More businesses have moved from their basic phone systems to comprehensive, unified communication solutions to streamline communication in recent years. The pressures of maintaining communication and collaboration during the pandemic accelerated many industries' adoption of unified communication. Let’s explore a unified communication solution and how it can fit your business communication plan.
What is Unified Communication?
Unified Communications (UC) integrates real-time communication services and devices with non-real-time communication services and devices. For example, real-time communication includes unified communication services like video conferencing and instant messaging. Communication services that don’t happen in real-time include services like voicemail and unified messaging.
Unified Communication brings these communication services together over several different types of devices and media. With unified communication, emails can be responded to with voice communication, a personal digital assistant (PDA) can communicate with a PC, and business telephones can be answered from anywhere in the world. Unified Communication solutions simplify the plethora of communication technologies to make communication more efficient and effective.
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What Is the Difference Between VoIP and Unified Communications?
Voice over Internet Protocol allows users to make calls using their internet connections. Unified communication v. VoIP is a full suite of business communication modes, including calls, video calls, conferencing, text messages, instant messages, and document-sharing platforms to streamline enterprise-wide communication. The voice call component of unified communication is carried out as VoIP calls. Hence, VoIP is an integral part of unified communication.
Unified communication tools can be a more significant financial investment than implementing VoIP. VoIP would only require the equipment and initial implementation of the solution, whereas unified communication would be an ongoing project to improve and streamline companywide communication.
Unified communication systems also take longer to implement than VoIP solutions. More decision-makers would need to be involved in the process to create the most practical unified communication suite for a business. This requires a lot of trial and error and would be a longer implementation process.
What Is the Difference Between UC and UCaaS?
Unified communication is typically a cloud-based tool enterprise use for communication, while Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud delivery mode for these applications. Unified communication tools include traditional phone services while allowing video conferencing, messaging, and document-sharing capabilities.
UCaaS usually have multiple tenancies where multiple customers share the unified communication infrastructure. Data centers, racks, networks, and unified communication equipment can be shared and managed via web portals. Performance reports and usage reports can be generated with user-friendly dashboards.
As many businesses have shifted to hybrid or remote workplace models, unified communication has become a key player. Keeping employees on the same page and collaborating on a unified platform is the primary purpose for implementing unified communication solutions. Businesses can easily subscribe to the UCaaS services from popular vendors for easy and fast implementation.
What Are the Main Components of Unified Communication?
There are the devices themselves that enable communication and the media, which provides the avenue for unified communication to happen.
Unified Communication devices include:
- Telephones (desk phones and mobile phones)
Unified Communication media include:
- Instant messaging
Because there are so many types of device and media vendors on the market, a unified communication solution has the ability to resolve interface issues, platform problems, and potential network mishaps. Unified Communication solutions can be used across enterprises and for social media purposes. The result of a unified communication solution enables better communication between co-workers, team members, executives, partners, customers, vendors and suppliers.
The main types of unified communication deployment include:
Cloud-based Unified Communication
This is a quick and affordable unified communication solution for businesses that want to move to the cloud quickly. UCaaS services reduce the investment needed to implement a unified communication solution and reduce the end user's operational costs.
High-definition video communication has become the norm for business communication. Video conferencing and breakout rooms create collaborative experiences while maintaining human connection.
Web Real-Time Communication enables web browsers to act as the endpoint device for unified communication. This type of unified communication solution can be used using a web-browser or mobile app to directly make and receive calls.
A unified communication platform with its mobile app can help keep all employees in the loop. Employees can collaborate no matter where they are. Most popular unified communication vendors offer comprehensive mobile apps to streamline how their customers communicate.
Remote Workforce with Unified Communication
Telecommuting workers can be connected via UC to form virtual workgroups with unified communication services and devices. Mobile-based employees can share communications from anywhere in the world. And business processes can be more efficient through unified communication collaboration.
Unified Communications benefit companies of all sizes because unified communication devices and services enable data sharing. Sharing documents, repositories, and other data can be vital to the success of any organization. Most unified communication interfaces are user-friendly so that they are intuitive for all.
Continuity is achieved with unified communication devices and services because UC bridges the gaps across enterprise platforms, which is essential for local and remote workers. For example, remote workers can access their organization’s network from their netbooks. If a local employee is traveling, they can access their organization’s internal network from their PDA.
Remote employees don’t have to travel to their organization for real-time meetings or to share documents. And traveling employees have up-to-date real-time data. Organizations can save on travel costs by implementing a unified communication solution, providing employees with real-time data, and improving overall companywide communication.
As more businesses move towards the cloud to maintain their businesses and expand their reach, unified communication solutions have become an invaluable asset. Most unified communication partners offer scalable options that can thrive alongside your business.
Selecting the right unified communication partner is an important decision for your business. Involving the essential staff in this decision is crucial. Hence, it is essential that you compare the best unified communication solution providers to ensure your selected partner has all the features your business needs.