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Unified Communications 101 - What is UCaaS?

What is UCaaS (unified communications as a service)? What is unified communications? The past few years have brought about widespread digital transformations and pushed many companies to look for a better way employees can communicate regardless of where they are physically located. Unified communications allow for any conversation to be easily transferred from one mode of communication to another without any interruption to the conversation. Technology has become such an integral part of a business that creating a world where people can talk to each other digitally just as easily as if they were face-to-face has become a priority. Continue reading to learn how unified communications can help your business, what communication solutions are out there, and how communication and collaboration can be a success using unified communication systems.

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What is Unified Communications?

Unified communications refer to the integration of multiple communication-based tools into a single solution. So, what can unified communications merge? Typically, businesses use a variety of different communication tools such as video conferencing, voice calls, instant messaging, content sharing, presence, voicemail and more. Each of these tools is streamlined onto a single unified communications solution that enables a user to switch from any one communications stream like a video meeting to another like chat without compromising the collaboration experience.

Unified communication systems can be implemented and used on various digital devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, or desktop computers. When someone receives a voicemail, they can receive and reply via their cell phone, computer, or other devices without having to open separate applications. For example, if employees have a voice conversation over the phone but need to switch to a video chat, they can quickly transfer the conversation without hanging up the phone and starting a new video conference.

Unified communications solutions can support real-time communication and includes collaboration tools to enable an even more constant workflow. This type of unified communication is sometimes referred to as unified communications and collaboration, or UCC. Employees are able to communicate using the well-known methods of voice calls, video conferencing, messaging, and email as well as given the ability to share content from their device with the individual they are communicating with.

What is UCaaS and How is it Different Than Unified Communications?

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provides the same communication solutions as unified communications, but the difference is that UCaaS is a platform that is provided over the cloud. It is a subscription-based service that enables the unified integration of communication services such as voice calls, video conferences, instant messaging, and email.

Unified communications (UC) technology can be installed on-site as opposed to UCaaS, which works strictly over the cloud and offered as a service. This frees up physical space at your place of business as well as reduces the overall cost of having to pay someone to install potentially expensive technology. It also means no on-site maintenance will be required to keep the technology running properly or costly upgrades. The technology necessary for the unified communications solution to work for your business is stored at the provider’s data center instead of taking up space in your offices.

Deeper Dive

Read this article to learn how to Maximize the Value of UCaaS Solutions

Benefits of Unified Communications

Unified communications do just what the name implies; it unifies your employees and how they communicate. Teams of employees can easily communicate with each other no matter where they may be located and no matter the digital device they choose to use or have access to at the time. And this is done all from a single application. Businesses can benefit significantly from incorporating a unified communications solution into their strategy.

Better collaboration

Employees can resolve issues quickly by being able to chat, call, message, or otherwise contact the necessary individual instantly. This will improve the work environment and help your business maintain a fine reputation for reliable customer service.

Reduced costs

Unified communication technologies reduce the overall cost for businesses since they rely on a single platform instead of requiring the purchase and subscription of multiple technology systems. Some unified communications solutions like UCx with Webex are also cloud-based, reducing the need for additional administration and maintenance.

Improved productivity for all employees

Using the same communication solutions for in-office and remote workers can contribute to a collaborative spirit among your entire workforce and result in a more productive business overall. Unified communications and collaboration solutions offer rich feature functionality that can drive productivity within an organization.

Increased positive company culture

If employees can efficiently communicate with one another, they will solve problems, get the answers they need, and share information faster and more efficiently than using traditional methods. This will contribute to a more positive culture throughout the company, resulting in more productive workers.

Consistent IT support

If using a cloud-based unified communications solution, all your issues or questions can be easily addressed by your provider. There is no need to wait for an IT team member to come to the office and figure out the problem. Everything is taken care of remotely and efficiently.

Case Study

Check out this success story where a healthcare facility modernized communications for their residents and staff by upgrading to unified communications services.

How Does Unified Communications Work?

A unified communications platform is a back-end management system that facilitates the integration of various communications services. Once this platform is established, each of the various services your business uses to communicate will be linked as one large system to enable a seamless transition from one to the other.

An example of how unified communications work would be if an employee wants to contact another employee. The individual would be able to instant message them, call them or setup a meeting within the same application and can choose whichever communication method they prefer. Live conversation can also be easily transferred from voice to video, instant messenger to VoIP, or email to live content sharing. This example shows the true benefit of a unified communications platform, which is being able to consolidate multiple apps and tools into a single application. Employees don’t have to manage multiple solutions to communicate internally with coworkers or externally with customers – it can all be done in one easy-to-use unified communications solution.

The unified communications platform can be accessed on a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. This means any conversation held on the various communications services can be easily synced, so an employee can start chatting via one method and switch to a different one without missing any of the conversation.

Since the platform is web-based, it can also be utilized wherever an individual is at the moment as long as they have an internet connection. This allows for constant communication between employees, no matter their location or device.

The platform is also simple to navigate and easy to maintain from an administration standpoint. Additional headcount or technical expertise isn’t needed to handle the day-to-day administration of a unified communications platform. The administrative function of adding users, deleting users, and enabling various features through the web interface is easy. This reduces the need for additional administrative staff dedicated to managing the communications solution.

Why Invest in Unified Communication Systems

Communication solutions are key to the success of any business. Maintaining a flow of communication, sharing of ideas and data, as well as easy access to fellow employees will no doubt foster a collaborative spirit among your team. In the past few years, the need for technology has become a necessity for most businesses and enabling employees to work from anywhere aids in keeping your business going no matter the changes going around you.

Unified communication systems help remote workers to communicate just as smoothly with their team as if they were in the office. Unified communications and collaboration tools ensure everyone is on the same page and enables everyone to work as productively as possible no matter where they are physically located.

Utilizing cloud-based services such as UCaaS reduces your costs significantly by eliminating the need to purchase costly technology that then must be installed and take up space within your business. UCaaS puts everything in the cloud to easily be accessed by any one of your employees from anywhere. They could get work phone calls right on their cell phone without having to come into the office to answer the phone.

Unified communication technologies work to bring your team of employees, managers, and clients together with streamlined communication solutions all based on one unified communications platform. Using just one service can reduce costs and help your company improve its customer service and in-house collaboration efforts all to the benefit of your bottom line. Businesses can maximize the value of unified communications solutions by adopting all the feature functionality they have to offer.

Why You Need Unified Communication Solutions

Every business whether large or small wants to succeed in creating a positive work environment for their employees, which in turn means a productive workforce that hopefully leads to increased profit overall. A key to this type of success starts with good communication. Unified communication solutions bring each method of calling, messaging, or sharing into one easy-to-use platform. Eliminating the need for multiple services or costly technology, you simply set up the unified communications platform within your company’s system and start building a stronger business.

If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use solution for your business’s communication, a unified communications platform could be the service you need. Lower costs, more productivity, and overall better communication throughout your company can be accomplished by implementing a unified communications solution.

Contact TPx to find out how a unified communications solution can be implemented in your business today.

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