Why your business needs a Unified Communications (UC) solution?
Since March 2020, businesses of shapes and sizes up and down the country have had little choice but to adapt their working environment to ensure they can continue to operate with staff working from home.
On paper it sounds straight forward and there will have been many that were using some form of Unified Communications solution prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, however, a significant proportion of the business community were not and those companies will need to make improvements as remote working looks to be here to stay.
Digital transformation has arrived and it is here to stay.
As technology continues to evolve at rapid pace, we are in an era where work is no longer restricted to a specific desk, phone, or computer screen. Professionals in 2020 should have the ability to work from anywhere if their role allows and all they need is the right device and a quality internet connection.
In this latest blog post, we analyse the fundamental components of UC and why it is a good fit for small businesses in Sussex and Surrey.
What is Unified Communications?
In a nutshell it the progressive development of the PBX and all of the newer communications tools that have emerged, integrated into one single platform. This will include voice telephony, instant messaging, presence information, video conferencing, data sharing and call control which can integrate to provide a seamless, truly unified experience.
A high-quality Unified communications platform will offer the potential to dramatically improve the way individuals, groups and businesses interact with each other. It creates the opportunity to potentially transform how a business operates. Response times with customers and colleagues alike, can be significantly reduced, plus it becomes easy to add new staff working remotely because all that is needed to get setup to work on a laptop or smartphone is software. No physical hardware is required should you choose not to use it which is a game-changer for businesses dependent on remote-working to survive.
Now is the time to embrace Unified Communications
The world is changing all around us and there are new business tools entering the market faster than ever before, so gone are the days that all you’ve needed to do business was a phone line, a telephone on your desk, user requirements have changed significantly from those days.
Unified Communications helps us all get our work done quicker, smarter and with fewer hurdles to complete the simplest of tasks.
In a remote world, visibility and awareness of what is happening with your colleagues is vital to ensure communication is maintained. There are two key UC features that stand out in terms of what they offer a small business utilising UC for the first time within their organisation.
They are Presence Management and Instant Messaging.
- Presence management offers so many benefits when correctly. It informs colleagues of your availability. Many UC platforms offer pre-determined options such as Available, In a Meeting or Do Not Disturb. Comes in very handy when you can’t see each other face to face…
- Instant messaging is more than sending an SMS or WhatsApp message. Within your UC applications, you have a business record of what was said and you can track it through your system. Keeping all company communication on the one single platform is easier to manage.
By using these two simple and easy applications together, your co-workers know where you are, if you can be interrupted and if there is a good time, they can ask to meet with you. A quick message has the potential to save time, money, and lost productivity.
Tools available with a typical Unified Communications Platform
- Voice & Telephony – desktop, mobile, PC-based and video telephony
- Conferencing – audio, video, and web conferencing
- Messaging – voice mail, email, and unified messaging
- Presence and Instant Messaging (IM)
- Desktop, mobile, browser, and embedded client
- Applications – collaboration and administration
If you are not using UC currently, then its possible you have subscriptions for individual services listed above. Why continue to pay for multiple subscriptions for completely independent platforms when you can bring all of this together in an easy to manage solution, not just financially but operationally too. Make it easy for your staff to succeed, every company should be using unified communications and collaboration tools to make our jobs easier and more profitable.
A powerful solution to create a productive workforce
Lets be honest we have all worked in organisations where one system or another hasn’t worked properly and the only way to get your work done was to find a workaround or go through a cumbersome process to make the system work.
Here are four key advantages for small business owners considering a UC solution:
- Better productivity: Teams can communicate however they feel most comfortable, using any device they choose, wherever they may be. One application login to access all of the tools listed above.
- Reduced costs: Consolidate the number of subscriptions you are paying for on a monthly basis. Remember one monthly payment!
- Stronger performance: Because employees can both communicate, and collaborate in an instant, they can solve customer problems faster and improve your business reputation. Sounds good doesn’t it!
- Enhanced user experience: A quality UC platform that has been well delivered and staff have been trained on will pay dividends in terms of staff happiness and satisfaction to succeed in their job.
Implementing UC in a Small Business
The key to successfully bringing UC tools into the small business environment is understanding the needs of the individual users. Small companies need to make sure that they’re delivering a UC service that empowers their workers, boosts productivity and provides new opportunities. Funds can be tight so there is little margin for error in making the wrong platform choice.
Discuss the UC strategy of your small business with your staff, find out what they need, what are they crying out for to make their lives easier which might create more business profits. The more you know about what your employees need to thrive in your company, the easier it will become to make the right decision in choosing the best partner to look after your business.
In addition, make sure the platform can scale and offers integrations with applications such as Outlook and your CRM.
Deliver a Better Customer Experience
Our experience of the last few months has taught us that a lot of companies now have some staff working from the office and others from home, sometimes working on a shift pattern basis.
This all sounds great in practice but who is tracking and monitoring missed calls?
Are those missed calls being returned?
Can your system even inform you about the missed calls?
Call analytics can solve a lot of these unknown answers, giving your business real-time call stats which can be modified to suit your specific requirements plus providing the ability to create scheduled reports that can be sent out on a daily basis to monitor what is happening in your business from afar.
Any quality VoIP and Unified Comms solution will be able to provide detailed call analytics, talk to your provider for further details.
Recruitment of new staff
With remote working now widely accepted as something that is possible through technology and systems plus reducing the need for long commutes, many job seekers will likely have an expectation that an element of remote working will be available in any new role (where possible of course).
Let’s not forget that at the time of writing this blog in October 2020, there will have been a lot of individuals up and down the country who have changed roles during the pandemic but have yet to meet their colleagues face to face.
This is where is a reliable Unified Communications solution can add tremendous value to any organisation, working hand in hand with other internal systems to empower staff to work from anywhere.
Find out more about UC and how it can help your business, contact us to book in a free consultation to discuss your requirements today.
Keytech Networks are based in Horsham, West Sussex and specialise in delivering cloud based communications solutions, Superfast Broadband and bespoke mobile plans to small businesses.