A relatively new idea of unified communications, first implemented in 2006, with the advent of the Cisco Unified Communications platform on the market, led to a real revolution in the corporate systems for managing internal and external information flows.
The system, first proposed by Cisco, quickly gained business loyalty, which prompted manufacturers such as Avaya, Nortel, Microsoft to develop their unified communications (UC) platforms.
How UC Improves Operational Efficiency for Businesses?
A wide range of communication means that employees can use it to exchange information with each other, negotiate with partners, or communicate with clients, but does not always improve their work’s operational efficiency. E-mail or voice mail, mobile phone or landline, instant messaging (IM) services, multimedia conferences, fax, SMS, MMS – all this needed to be somehow combined. Since not always interacting with an office worker with a client, several communication methods gave the desired result.
The increase in communication options (taking into account the missed messages and the need to postpone the solution of the problem for a later time) leads to a slowdown in business processes, increases the time required for making managerial decisions, and makes it almost impossible to respond to customer requests promptly.
It turned out that reducing the time spent on negotiation directly affects the business’s operational efficiency, which required the search for solutions that are easily integrated into existing management processes. It was the management company that allowed the introduction of new communication technologies without reducing productivity. A converged infrastructure’s benefits have also increased as resources scale easily, and applications are managed as a service.
Communications that Saves Money
The volume of the global market for solutions for unified communications (UC) and collaboration (Unified Communication and Collaboration, UC&C) reached $38.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 17.7% compared to 2018. This is reported by analysts at IDC, who attribute hardware, software, and cloud services to these solutions. Specific technologies include video conferencing products, voice, and employee communications services.
Sales of unified communications and collaboration solutions in North America climbed 12.1% in value terms. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) recorded a 15% rise, in the Asia-Pacific region – 17.9%. Demand for UC&C products is growing from companies of all sizes, including large corporations.
The UC system is a specially created hardware and software product that guarantees voice messages, information, and video with high quality. There is no need to choose from the available means of communication. It is enough to dial a particular number for the installed communication system to determine the optimal communication method. An employee, client, or partner is always available since they are only one call away.
A new stage in the development of IP communications: this is precisely how Unified Communications are looked at in modern business and includes the following components:
- IP telephony
- voice mail
- Instant Messaging services (instant messages)
- the function of displaying the presence of the subscriber (Presence)
- multimedia conference
- voice menu system (IVR) and video telephony.
The Financial Benefits of Unified Communications
Companies’ transition to unified communications, especially if there is a geographically distributed structure, allows the business to solve its problems effectively. The secure and simultaneous transmission of information, video, and audio messages reduces the communications infrastructure’s operating costs. The introduction of IP telephony alone reduces the total cost of ownership by 40% while lowering the cost of maintaining the voice network and information transmission means saving another 20%.
Thanks to the Presence function, all employees receive real-time information about the presence of the right person on the spot and their preferred communication channel. Converged network infrastructure does not require additional training costs, but it is possible to start using all the new communications complex advantages immediately.
Studies have shown that thanks to unified communications, an employee saves from 30 minutes to an hour every day. The efficiency of decision-making based on the received objective and complete information increases. There is no need to send an official on a business trip since it becomes possible to see with your own eyes, everything that is happening in the controlled area of work in real-time.
A unique characteristic is the ability to choose the preferred communication channel and sort out incoming calls. It is easy to make a list of persons, of course, including the chief and project manager, for whom the subscriber will always be available. All other contacts can be redirected to voice communication or email.
Today, it’s not just that leading vendors are pushing this way of smart networking. It’s just that the abundance of communications that employees use to solve production problems has increased. And thanks to unified communications, office staff members can effectively manage information from various channels.