What Is Unified Communications?

In any given office on any given day, employees are using various combinations of voicemail, email, VOIP, messenger, text messages and video calls for communication and interaction. 

On one hand, that’s a great thing. If the year 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we certainly need options and new possibilities in order to make business work on every level without interruption.

But more possibilities also means more potential mistakes, more chances to miss or confuse a meeting invite, and more chances to misunderstand a message bouncing around in the digital ether. That’s why more and more businesses are quickly migrating to a unified communications platform.

What Is Unified Communications?

Unified communications allows messaging between different mediums. For example, a unified communications platform makes it possible for you to leave a voicemail and have the recipient access it via email. In short, it provides a single interface across multiple devices and media, bringing your communications into a single source without limiting who is using it or how it’s being used. 

Unified Communications tools also allow you to add new mediums as technology advances. In a sense, you’re preparing yourself for the future while streamlining the present.

Benefits of Unified Communications

Unified communications significantly simplifies your business’ communication process across the board. Its many benefits include:

  • Cost reduction. Since you’re no longer paying multiple providers for multiple services, it follows that you’ll be paying less overall. And even one of those services alone already comes with a hefty price tag. Most unified communication platforms are web-based as well.
  • Platform consolidation. “Should I text her or just set up a meeting on her calendar?” The days of asking this type of question are over. With a unified communications platform, there’s no more guessing about the best way to get in touch with someone. Users work within a single platform and can choose how they want to communicate whenever and wherever they’d like.
  • Future integration. Technology changes how we communicate at a rapid pace. A unified communications platform stands ready to implement whatever new technology comes down the pike. Whether it’s a new VoIP technology or new instant messenger, a unified communications platform stands ready to adapt and integrate.
  • Bring your own device (BYOD). Every company has some employees who are completely attached to their smartphone. A unified communications platform is perfect for them: they (along with everyone else in the company, if they so choose) can now do everything they need to from their phone, eliminating excuses, confusion and even the uphill battle to get them to talk on a company-provided phone. In fact, you won’t even need to issue them a phone!

Enterprise Communications

Communicating throughout your entire enterprise poses an even greater challenge if you have people in multiple locations and environments. For example, an associate in accounting located in your corporate headquarters isn’t going to have the same communications needs as a warehouse supervisor in your facility on the West Coast. 

That’s where unified communications thrives because it interfaces with various applications, platforms and programs across the country and the globe. Your employees can use it exactly how they need, when they need. Beyond that, corporations that have moved to a work-from-home culture will benefit from unified communications, since onboarding can be done anywhere, anytime.

Integrated Communications Setup

A unified communications platform is usually made up of two parts: user facing and back end. 

The user-facing portion includes voice, text, video and web applications. The back end includes a platform or server, an internet protocol or private branch exchange that is either on site or cloud based, VOIP enabled phones, headsets, cameras, microphones and a multipoint control unit for video conferencing.

Choosing a Provider

Selecting a unified communications provider may seem to be difficult, especially because no two companies have the same communications needs. However, it’s easier than you think. It’s important to have a potential provider come on-site and review your building, your organization and your day-to-day communications needs. 

You’ll also want a provider that gives you definite answers to your questions. They should give you a full rundown of your deployment options, not just immediately tell you which one they think is right for you. 

Taylored Systems — Your Unified Communications Specialists

For more than 40 years, Taylored has been providing cloud, phone and managed IT solutions throughout Indiana. Our experience helping create custom communications solutions for organizations of all sizes and industries has helped establish us as the premier partner for Indiana businesses looking to make the move to and maintain a unified communications system.

Contact us today to discuss your unified communications needs, and see how the Taylored team can set up a platform that will suit your company’s specific needs.