Unified communications are increasingly used in the business world to provide better quality services, especially in companies with different locations or employees teleworking.

The Covid-19 crisis has not only meant that we have to look for new ways to communicate with our family and friends, but in business it has meant an unexpected change in the traditional way of working. The reason is obvious, and it is because now it is not as simple as taking a chair and moving it to a place in the office to talk about something with your colleagues, so new solutions are essential in order to integrate all the services and communication channels in the same place.

Unified communications are therefore necessary today, as companies implement teleworking models or have different offices in different countries.

Below we will see what unified communications are and why these services are indispensable today, apart from the advantages that provide in such a changing and competitive environment.

What are unified communications?

 

Unified communications are those services or communication channels that are integrated to optimize a company’s business processes. Among these services we can find channels such as voice, messaging, audio, videoconference and data services, all on the same platform. The integration of these services in the same platform allows a user to access the information easily and quickly. 

The communication channels we are talking about can be of two types, depending on how the messages are stored and transmitted. Firstly, there are the “store-and-forward” channels, where information does not travel in a totally direct way. An example of this type of channel is usually messaging services, such as e-mail.  

On the other hand, “immediate” type channels require a more instantaneous response, as the name suggests. A good example are telephone calls.

Unified communications can be particularly useful for businesses that need fast and effective communication, both externally and internally.  

 

Why use unified communications services?

 

If you have a business, you might be interested in knowing why it can be very beneficial for you to use unified communications, as its features can make your job easier.

To begin with, there is a real optimisation of communications, as there is more direct contact, both internally and externally. All employees can more easily access the information they have stored. This can be very useful with customer service, as you can quickly access all the information you have in your customers’ company, which is a productivity booster. 

Unified communications services, also, have a single provider for all your communications because they have all the channels integrated. What does this mean? It means that if any problem arises with your unified communications programme, you have to contact  only one supplier to solve the problem.   

 

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Advantages of unified communications

 

The need to incorporate a secure communication system that guarantees an optimal quality of service (at the same time as a low cost) is becoming more and more evident, as it is essential to interact with other companies and with the clients themselves. Therefore, although we have mentioned some before, the main advantages that are found in unified communications are:

  • Technological compatibility (multi-device): unified communication systems are designed to adapt as best as possible to a network that already exists in the company, so that their integration does not block its activity. Moreover, these solutions are designed in such a way that any gadget and additional device, such as microphones and headphones are compatible with them.
  • Productivity: one of the objectives in any current business organization is the search for efficient work, because costs can be reduced this way while increasing and speeding up production and generating greater profits. Through these systems a closer collaboration is generated, since joint work is allowed in the same document without the need of the team members being together, apart from being able to contact each other quickly and effectively.
  • Communication and collaboration: having all the information available in one place and at any time, all members can have access to it, so they will not have to transfer documents and wait for comments from other departments, thus facilitating the synergy and flow of information between the different teams.
  • Flexibility and ubiquity: let’s imagine an employee attending a work meeting in another country and having its plane canceled due to bad weather. Or even, without going any further, with the mobility restrictions imposed on the occasion of Covid-19, it is impossible to move to other places. With unified communications this problem disappears, as workers can connect any time and anywhere, no matter if they are at the airport or at home, breaking by this way the barrier that distance supposes.
  • Balance between personal and professional life: related to the previous advantage, work is no longer synonymous with office. This reduces the feeling of “being always working”, and saves the time of commuting from the workplace to home and vice versa, which can be invested in activities with the family.
  • Cost reduction: having a single method linking several communication channels provides the company with cost savings, resulting in a competitive cost advantage, since the company is faced with a single invoice at the end of the month at the same time that it has reduced the number of trips, transport and calls consumption that funds to workers. Moreover, introducing these systems completely dismisses the need of installing, maintaining and training people for its use.
  • Less impact on the environment: the last advantage, although perhaps the least obvious, is that reducing the number of journeys avoids the use of polluting means of transport, the company can use this advantage to give an image of social responsibility in this area.

 

Unified Communications and WebRTC

 

In the world of unified communications we find quite sophisticated applications and technologies that change the way we work. WebRTC technology, for example, is the revolutionary technology for unified communications services.

This technology allows all the communication channels mentioned above to be carried out over the Internet. Therefore, there is no longer a need for downloads or additional software installations. Everything is in the cloud, and access is possible through any browser. 

The WebRTC manages to raise the advantages of unified communications to another level, as it offers you direct and real-time communication, which is more economical than with other applications. At Fonvirtual we use this technology to offer our internal and external communication solutions for companies.

The adoption of this technology translates into an evolution of communications, that will be increasingly sophisticated and effective, and may be in continuous growth. Workers will be able to use their time more productively and communicate with colleagues and clients more easily.

 

Examples of unified communications solutions

 

Some examples of unified communications are :

Some examples of unified communications are :

  • Virtual PBXs: they allow unified communication by voice, video and messaging. It is an excellent management and communication tool with different functionalities with which you can personalise your switchboard. Among the features offered by Fonvirtual PBXs, you can find:
      • Access to the status of your employees: within the internal communication interface, all employees have the possibility of controlling and changing the statuses offered by the platform (such as: available, not available, absent…), which makes internal communication easier.
      • Messaging or internal chat: in the interface you have an internal chat that connects the employees of your company. They can create groups and interact without the need for a third-party Internet messaging service.
      • Virtual fax services: you can count on a digital solution that allows you to send and receive faxes in your emails without limits and completely free. Faxes are converted to PDF and sent via email.
  • CRM: apart from being able to integrate with PBXs, they allow you to unify all communication about your customers in the same tool. With this integration, employees can share the interactions they have had with customers and all the information about them, and thus store everything on the same platform. All employees have access to it and can therefore attend to any external call without having previously attended to the same customer.

These are the basic solutions that you can easily count on if you choose to use unified communications, although, depending on the company that equips you, you can count on more integrations and solutions for internal and external communication. You can discover the solutions offered by Fonvirtual here.