5 reasons your business needs unified communications
With the changing pace of digital transformation, companies are interacting with stakeholders and each other through a variety of different communication channels. Given the many options available today – and the added challenge of remote and hybrid working – most companies will benefit from combining their channels into unified communications.
With the right unified communications, all information emanating from a business is centralised. As a result, the end user can access multiple different communications tools from one location, increasing productivity and improving the organisation and security of your data. Below we’ll explain precisely what unified communications are, and more of the ways they can benefit your business.
What are unified communications?
Not so long ago, most conversations happened in the office. You’d get up to talk to someone at their workstation, call an in-office meeting, or travel for one somewhere else. Even as phone calls and emails started interjecting from outside, most conversations – and decisions – would happen face to face. In short, there were fewer channels of communication, which made them easier to keep track of.
Changes to how we communicate that had already been taking place were rapidly accelerated by the pandemic. Zoom made meetings so easy that even more happened than before (a trend that continues today). Messaging apps such as Slack and Teams became invaluable to bring remote workers together. And VoIP technology replaced fixed landlines with an online equivalent, allowing staff to field calls from home.
Unified communications is the idea that all of these seemingly disparate tools can be integrated into a single point of reference. This unification of multiple services allows them to be accessed more easily, and for correspondence to be tracked and recorded. Unified communications facilitate greater transparency and allow different apps to be integrated, allowing for even deeper integration and convenience.
Why you need unified communications
Unified communications confer numerous benefits to businesses. Here are five of the ways streamlining and centralising your communications can improve your operations, helping staff to work faster and smarter.
1. Improved productivity
For most of us, the desk is just one of many locations where work gets done, and this confers its own benefits. However, remote working undoubtedly suffers from the lack of instant communication, and being able to ask someone a quick question in person. Instead, a variety of tools (including email, private messaging and phone calls) end up forming a web of different messages that can become difficult to disentangle.
Using a single suite of communication tools can empower your workforce to work more effectively from both the office and remote locations, a key driver for productivity in today’s modern workplace environment. Unified communications are fundamentally built to support remote working, and deploying them is a straightforward way to centralise communication, ensuring that people know where to go to get in touch.
Reduction in costs
There are cost savings that come with having unified communication services. Businesses often spend a lot of money on in-house services that do not operate in tandem with one another, and that some staff may not even use. These systems may offer fewer features than newer online services that your employees would rather be using, or may already have adopted.
Deploying a single platform for communications enables companies to use multiple services that IT — or end users themselves — may have already deployed, cutting down on ongoing subscription fees and in-house costs. Cloud-based voice calling platforms are also much cheaper than traditional methods, and have the added bonus of greater flexibility and less location dependence.
Improved company communication
Emails are functional, but they can also be messy. Long email chains can become difficult and confusing to read, while CC and BCC can cause all sorts of problems if not used properly. It’s also difficult for individuals to respond to large-scale company missives, preventing the possibility for any sort of dialogue or questions to be asked.
Adopting a central platform for communication makes it far easier to contact all employees with important information and key messages. Enterprise messaging apps allow for employees in different departments or roles to be assigned to groups which can then receive specific messages, while both public chatrooms and private messaging make it easier to pose queries and give feedback.
Improved customer service
When problems arise, solving them often involves the input of multiple people. This is particularly true of customer service, where queries can often fall outside the knowledge and experience of customer service personnel. In these cases, it’s important that the right people are contacted quickly in order to make a qualified judgement, and find a solution that works for all parties.
Having centralised communications means that should an issue occur, this can be communicated quickly, and solved more quickly. It also allows you to better track customer service interactions across numerous bits of correspondence, and different types of correspondence (e.g. email and phone) – all leading to improved customer satisfaction and retention.
Having various separate channels for communication and production can make project work extremely difficult. Files created on individual workstations can be shared around in different versions by email, USB drives and file sharing platforms, leading to a mess of work at all different stages. This creates confusion, inhibits collaboration, and can even lead to work being lost, or the same work being redone.
With the ability to file share, communicate and chat through unified communications, you can enable better teamwork between remote locations. Employees can easily work together on the same files in real time, see a single version history for files, and discuss projects in a way that is both straightforward and searchable, making it easy to see what’s been done and what is still left to do.
These are just five of the many benefits when it comes to unified communications.
You can benefit from success by drawing on our expertise in the new Microsoft 365 unified communication tools, including Teams and Skype for Business, and complete your unified communications journey with integrated video conferencing.
Sota are specialists in unified communications, and offer a range of unified communications services. Get in touch with us today to learn more about the tools we offer, and build your new modern workplace with our managed services for unified communications.