Communication is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Being able to get in touch with business contacts and colleagues is so essential that thousands of solutions have been created to make B2B interactions easier.
But even with all of these options, compatibility between a business phone, collaboration tool, conferencing service and instant messaging software isn’t always guaranteed.
Compatibility between different communication products is just one of the reasons that businesses are looking to combine everything into one tool or interface, known in the telecoms sector as unified communications. Here are four major benefits of switching to a UC system for your business.
International business is not just the domain of global enterprise companies. Even small businesses can have staff in different locations so the need to be able to communicate instantaneously across different timezones is important. However, the cost to just make a phone call from one country to another can be very costly, which impacts the bottom line of a business.
Unified communications solutions can help to alleviate the cost of staying in touch across multiple locations through a mix of VoIP business phones and instant messaging tools, as well as video and audio conferencing with local dial-in.
With the mass adoption of mobile phones, employees are no longer tied to their desk during business hours. The ability for staff to access emails and make phone calls on mobile devices when they are travelling to and from meetings has helped to improve efficiency in many sectors. Trends like BYOD and company issued mobile phones demonstrated the appeal to businesses but each one came with its own set of stress points for individuals, including sharing personal numbers with business contacts or needing to carry multiple handsets.
Unified communications helps to alleviate these issues by using solutions such as softphones, which can be programmed so that employees have a work number that automatically gets redirected to a VoIP deskphone, personal mobile device or both. This allows individuals to retain the the flexibility of mobile, keep their personal number private and reduce the number of devices they need to keep with them.
Multiple Vendor, Multiple Software
With the vast number of solutions available, companies may find they have unintentionally created a Frankenstein’s monster of different communications products. While each product will be fine on its own, they aren’t always compatible with each other and can be complex for staff.
Having multiple vendors for multiple pieces of software can also create a servicing nightmare, as well as a complex billing situation. For example, if your collaboration tool has stopped working with your video conferencing software, it’s not obvious which company is responsible for fixing the problem. Also, some products will have an annual cost, some may be monthly cost per user and some may be a one off cost with an additional weekly service contract. It can be difficult to keep track of everything that’s going out, which can make ROI evaluation hard to track.
With a unified communications solution businesses know that the products they pay for work with each other. If something stops working, they’ve got one number to call and they know exactly how much they’re paying for the solution. It saves time and makes things easier.
Making changes to a traditional PBX service can require a long process of phone calls, engineer visits and downtime. Something as simple as adding a new user can take hours of business time for the IT or office management teams, which isn’t a particularly good use of their capacity.
Having the ability to make changes to your entire communications system using an intuitive, easy to use dashboard is one of UC’s strong points. Everything we do is in the cloud, meaning our customers can add users, amend the switchboard, change user groups and much more from a simple interface on an internet browser.
It saves businesses time and puts them in control of their customer’s user experience, as well as keeping our technicians free to troubleshoot and solve more complicated issues.
Monica Visconti-Patel, Director of EMEA and Marketing, RingCentral
Image source: Shutterstock/Brian A Jackson