5 Features to Look For in a Unified Communications System

By simply allowing users across your organisation to access communications from any device at any time, a unified communications (UC) system leads to drastic improvements in workplace efficiency: workers can work flexibly while remaining fully integrated within all aspects of the office, divisions between workers and offices disappear as collaboration takes place instantaneously across locations, and discrete locations within an organisation share resources and information in real time. Once the basic blocks are in place it’s easy to scale your UC system for drastic results.

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With a successful UC system in place, all businesses can increase productivity and have their employees collaborating more effectively. If you’re looking into implementing a UC system in your organisation, here are 5 key features to be sure to have in mind:

1. Cloud migration and storage

One of the great benefits of a UC system is the ability to work collaboratively from anywhere with an internet connection: documents, schedules, and the entire communications system of your network can be found in the cloud, accessible via any device, anywhere. Even if a fire drill forces you to leave the office, calls will still come through to device using the cloud. The increasingly low cost of cloud storage has helped to make easily scalable UC systems available to all sorts of businesses.

Once your business adopts a cloud based solution, it becomes second nature to your colleagues. All your messages, files and information are easily accessible from any device: no more trawling through email chains for missing documents, or embarking on never ending journeys through your organisation to find the right person to answer your question. In the early stages of a digital telecoms transformation, though, it is crucial to be aware of:

2. Data and Security

In our increasingly ‘smart’ and online world, cyber security has become seriously important to everyone from smartphone users to government agencies. During a digital transformation, it’s essential you know what data will be stored and who has access to it. Ensure that you adopt a system that puts security first - iVox Unified Communications allows business to securely take credit card payments over the phone.

If you intend to process any cardholder information using a UC system it is imperative your network is compliant with all regulations, including GDPR and PCI-DSS v3.2, both to avoid fines and to ensure your users’ safety. Take a look at our blog posts on GDPR and PCI-DSS to ensure your Unified Communications solution is as secure as possible.

3. Collaboration

New technologies can be difficult to implement. When files are secure on the cloud, it will be easy to encourage them to start using UC features for collaboration. If one person working on a project needs guidance, approval or advice, with a click of a button they can instantly share their screen with all the necessary people, wherever they are. Network users with access will then be able to work together in real time and make suggestions and edits.

This is just one way UC collaboration can seamlessly improve productivity:

  • In retail scenarios, files containing information on supplies can be shared by shopfronts and storehouses in real time, keeping both sides instantly up to date, and the process of ordering can even be automated.
  • Public workers can access all necessary office documents while they are out in their community, drastically increasing their productivity.
  • Video conferences and shared virtual workspaces can keep all necessary workers in the loop even when they have to be out of the office.
  • Customer service can also dramatically improve, it allows agents to review the availability of their colleagues and put them through to the department most suited to their enquiries.

The possibilities are extensive, if you pay attention to:

4. Platforms, applications and integrations

Part of the beauty of a UC system is that, once it is in place, your workers will find particular ways it can improve the ways your organisation works. So long as they are open to collaboration and aware of potential platforms and applications, the system will grow organically from there to improve productivity.

Some basic platforms and applications all users should be aware of are:

  • Presence systems which allow all workers to see who is available, ensuring the right person for a task, engineer or executive, can be contacted wherever they are without wasting time.
  • Online file sharing to ensure all necessary workers can give feedback on documents and reports when needed.
  • Video conferencing to get in touch with remote workers, wherever they are.

If your network’s users are aware of these kinds of basic functions, they will soon start exploring what else UC can do: their insights will be a crucial way for UC to improve your business’ productivity! There’s only one more thing you need to take into account:

5. Connectivity, voice and mobility

Depending on the size of your organisation, how many devices will access your UC network, and where they will be accessing your network from, you may require a different telecoms infrastructure.

  • Ensure your connection can process both voice and data, if voice-based communications will form any part of your UC solution.
  • If your workers will be accessing the UC network from a variety of different physical sites, a broadband connection should be enough.
  • If you will have 20 or more users based in one site accessing the UC network, it may be worth investing in a fibre internet connection.
  • When 5G arrives greatly improved mobile broadband speeds and coverage are expected to be ideal for UC — it is worth seeing whether it will be a valid option for your telecoms infrastructure.

With these five features in place, you are ready to reap the rewards of a fully scalable UC system.

To find out more about how you can implement any of these features into your existing IT infrastructure, or how you can fully implement UC with ease today, get in touch!

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