing.
And if you want to change methods of communication, you may have to change devices, accounts, even rooms. Not to mention keeping tabs on passwords and logistics for several different communication methods.
Unified Communications helps take all those methods and puts them together on one platform. With this kind of system, all your communication is in one place, and you can switch back and forth between them seamlessly.
Basically, it takes all the ways your business communicates: phone, email, video, and helps those methods communicate with each other to create a cohesive, unified system that increases productivity and effectiveness within your business.
Keep in mind that unified communications don’t exist as a monolithic piece of tech. Instead, it is an interconnected system of equipment and software that makes your business communication easier.
Why You Need It
Consider this. If you need Lauren, from legal, for an urgent matter, but she isn’t right in front of you, how do you reach her?
You could email the question, but if she isn’t staring at her computer screen, you may miss her. You could call, but again, if she’s away from her desk, you won’t get far. So now what? You could run up to legal yourself, but by that point, you probably could have gotten the law degree yourself and answered your own question.
With unified communications, not only do you have multiple ways of reaching Lauren at your fingertips, but you can know which method will be most effective. If Lauren sets her location in the system as “out of office”, you know that a Slack message or IM is probably going to reach her the fastest.
It can also be a game-changer for employees with disabilities. Being able to choose which method of communication works best for them can go farther than any workplace accommodations in helping them be as effective as they desire to be in the workplace.
For instance, if Bryan in accounting is deaf, you know that phone calls won’t be a good way to reach him. But where you may have before had to sign in to a different device or service to reach him via text or video, now you can do those same functions (and so can he!) with the push of a button.
It ensures that your company doesn’t waste time with emails that go missed or phone calls unanswered. You can know the best way to reach anyone in your office, helping everything move faster and more effectively.
What it Looks Like in the Real World
What does this look like in a practical sense?
Remember that email to purchasing you had to send earlier? Let’s take a look at that interaction. You’ve sent the email, and purchasing gets back to you, but there’s been a miscommunication and they are asking for clarity.
You can send another email and hope you are more clear. That works, although it’s a bit slow, and you run the risk of still not being clear and starting a chain of emails where everyone gets more and more confused.
You can use a unified communication system. In this system, the moment you realize there is an issue that requires a more immediate level of communication, you can switch right to voice or video conferencing. One button, no switching devices, and no moving rooms.
You can immediately resolve the issue, alleviate frustrations, and move on with the work of the day.
How It Makes Your Business Better
Every business lives or dies by its level of communication. This is true of all human interactions, really.
Good communication that is clear and effective makes for healthy relationships and a productive workplace.
Poor communication breeds anxiety and decreased productivity.
So by consolidating your communication tools to one integrated source, you can immediately ensure that communication channels are flowing well, that everyone is on the same page, and that your business is functioning cohesively.
What Can It Do?
So what, exactly, can unified communication integrate?
- Phone Systems
- Instant Messaging
- Video conferencing
- Conference Call
- Social Media
- CRM Systems
So, literally, every way your business communicates can be integrated into one system thanks to unified communication.
Ready For Unified Communications?
If you’re ready to take communication in your business to the next level, it’s time to unify.
Unified communications give you and your employees easy choices when it comes to company correspondence, and lets you make the decisions that work best, employee to employee, and moment to moment.
For more on how your communications system could be working for you, check us out here!