What is Unified Communications?

The landscape of business communications is ever-evolving. Since the electronic telegraph was invented, the world has seen great change. Because voice communications are now being increasingly sent over the internet via VoIP, the possibilities for more services carriers can provide has grown. Unified Communications is the blending of various communication services with voice calling services. While different carriers offer different solutions, here are some of the services available right now.

Voice Calling and Cloud PBX

It seems obvious, right? The core feature is of course voice calling. In a UC or any Hosted Voice system, calls are sent over IP through the internet data connection. There is no additional wiring throughout the building needed, other than the data network for the IP phones and computers to connect into. The key to a UC solution is the software. Computers, tablets, IP phones, and even cell phones all are connected in a UC application. Usually there are additional voice features such as call recording, and adding users to the call, plus a record of every instance a call is made to specific contacts. All this replaces Legacy PBX systems, with it’s own auto-attendant, hold music, dial-by-name or extension, etc.

Instant Messaging

Within the UC application, users can connect via IM, or Instant Messaging. A chat box within the application keeps co-workers in touch with quick messages throughout the day.

Availability

Users can set their availability in real time so co-workers can see who is available, busy, or away from their desk.

Mobility

Each UC user’s account goes with them wherever they go. When they’re at their desk, they have access on their computer and phone. When the user leaves the building, their calls can be forwarded to their smartphone via the UC app, and they can access all their communication needs on their tablet or phone.

Voicemail

Typically voicemail can be accessed anywhere at any time within the application. Often it is possible to receive voicemail in email, and users can in some instances receive a text transcription of the call.

Conference Calling and Video Conferencing

The Unified Communications software typically makes video calls as easy as audio-only calls. This is great for creating conferencing, a user can connect on a phone or using their webcam on their computer. Presentations can flow with slides and utilize all the benefits of seeing a speaker communicate with facial expression and gestures.

Data Sharing

Within UC, users can share documents freely between one another, with edits and revisions accessible.

Desktop Sharing

This feature makes it easy for a user to access their computer remotely for those files they forgot to bring with them, or assist a co-worker with an problem they may be having.

Email

Having email integrated into the Unified Communications helps keep contacts organized and workflows consistent.

Other Features

The list of additional features continues to grow and is only limited by what the developers can imagine. Speech recognition, call control, and CRM integrations all make UC applications more powerful to the user.

Unified Communications as a Service is Growing

It makes sense for businesses to be aware of the ways Unified Communications can benefit productivity and make themselves more accessible to consumers in a way that is cost effective. As technology makes us more connected, UC simplifies your connections and collaboration, and positions your business as a contender in the marketplace.

Ask us how UC can benefit your business