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What is unified communications and why does it matter?

Unified communications may sound like just another technical business term, but it is so much more than that. Don’t brush off UC as something you don’t need, because it is truly useful and can make a big difference in your growing business. When you work with the right IT team, UC is a valuable tool for your business to drive better results.

Unified communications is a cohesive system that brings all communication tools under one umbrella. It helps your teams to communicate better, makes more effective use of customer data and simplifies always-on connectivity in our increasingly mobile world.

Including tools for real-time communication like VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and instant messaging and traditional tools like email communication, a great UC plan integrates these channels into one platform so you can manage communications cohesively, flexibly and efficiently. Should you get a unified communication tool in place? Almost certainly. Here’s why.

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1. Support remote workers & workers on the go

Unified communications allow workers to access company communication tools from wherever they are. They can typically make calls from a company phone number using VoIP, instant message or text via Wi-Fi, and send emails from a networked desktop computer. It helps maintain consistency across multiple channels and locations. Staff doesn’t have to use their personal mobile or landline numbers, which can confuse clients or create messy boundaries.

It’s also great for team members who may need to travel to different vendors or partners on a regular basis. UC enables secure access to company communication tools while on the go and ensures that any communication is part of the company’s system.

Additionally, unified communications make BYOD (bring your own device) policies even easier to implement. Your team members can access the company communication tools using the right app or portal on their own device, again masking their own personal communication methods and keeping all data and communication on record or in the company database.

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2. Efficiently reach people where they are

With so many avenues of communication in the same system, you can always use the most efficient method of communication to reach someone wherever they are. Unified communication systems contain both real-time tools like direct phone calls and “asynchronous” tools like e-mail that allow you to send a message for response at a later time. So, you choose the proper method for the right person at the right moment – all in one place. Reaching someone is more effective and simpler when you don’t have to search in multiple places for their contact information and preferences.

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3. Save money

Unified communications systems can optimize and even reduce your business spend in many ways. Easily scalable with many components in the cloud, UC systems are set up to use only the amount of data and resources that you need now, with more available as your company grows. Pay for the type and level of services you need and potentially save big on traditional wired phone and communication services.

Plus, you can save by bundling communication services through one vendor in the same way you get a good deal on packaging cable, phone and internet at home. It’s easier to deal with one reliable vendor overall, and this aspect of a unified communications system may also save you time and money in excess maintenance and upgrades.

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4. Increase productivity

With easier and more engaging communication on all levels, you will likely see improvements in productivity. Use your VoIP not only for everyday phone calls but also for more impactful conference calls. Unified communications systems typically encompass video calls and screen sharing that can eliminate the expense and delays of physical meetings and deliver clearer messages and conversations. Bottom line: UC improves productivity and response by facilitating better, more convenient interaction with clients, vendors and colleagues no matter their location.

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5. Improve communication

Effective communication is critical in every aspect of your business. Making it easier to connect with customers and coworkers via integrated voice, mobile and email messaging, VoIP is a core component of a unified communication plan. Your employees will have every reason to reach out to prospects, ask more questions, join every meeting, and get better information with the right communication tools available anywhere, anytime. Once you upgrade to a unified communications system, you can fill gaps in communication and productivity with streamlined communication inside and outside of the office.

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6. Use contact points as data

When you have a unified communications system, your teams can actually use communication and contact points as data for reports. You can capture a more accurate record of how many people your sales teams have contacted and even which channels are most effective for starting the conversation or closing a deal. You will also likely be able to save phone calls, video conferences and IM streams to reference at a later date. This important review of communication details can give you insight and documentation for better response, analysis and results.

Are you ready to implement a unified communications plan that includes VoIP phone, email, IM and other exciting features, perhaps as part of your managed IT services? Contact Tech 2 Bit for more information on how this convenient and efficient technology can help your business grow and thrive.