Traditional telecoms systems, though revolutionary in their time, had an achilles heel. The introduction of IVRs and later on mobile telephony, sms and email still operated in silos. Businesses found it difficult to communicate with anyone they couldn't reach. Productivity suffered as the time and resources spent attempting to reach persons increased. Unified messaging was the beginning of convergence. It allowed users to receive and store messages from different channels. Users were then able to retrieve these messages at a later time.
Unified communications (UC) allows users to access communications from any device at any time. It enables integrated business communications beyond your normal data, voice or mobile communications services. This allows your organisation and colleagues to stay connected, across all communication points at all times. Logging into your desktop or laptop connects you to your office number, emails, mobile, and other business applications. The same applies when you're working offsite, at home, from another location or even mobile. With UC, companies have the option of having an on premise or cloud solution. This stores all UC functionality in the cloud available for to all employees via any device at any time.
Gartner defines Unified Communications (UC) products (equipment, software and services) as "those that facilitate the interactive use of multiple enterprise communications methods. This can include control, management and integration of these methods. UC products integrate communications channels (media), networks and systems, as well as IT business applications and, in some cases, consumer applications and devices."
UC provides increased productivity and efficiency, with real time connectivity to real time and non-real time communication. Under the umbrella of UC sits a range of communications services such as:
- Instant and unified messaging
- Audio, videoing and web conferencing
- IP Telephony (call control & IVR)
- Business process integration and its supporting software
- Collaboration tools
The use of these services and many more vary from company to company but the UC premise remains the same. Businesses that install a well thought UC strategy can enjoy an increase in agility and flexibility in the range of business applications used. For a successful implementation businesses must consider the impacts of key UC elements, how these match the business objectives and benefits employees. Some of the key areas to consider are:
- Cloud migration and storage: how to move business communications to a cloud environment
- Data and Security: decide what data you store in the cloud, and ensure it's held securely and compliant with all regulations (GDPR, PCI-DSS, etc.)
- Collaboration: encourage employees to use UC as a collaborative tool that enhances productivity
- Platform: what platform or applications employees need
- Connectivity, Voice & Mobility (4G, VoIP & Broadband): ensure the business' telecoms infrastructure suits your UC implementation and what changes you need for a successful implementation
Your telecoms infrastructure is the foundation and key to a successful UC implementation. Often businesses look at their infrastructure after they have implemented a UC strategy. This often leads to delays, increase in budgets, lost time and productivity. At Immervox our experts specialise in optimising business critical communications with over 16 years of deploying solutions for growing businesses combining Voice, VoIP, Mobile, Data and Cloud.