Unified Communications: Streamline Your Business

Could you and your organization benefit from a boost in productivity, enhanced collaboration, increased mobility, and an all-around improved user experience? While you might think you have communication and collaboration down to a science at your organization, we believe there is always room for improvement. That’s where unified communications come to the rescue.

What is Unified Communications?

Unified communications (abbreviated UC) describes how various digital tools for communication interact and collaborate for an organization. When your company unifies email, chat, phone calls, virtual meetings, and document co-editing, employees will be able to collaborate in real-time no matter where they are working from.

Whether you work for a small business, a large organization, or somewhere in between, an effective unified communications solution will help elevate your business to new heights.

UC is different for every business. However, there are communication and collaboration tools available that companies commonly use. Tools like:

  • Email
  • Instant Messaging / Chat / Statuses
  • Co-Edited Data Processing
  • Shared File Storage & Syncing
  • Workflows & Electronic Document Signing
  • Video & Audio Conferencing
  • Phone Solutions (VoIP, Desktop, & Mobile Calling)

These tools are largely broken up into two categories: Store-and-forward communications and real-time communication.

Store-and-Forward Communications are often delivered in one direction and remain accessible to both the sender and receiver forever or until deleted. Many would consider email to be the originator of this form of communication.

Real-time communications refers to a nearly immediate interchange of information that occurs between two or more people. This type of communication has little to no latency but is sometimes prevented when a recipient is busy with another task. Phone calls would be considered the biggest portion of this group of communications.

When you combine these two forms of communication with enhanced collaboration you are on your way to an effective unified communications solution.

Why Do I Need Unified Communications?

According to Debra Hamilton, author of  “Top Ten Email Blunders that Cost Companies Money,” poor communication within companies with 100 employees or fewer results in an average annual loss of $420,000. For companies with over 100,000 employees, another report put that figure as high as $62.4 million per year. That’s a staggering loss in revenue and productivity that can be avoided by implementing communication best practices and unified communication technology.

Unified communications is an integration of all your organization’s communication and collaboration tools that allow users quick and easy access to people and information. An effective UC package will give reliable access regardless of…

  • when you need access (any time of day, from any time zone),
  • where you are located (home, work, in transit, outdoors, etc.), or
  • what device you are using (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.)
UCaaS

For example, an incoming call to your work number can be routed to your computer, tablet, smartphone, and desk phone depending on your need. This means you will never miss an important call again.

A UC solution essentially breaks down the lines between communication systems and allows users to view content and respond using the most appropriate method. For example, a phone call is missed, and you get a voicemail notification. You have the option to check that voicemail via your email, desktop phone, or smartphone.

As you check the voicemail, you see that the caller’s status shows they are online, so you can use a real-time communication method like messaging to respond to them immediately.

The ultimate goal of a successful UC Solution is to combine and streamline business communications, increase employee efficiency, and enhance customer experience.

What are the benefits of unified communications?

Now that you have a better understanding of what unified communication is, let us examine how UC can benefit your business on a daily basis.

The benefits of unified communications for most organizations are nearly endless. From productivity to customer service, to lower-cost – the right system will give you the tools needed to make your business run better.

1.  Facilitates A Remote & Mobile Workforce

The way many people work has been changing for a while. In recent times, remote and mobile working has become increasingly necessary for many organizations and their employees.

Stanford research has found that about 42% of the current U.S. workforce is working remotely full time. Unified communications facilitate more capable and dynamic remote working.

A VoIP phone solution from JDL Technologies can be used anywhere, anytime, from any device. All you need is an internet connection and you can make and receive work calls. You can even send text messages, chat, and video conference from the safety of your own home or anywhere else you might need to work.

2.  Increased Efficiency & Productivity

Unifying your organization’s communications also makes it simpler for employees to work by saving time on simple duties. With the ability to have incoming communications directed to anywhere you’re working, there is less of a chance you will miss important calls, emails, and messages.

Gone are the days of barely missing a call and calling in to check your voicemail message. You can get your voicemail through any device you choose, even your email!

Tasks that used to require multiple phone calls, voicemails, and emails can be streamlined using interconnected apps and file sharing. Unified communications offers easy processes that will lead to increased productivity.

3.  Enhanced Customer Support & User Experience

When a customer or prospective customer contacts your organization, they normally want to speak to a specific person or department as quickly as possible. With a unified communications solution from JDL Technologies, just because you are away from your desk or out of the office, does not mean you aren’t available to your customers. By calling from anywhere on any device, you can still answer your calls and offer amazing customer service.

At some point, we have all been put on hold only to find out later that the person we are trying to reach isn’t available. With an effective unified communications solution, you can see the status of all your coworkers and know immediately if the person needed is available to speak to a customer. No more long holds only to send customers to voicemail.

4.  Less System & Vendor Administration

Unified communications from JDL Technologies makes it possible for most companies to have one communications provider for all your business needs. Let us handle the applications, licenses, vendors, and technical support so you can focus on your business.

We will streamline and unify your communications and provide the 24/7 help desk support you need for all of your communications.

5.  Reduced Costs (over time)

Our unified communications packages include Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to combine your communications platforms. VoIP is different than traditional phone services that normally rely on the rental of analog phone lines from a service provider like AT&T, Century Link, and Windstream.

You no longer need to rent your lines, and this means, over time you can expect to see significantly reduced phone system operating costs.

Is Unified Communications Cloud-Based?

The short answer is, yes. To make your UC solution as effective as possible, most if not all of it will be cloud-based. The goal of a UC solution is to give you the freedom to communicate in a way that works for you. To do that, your UC package is directly tied to the internet in your office. It is bound by the speeds and uptime of that internet. This is where an Ecessa Never Down® network comes in.

According to Ecessa, “When you use the cloud for storage, business applications, and unified communication as a Service (UCaaS), you’re literally relying on internet service providers to deliver your data reliably. Even at the best of times, that traffic flow – whether its voice, video, or data files – can be a real mess if it isn’t managed by a load balancing and redundancy device.”

  • Always up – Ecessa will balance your traffic over two internet connections. If one goes down it seamlessly moves the traffic to the other connection. Once the outage is over traffic will be split between the two internet connections again. This is done automatically and with no end-user interaction.
  • Traffic prioritization – For years, a common complaint about the VoIP component of UC has been poor call quality. If you’re at home or on your cellphone, you are not fighting for bandwidth and calls are typically great quality. In the office, however, there is a fight over the bandwidth. This often creates issues with VoIP calls and their quality, leading to dropped or robotic-sounding calls. With Ecessa devices, you can prioritize your VoIP and video calls to ensure the best experience possible.

 

 

 

To learn more about how Ecessa SD-WAN creates Never Down® networks that simply do not fail, click here to visit their blog about unified communications.

Want more information now?

Contact JDL Technologies today to learn more about unified communications and how it can help your organization. You can also view our Unified Communications packages to get a better understanding of UC and how it could best support your business.