Unified communications (UC) technology consolidates multiple communications functionalities into a single platform, to create an essential tool in the business environment. Disparate features like instant messaging and presence, email, conferencing and telepresence, voice calls, texting and other mobility features, and even faxing are brought together into a single interface. That interface remains consistent across employees, regardless of what screen they’re using or where they’re using it from.
The result is a framework for major productivity gains, because it makes employee communications easier and more seamless.
Businesses are realizing this: The global UC market size is expected to reach $143.49 billion by 2024, according Grand View Research. That’s a tidal wave of growth that’s attributable to the rapid multilocation expansion of organizations and an increasing need for real-time and efficient communication systems that enhance the inter-organizational exchange of information.
We previously detailed some of the productivity enhancements that businesses can expect, but here are three more important productivity dimensions that UC can bring to your business.
1. Better Partner and Customer Communication
UC solutions enable real-time communications within as well as outside of the organization, thereby enabling the elimination of delays and speeding up of business processes.
2. Multichannel Employee Collaboration
Anyone who works in an office knows that department meetings and conference calls can eat away at the majority of the day before one seems to even notice. And, that keeping on top of email is almost a full-time job in and of itself. UC is a multichannel technology, meaning that employees and department heads can make informed choices about how to interact with each other for the best possible time efficiencies and outcomes.
For instance, say an email about a potential customer service issue lands in your inbox. You might have questions about the issue, and in a non-UC world you would likely type those out an email and send it back to the person—and then wait for a response, with no sense of when it may arrive. With a UC system, it’s possible to seamlessly move the conversation to a chat window for more immediate interaction, and, if needed, escalate the situation can to a voice call (or conference, if others need to be brought in). To boot, the presence feature helps you know who’s available and in which mode, to make the process even more seamless.
3. Teamwork Across Locations
We live in an age of the borderless office, with disparate workforces and decentralized operations. As a result, teams rarely meet in-person all at once, leading companies to rely more on various (expensive) conferencing services. This can lead to a number of problems: For one, teams don’t have a consistent end-user experience, where everyone is using the same applications and can easily collaborate in real time.
Traditional conferencing also lacks presence, which means that users can’t be added quickly on the fly when needed. Mobility may or may not be supported, making things difficult for on-the-road or remote employees. And, typically the audio and video services are different platforms, meaning that one can’t escalate from one to another if needed. UC changes all of that, providing consistent access across screens to conference capabilities that can be used as needed, on the fly, with presence enabled to bring team members in if required. The result is a more nimble, agile and productive meeting.