Everything you Need to Know About Unified Communications

Unified Communications is touted by many as the next communications revolution. I’m sure you’ve heard it mentioned before, but you might not be clear on what it is and how it would benefit your business.

So, what is UC?

Every business uses a suite of tools to promote collaboration among colleagues. You probably use one service for instant messaging, have another tool for screen-sharing, and yet another provider for your phone system. Well, as the name suggests, Unified Communications platforms unite all these disparate tools and services into one app.

Our UC platform includes:

  • Enterprise PBX features for your call routing. At the core of the UC platform is a PBX with all the advanced call routing features you’d expect of a modern system.
  • HD Video calling allows you to join remote conferences with crystal clear quality, or simply contact a colleague.
  • Presence Panels to let you know who is available and where they are.
  • Instant Messaging to get a quick answer to a question from a coworker or team/department.
  • File sharing features to get quick input on a draft document.
  • Screen sharing features for when you want to demonstrate a feature or bug.
  • Mobile and desktop apps on all platforms bring all features to your mobile and remote workers.
  • Cloud hosting to give your system the reliability it needs, and to make it available from anywhere.

There are a host of other more advanced features available – for example the platform links natively with most common CRMs to give you a fully integrated system.

What does this mean for me?

It’s a fair question – after all, you already have most of these tools, so what will UC give you over your current setup?

  • Simplicity – Each user has one login for everything – logging in in the morning will mean you can be reached via whichever methods you’ve enabled on your account.
  • Mobility – The mobile app is a real game-changer for businesses with remote salespeople or consultants. Every single one of your tools is available to everyone across your company, no matter where they’re based.
  • Efficiency – Simplified, streamlined communications are naturally more efficient than the scattered, piece meal approach most businesses use.
  • Business continuity – The system isn’t on your site, so it’s always available no matter what happens in your office.
  • More professional appearance – By signing in to the mobile app, your remote workers will be able to call clients from their office phone number rather than a mobile. Their direct dials can also be set to ring any device they sign in from, so they will miss far fewer important calls.
  • Expandability – Since it’s cloud-based, the system will grow with your business. All features are available from day-one, no matter how many users you have.

That’s not enough though – this all sounds fantastic, but it’s no good if it doesn’t fit within your budget. Cost is the most important consideration for any business. That’s why we’ve made sure that our per-user pricing is significantly cheaper than a comparable suite of tools assembled from separate vendors.

Which businesses would benefit from unifying their communications?

The obvious answer here is that all businesses stand to gain huge benefits from UC. However, there are several scenarios where UC will truly revolutionise a business:

  • Your business is going through a period of rapid expansion. This is terrific, but rapid growth can bring its own set of problems with it. Not least of these is the need to extend contracts and subscriptions for all your separate services. The scale of your UC platform is entirely up to you – new users can be added very quickly and with no disruption.
  • Your mobile/remote workers are difficult to get hold of and cost you a lot of money in call charges. This factor alone is a good reason to install a UC system. With the UC app, your remote workers are always available and the calls they make from it are charged at the same rate as calls from your office. All you need to pay for is data connectivity.
  • You’ve got more than one office and need to improve collaboration between sites. What works well in one office doesn’t necessarily extend to inter-office communications. When you can’t walk around the office and speak to your colleagues in person, you need tools that can bring your offices closer together. Video calling, presence panels and instant messaging features will promote communication and collaboration between departments based on different sites.
  • Your suite of communication tools is costing you a fortune. Capital is valuable, and the less you spend on tools for your colleagues, the more you have available to chase sales and push for expansion. The principles of economies of scale apply here – one platform serving all your communication needs means spending less overall on separate tools.
  • Your current tools are great, but they don’t integrate with your other systems. Our UC system integrates directly with CRMs and many other more specialised tools to streamline workflows for your staff and get answers to your customers quicker.

Interested? We hope so – or if not, hopefully you’ve got a good understanding of what Unified Communications is and how it might fit into your business in the future. If you want to know more, or want to see UC in action, drop us an email or give our team a quick call. We’re always happy to have a chat. You can call us on 01494 523 523 or email sales@5gcomms.com.