Unified communications is the next step for many business networks, bringing together several delivery methods into a single interface and single control method. It can include both traditional devices used for contact, such as phone systems, and with emerging technologies, like new forms of remote access and content sharing. When executed by an experienced audio, video and collaboration expert, it has enormous potential in businesses of all sizes.
What is unified communications and how can it improve a business’s processes?
As recently as the 1980s, companies relied on the phone company to maintain their inbound and outbound calls and other contacts. Technology was the limiting factor, and it placed a ceiling on a business’s ability to grow and manage its operations. However, emerging technologies, notably e-mail and IVR systems, soon began shifting this paradigm, and in the mid-1990s, the forerunners to unified communications began taking hold. Perhaps chief among them was IBM’s POET, which combined access to voicemail, fax and paging services for more than 50,000 of its employees.
With the rise of IP as a superior alternative to PBX phone systems, it was suddenly possible to install a variety of applications and maintain a company’s telecommunications in house. So, if any changes were needed to the system, they could be executed much faster and without relying on the phone company to do it right the first time. This naturally increased the functionality of commercial phone systems.
Now, phone systems are a secondary priority for many companies, who instead need a variety of audio, video and mobile services to keep their employees in touch with each other, and to accomplish the company’s goals. This is where modern unified communications come in, and they include the following services:
- Messaging services, including instant and unified messaging
- Conferencing, such as web, audio and video conferencing
- Mobile and remote telecoms
- Process integration
By bringing all of these systems together under one method of control, and consolidating their management, a business doesn’t have to commit resources to redundant systems. With fewer personnel required to keep the company’s telecommunications running, businesses don’t have to worry about the waste and bloat that comes with an outdated infrastructure.
It can also facilitate the company’s operations and significantly reduce project delivery times. For example, a manager can check their messaging inbox, review project assignments, check to see which employees are available without calling around, set up a conference with critical personnel, brief them using video and graphics, and remain in contact with them no matter where they work. And that’s under a single umbrella installed and maintained by an expert telecommunications provider.
An expert provider like Data Projections, a leader in unified communications since 1987, can help any company. Data Projections has implemented advanced telecommunication systems for companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500 to small, single location entities. What sets Data Projections apart is its ability to create a targeted solution for its clients and provide ongoing support, adapting the company’s telecommunications system as its needs change and develop.
Keeping everyone on the same page is difficult, but a challenge that businesses have to meet if they want to compete in today’s economy. Fortunately, companies don’t have to go it alone, as long as they have an expert like Data Projections on their side.