The 5 coolest things you can do with unified communications

Unified communications, the business concept of combining all communications over a single digital connection, can offer organisations a number of benefits - something more and more companies are finding out every year.

Read more: Affordable unified communications for SMEs: Cobweb’s cloud-based Microsoft Lync

According to Transparency Market Research, the unified communications market is expected to grow to $61.9 billion by 2018 and when you consider the advantages it offers, it’s easy to see why.

Presence

Perhaps the biggest advantage of unified communications is how much simpler and easier it makes it to contact your business, and a major part of that is Presence.

Presence indicates when employees are available and across what particular channel, whether that’s mobile, desk phone, email or any other form of communication. It also enables members of staff to keep their colleagues and clients updated as to their current availability via a simple comment system. If, for example, you’ve had to rush into an urgent meeting, employees can use Presence to inform the necessary people, ensuring no one is left out of the loop.

Flexibility and efficiency

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) lets businesses and employees experience a level of flexibility not possible with traditional or analogue networks.

Members of staff can use a single phone number and a unified inbox for all their communication needs, meaning less time is wasted organising and searching for information. Employees are also able to start a conversation on their work phone and seamlessly continue it using their mobile, meaning work can take place wherever and whenever, no matter how mobile you need to be.

A recent survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 50 per cent of organisations saved up to 20 minutes per employee from more efficient message management when using unified communications.

Cost-effective scalability

No two businesses are the same, and unified communications recognises that the demands of a recently founded startup differ to those of a multi-national conglomerate.

Unlike traditional systems, unified communications enable businesses to pay for as much traffic as they need, rather than a set rate. Many providers now offer bespoke packages and UCaaS apps to ensure their software is no longer reserved for larger organisations.

The fact that all the information goes through a single server, means it is easy to upgrade as and when you need to, making it the perfect choice for ambitious businesses keen to grow as quickly as possible.

Advanced features

Unified communications also offer a number of advanced telephony features that can help save businesses time and money.

Short-number dialling, for example, eradicates the need for area codes, something likely to prove extremely useful for businesses located in a variety of locations. The option of multi-device ringing, where an employee’s mobile, desk phone and PC can be contacted simultaneously, can also be used to make organisations more contactable, helping to ensure clients and customers remain satisfied.

Keep your data secure

Because UCaaS turns audio signals into digital data it can be easily encrypted, bringing an added layer of security to your business. This means that however you’re transmitting sensitive information, be it via email, fax or phone call, you can be sure that it will only be seen by the intended recipients.

When combined with robust user authentication systems, unified communications offer the level of security required by modern businesses.

Read more: Get competitive or say goodbye: Unified communications is the future of the travel industry

Individuals and businesses alike can find out the best way to combine efficiency and mobility using unified communication at this year’s UC Expo, taking place on the 21-22 April at Olympia, London.

Register to attend UC EXPO 2015 FREE today.