The Unified Communications Payoff
Imagine merging separate communications modes — including landline and mobile voice, email, and IM (instant messaging) — into a single, universally accessible service. That's the promise of unified communications. Best of all, this sophisticated technology is now within the reach of just about any business.
Unified communications, a concept that has been discussed for more than a decade, is finally becoming a practical proposition thanks to the growing adoption of IP telephony.
In fact, companies that have already adopted an IP PBX are well on the way toward creating a unified-communications environment since their phone system can easily join messaging, email, and other forms of IP-based communications on the enterprise data network. All that remains to be done is to create a software environment that can route and organize calls and messages, i.e., VoIP software.
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What is Unified Communications?
People collaborate with each other in different ways. And they use several tools for web and video conferencing, IP telephony for voice calls, instant messaging, desktop sharing, mobility and presence, voice mail, and more.
The integration of these tools is represented in Unified communications solutions, with coherent user experiences that enable people to work together efficiently. These VoIP solutions from voice over IP vendors bring real-time communication with hosted and integrated phone systems and conferencing solutions with chat and messaging and merge with everyday applications with the help of APIs.
Importance of Unified Communications
With VoIP phone services, you don't have to think about a limited number of wired phone lines. There are hundreds of perks of using IP phone services. Benefits include initiating VoIP calls from your cell phone or desktop business phone using the VoIP phone number.
What is particularly special about it is that when you call your colleague or customers, your business phone number will display on caller ID rather than your cell number or whatever you are using to make the calls. This is the same process for incoming calls. Your colleagues and customers will dial the VoIP number, and you can reply on whichever phone you use.
Over the last few decades, VoIP phone systems by top VoIP companies have become increasingly important as workers stay home. VoIP small business phone systems allow employees at home to make and receive business calls with their business phone numbers.
By providing integrated voice mail, email, conference calling, and IM services, unified communications can allow business employees to reach colleagues wherever they may be with whatever communications mode is most appropriate. For businesses that operate around the clock, unified communications can keep key employees in the loop 24/7.
Unified communications can also help employees work smarter and better. Key support information, for instance, can be made available as soon as an incoming call or message arrives. When using a computer or a smartphone, for example, a screen pop can tell the employee exactly who is calling and to what situation the call relates.
Additionally, with unified communications, information is exchanged interactively in real-time, without wasted time on procedural matters such as setting up scheduled dates and times. Presence technology can be used to show whether a person is currently available to receive a call.
During conference calls, desktop-sharing technology lets employees and business partners jointly view, edit and annotate documents in real-time. During live meetings or conference calls, employees can get fast answers to crucial questions from colleagues in the same building — or in an office on the other side of the world — by contacting them via IM or voice.
Employees can also tap into their computers to share spreadsheets, charts, or other relevant data with conference participants.
Since unified communications incorporate a wide array of communication modes, not to mention multiple hardware and software platforms and applications, the technology can rapidly grow into the most complex communications project a business will ever tackle.
Due to its complexity, deploying a unified-communications environment demands patience, diligence, and persistence. Businesses that lack a staff of knowledgeable IT workers will probably need outside help to roll out a unified-communications environment.
Major unified communications-systems vendors include Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft, Avaya Inc., and Nortel Networks, as well as various firms that offer add-on tools. Careful product selection is vital to project success. Planners must ensure that platforms, devices, applications, and all other components interoperate seamlessly.
To keep their project manageable, many businesses opt to roll out their unified-communications environment over time, using staged deployments that gradually bring the technology to a steadily growing number of employees.
Unified communications can help employees work more productively and efficiently, regardless of the time of day or their location. But planning and deploying a unified-communications system requires a substantial investment of time, effort, and money.
How To Get The Best VoIP Services?
If you’re searching for the best VoIP providers for your business, you must understand the complex things to make an informed decision. There are plenteous things you should consider while choosing a VoIP provider for your business. The VoIP services best for one business are not necessarily best for the other.
First of all, you should be clear about whether you want a list of VoIP vendors or VoIP hardware? VoIP hardware represents the phone handsets that VoIP providers use for placing and routing calls over a high-speed internet connection. Many VoIP companies offer voice-over iPhone VoIP software and also provide extra telephony features. Unusually, these features can revamp a standalone business VoIP solution into a unified communications platform, with functions particularly designed for business communication.
Top VoIP Phone Providers
Some of the well-known top VoIP providers include Vonage, Avaya, Aircall, and RingCentral, launched by reliable tech firms which are the largest VoIP providers like Google and Microsoft.
A voice over IP comparison involves voice over IP service reviews, features offered by hosted VoIP providers, set-up, ease of use, support, and pricing plans. Voice-over IP phone system reviews are usually based on hands-on experience. They can be really helpful for businesses to draw informed and honest conclusions about friendliness, knowledge, and availability.