If you have met with a Telecoms or IT salesperson recently then you will probably be aware of the term Unified Comms, although you may well be no clearer as to what it is and how it may help your business.
Unified Communications is the IT term for linking all of your business communications together. In its most integrated version emails, voicemails, messaging, mobiles, CRM and even diary entries are merged so that you have a complete picture of any communication with your customers as well as work that your staff are engaged in. The idea behind Unified Comms is that it should result in more efficient handling of all of your dealings with customers, with a more holistic overview and hopefully better customer service and reduced operating costs. Sounds great doesn’t it? However, this outcome isn’t always the case and it may not be the best option for your business.
Take for example integrating your telephone system with your diary so that before a call is put through to you the system checks your diary for availability, as well as your mobile, desk phone and softphone. This all seems a very good idea unless like me, and most likely 98% of us that run our own diaries, you forget to update your diary if you happen to finish a meeting early, or if it is overrunning. In these cases you risk receiving a call when you don’t want to, or missing a call when you are actually available to take it. Sometimes technology is too clever for its own good, or simply the features are unnecessary.
Although possible, Unified Comms doesn’t mean that you have to link everything together. There are real benefits in linking your telephone system with Outlook for example, so that you can click to dial your contacts, or with your CRM system so that the caller’s details pop up onto your screen, ready for you to view when you answer the call. Additional features such as sending voicemails to email inboxes helps staff that work away from the office as it allows them to listen to their voicemails on their smartphones. When you pick and choose the best option for your business such as mobile twinning (which means that when your office phone rings, your mobile does too), conferencing features that allow you to set up video or voice conferences from your diary or clicking to dial from the internet on a desktop computer, suddenly it all feels very beneficial. The great news is that all of these are standard features of simple Unified Comms.
It’s important to note that full integration can become expensive and the benefits can be clearly outweighed by the costs, so it may well be that your business will benefit from some degree of Unified Comms without committing to the full monty!
Of course there are plenty of suppliers, so do take your time evaluating the most suitable and be as realistic as possible about the levels of unification your business needs. Our team at Ubi has the experience as well as the products and services to be able to provide first class Unified Comms for any businesses from 5 to 500 staff. We would be delighted to speak with you if you would like to discuss the features available for Unified Comms and the best options for your business.