unified communications

What is unified communications?

Unified communications is a term that’s thrown about the business world frequently. But what is unified communications and how can your small to medium-sized business benefit from it?

Well for starters, unified communications refers to the real-time synchronization of all the things that go into modern business communication. In other words, it’s not limited to one or two technologies – it incorporates and integrates a wide variety of communication tools.

These tools can expand to include anything from video presence and instant messaging to voice and email. But to have a truly successful unified communications platform, these tools must be chosen strategically.

In other words, just because you have an instant messaging platform doesn’t mean it works well for your team. It also doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden have a unified platform.

For example, you might instant message solely through Skype. However, your specific team may need a bit more than this. With a tool like Slack, for instance, you can create groups and threads, share documents and images, and integrate with third-party apps and mobile devices. Your choices here all depend on what your team needs and where you ultimately plan to take your business in the future (you don’t want to latch onto technologies that can’t grow alongside your business).

Speaking of growth, the bigger your business gets, the trickier unified communications can become. This is because to have a well-built platform, you need instant access to these technologies and real-time interactions with it.

What this means is that unified communications rely heavily on the actual installation and setup of your communication tools. The more tools you have and the more people involved with these tools, the harder it will be to create a truly unified communications platform.

As an example, all conference rooms and some personal offices need to be setup with the proper cabling, speakers, and cameras to hold a decent video conference. This needs to be done in a way that promotes seamless communication – in other words, you can skip the button pushing, cord fumbling, and confused expressions and jump straight into a video call. Afterwards, you should be able to leave a video conference and read any missed voicemails straight from your inbox. Then, you should have the ability to walk outside and use your personal phone to call these people back – but still make it look like the call is coming from your office phone.

To do anything in this hypothetical situation, you’ll need professional assistance, and an IT company that offers unified communication services is ideal. This company can help you find the best-fit communication tools your company needs in order to have modern conversations. Then, they can help you install, setup, and secure these technologies at your office.

However, without an IT company at your side, you will most likely struggle to fully integrate and control your communication tools. They’ll be disconnected, and as a result, it will be near-impossible to jump from one tool to the next.

If you need help creating a unified communications platform for your business, give us a call today. We have decades of combined experience helping companies just like yours perfect their daily communications, and we’d love to help you, too.