Most people have a hard time keeping up with voice technologies and its constantly changing terms and jargon. Speaking with a member of your I.T. team can be a real pain if you don’t know the terms, and sometimes it seems like they are speaking another language. Well, don’t worry. I will help demystify the topical term “unified communications” and explain to you how it can help your business.
What is Unified Communications?
Basically, unified communications (or UC for short) is a plethora of collaboration and communication technologies all aggregated into one platform. It creates value for your business by bundling a lot of technology into one easy to manage package. The following list contains just some of the technologies that could be lumped under the UC umbrella:
- Voice and video
- Conference calls (both audio and video)
- Remote device control and screen sharing
- Call setup and call control
- Technologies to enable the ability to integrate with older phone systems
- Presence: the ability to communication your location, current activities, and availability
- Unified messaging
What Makes the Communications Unified?
These days it is pretty hard to keep pace with the tidal waves of information our brains digest on a daily basis. Between tablets, laptops, smartphones, multiple voice mailboxes, email, and instant messaging, it is easy to miss an important message or fail to communicate with people quickly. That’s where the real value lies: unified communications integrates all of the pieces of the puzzle into one system.
One example of unified messaging is a voice-mail to email solution. Without this feature, I would only be able to receive voicemails by accessing the voice mailbox at my office. There are ways to access this remotely, but they are tedious and time-consuming. After implementing a unified messaging solution, the voice systems sends me an email message containing an audio attachment. I simply open the email and click the attachment to receive the voicemail.
This is pretty slick because my email is synced to my smartphone, tablet, and laptop. Instead of needing to check two systems, I only need to check my email because the voice messages get funneled into this system. Also, I can check it just about anywhere. In this example, two systems (voicemail and email) have been unified. It is even possible to configure the voice system to send SMS messages to specified users if they miss a call or to alert them that they have a voicemail.
There are also additional features that enhance unified messaging systems. For example, a voicemail could be sent to an email distribution list so that multiple parties receive the same message. This is useful in on-call or time sensitive applications where a coordinated team needs to respond to a message or emergency quickly.
The features and technologies I have listed are only the tip of the iceberg, too. There are countless other technologies that are packaged in with a unified communications solution, but there are simply so many of them I would need to write an entire book to explain them all. In a nutshell, UC is an eclectic package of integrated communications tools.
If your goal is to make communication easier between your company and your customers plus keeping things simple, please visit Clarus Communications here or call us at 855-801-6700 to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff. We would be happy to help you find the best solution for you and your business.