What is Unified Communications?

New to market, but really a combination of existing tools, Unified Communication is the latest solution being offered to companies. The collaborative element of the solution aims to allow employees to perform better within the workplace and allow for increased productivity.

What is Unified Communications (UC)?

Unified Communications (UC) is essentially the combination of a variety of tools to enable you to provide a collaborative environment within the workplace. These tools range from IM to screen sharing, and voice calling to presence – the ability to see when somebody is offline/online/busy at all times.

Whilst there may be elements of the UC solution that have previously been used within the workplace, the sophisticated collaboration of these tools in to one platform is the selling point. The ability to quickly and easily move between the options, all within one program, means that employees can collaborate seamlessly with contacts both inside and outside of their company.

With an increase in the number of home workers and those working on the move, the mobility aspect of UC is really important. UC allows users to take calls on their desk phone, mobile, PC or smart phone and they can also ‘pull’ these calls across. Essentially pulling means that should you pick up a call on your desk phone but need to leave the office; you can pull it across to your mobile and continue without any delay.

What are the benefits to conventional methods?

Whilst naturally within an office you will have an email and telephone system, the lack of connection between these two means that they are stand-alone and do not work together to assist you. This is in comparison to a tool such as UC-One, this connects to both your email and phone system, pulling all contact information across and, as previously discussed, letting you take the call from anywhere.

The added benefit of presence, which pulls its data from your Outlook calander or can be set manually, means you no longer need to waste time phoning people when they are not at their desk. Simply take a look to see if they available and perhaps send them an IM message if they are busy to call you later – something most people are far more inclined to check than their voicemail!

The ability to quickly and easily share either your screen or join a video conference also makes UC a clear front runner. The ability to do this will not only enhance collaboration, but also inspire employees to feel more engaged in projects, feeling more involved as they are not just reading words on an email.

Plus with the ability to save you both time and money, Unified Communications is an obvious choice for any company. It is estimated that using the solution will save each employee 30 minutes a day, which equates to a cost saving of £2,500 per person, per year. Certainly not an amount to be sniffed at!

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