unified communications features

Unified Communications (UC) is a quickly growing phenomenon worldwide. It allows individuals and businesses to connect in unprecedented ways, starting with making local to international calls using the internet to engaging with customers through any channel while maintaining the same, seamless experience.

Related: UC Market Watch

While there are many articles out there discussing the features businesses need, one question still remains: what are the features businesses want? In this blog, we explore the top ten favorite Unified Communications features. Are any of these in your top ten?

Unified Messaging

One of the great advantages of the cloud is anytime, anywhere access. If you have an internet connection, you can get to all of your messages including voicemail, email, chats, faxes, and text messages. Unified messaging funnels all of your contact channels into a single location, which means that you will have an easier time keeping track of your conversations. 

Related: Key Market Drivers In Cloud Communications

Direct Call Routing & Forwarding

Closely related to unified messaging, direct call routing and forwarding ensures that someone who is trying to reach you always will. A single phone number can be given out which is programmed to call several destinations in order to reach the individual. And even if none of these appointed destinations reach them at that time, the call will then be transferred to voicemail and end up in the unified messaging location.

Integration

It is rare that businesses can rely on any one system these days, even a complete, end-to-end unified communications system. Every organization has its own unique processes and business needs, so the ability to integrate their communications system with third-party tools is a huge advantage. A solid UC system serves as the backbone of an organization; allowing third-party programs to integrate seamlessly with it strengthens the overall system and customizes it to that business. 

Dynamic Lines

Call volumes can often be difficult to predict, and no one likes encountering a busy tone when they’re trying to reach a business. With the right Unified Communications system, there is a solution to these problems. Dynamic lines, also known as line bursting, allow businesses to purchase the typical number of lines they need while enjoying the benefit of dynamic “bursting” lines when more calls than usual come in at once.

Related: What UC Can Do For Workplace Collaboration

The flexibility of Unified Communications systems also allows for shared lines among several locations, or line pooling, so that you never have to purchase more lines than you need.

Mobile Apps

All businesses rely on technology at some level, but perhaps no technology is more pervasive than that of the smartphone. As the saying goes, “There’s an app for that,” and this is no less true for UC. One of the great benefits of a mobile UC app is the ability to leverage the convenience of a smartphone to access all of the great UC features you use every day in a familiar, user-friendly app environment. This is especially critical for an increasingly mobile workforce.

Video Conferencing

Traditional phone communications have evolved to include visuals like real-time video and screen-sharing capabilities. This is a favorite feature for long-distance face-to-face meetings, webinars, and conducting meetings where the subject matter is more complicated than a typical voice call can handle. Video conferencing is a handy tool to have for global companies and when traveling is not feasible.

Presence Management

This is an incredibly popular feature for keeping all of a business’ communications organized in a single interface. Presence management is more than seeing who is on and offline; it also includes the company directory, monitoring tools for management, various call status options, and an overview of all the extensions and endpoints of a business. Presence management allows companies to see just how busy they are throughout the day and keep track of their call trends.

Faxing

Faxing may sound like a technology past its prime, but in reality, sharing documents via faxing technology is still an important and popular feature. UC systems have upgraded the experience, however, and now include mobile faxing, OCR, and more flexible sending and receiving channels for all types of documents. Plus, having digital copies of all faxes helps keep your business organized.

Softphones

Different from UC mobile applications, softphones allow employees to use their desktop or laptop computer as an extension of their phone. Having multiple ways to make a call, including traditional deskphone, softphone, or mobile phone, is a plus since it allows users to accommodate their best work-style and preferences. The softphone feature also allows employees to leverage their complete office setup on any computer, whether in the office, at home, or on the road.

Related: Ease The Pain Of M&A With UC

Integrated Call Center

A dedicated call center solution is a great tool to have on its own, but the benefits of integrating your call center with your UC system magnify the benefits. Call centers are designed for the typical high-volume traffic that other UC systems may not be, and also include the ability to manage various agents, track customer interactions with your company, and monitor calls with an additional layer of detail. 


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