Unified Communications, or UC, refers to a combination of several communication services. It’s not a single product, but a set of products. It may include VOIP phone systems, collaboration tools like video conferencing and instant messaging, integrated voicemail, email, and SMS text messaging, and more. Basically, we want all of your enterprise communication systems to work together. Your experience should be seamless.
Unified Communications used to be an idea and service reserved for enterprise organizations. In today’s environment, thanks in large part to the advances in cloud technology and communication, UC is becoming more widespread throughout the small and medium business space. And while a small business may not utilize every product in a UC deployment (like FMC, Desktop sharing, video conferencing, etc.), they’ll likely have access to VoIP telephony with presence management, chat client, extension mobility, and SMS/fax features.
The Idea is Consistency Across Different Platforms
UC environments present users with the same (or similar) look and feel across the different technology platforms. Typically, UC features are managed inside a web-based portal. Oftentimes, there will also be mobile apps users can download which will mirror (some or all of) the feature sets within the portal.
UC in Real Life
In a UC environment, a customer service rep might receive a call at their desk from a client with a product question. From their UC desktop interface, they’ll be able to:
- Answer the call
- Type notes into the customer’s CRM record
- Chat with tier 2 support resources
- Share their screen to show the customer what he/she may need to see
Additionally, should that rep need to leave their desk, they’ll be able to seamlessly move the call from their desk to their mobile transparent to the customer on the other end of the line.
VoIP as an Integral Component of UC
One might think that in today’s web-based automated world, all communications happen electronically. While electronic communications like chat, text, and email are, indeed, prominent, most business still rely on voice as their number one method for client communication.
Because of this, VoIP adoption and integration lies at the heart of every UC solution. Whether it’s a premise-based IP phone system, or a hosted solution, VoIP and IP telephony are critical to unified communications solutions. IP telephony is digital and (often) cloud-based. Because of this, API integration with other digital communication formats (email, text/SMS, videoconferencing, call routing) can happen much easier than it could using a traditional phone system.
Modern Telecom Knows UC
Not every small/medium-sized business will be a good candidate for a UC solution. Depending on the technologies being used by the customer, UC may be challenging (and expensive) to implement. Before deciding on moving toward a UC solution, talk with the experts at Modern Telecom.
According to owner Andy Offenberger, “Customers ask about unified communications pretty regularly. When we start digging in, however, we’re finding that most of them just want a few critical UC features. We’re often able to provide them the features they want at a fraction of the cost of a full-blown UC solution.”
If unified communications is something you’re interested in learning more about, contact us to schedule a discovery call.