Tag Archives: Unified Communications

Unified Communications Can Help You Stay Connected

In our current situation, the ability to work anywhere is even more important. Whether at the office, on the go–or quite commonly these days, at home–unified communications (UC) supports the ability to communicate by voice or email and send information back and forth. Read on to learn more about how this technology can help your business always be available.

According to a recent Gartner report, Unified Communications is expected to grow by $167.1 billion over the next five years, an average of 16.8% per year. This technology brings together various modes of communication–phone, text, web conferencing and email, providing a streamlined way to keep businesses connected. Employees working at home can collaborate via web conferencing, send data via email, and communicate with customers by phone. Voice Over IP (VoIP) supports this technology by providing phone connections via the Internet. Companies no longer have to rely solely on analog or private branch exchange (PBX) systems. Chat and email with customers and other employees is made easier. Applications like CRM can be integrated to expedite service, too.

The Need for Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN)

Unified Communications technology, enabled by the cloud, needs a fast and reliable network. Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) uses multiple carrier service providers to furnish a wide area network with failover; if one part of the network experiences a bottleneck, another can pick up the traffic. Not only does SD-WAN provide a highly available network, but it can also save costs over legacy MPLS with added flexibility and a variety of carriers. Unified Communications can test the limits of your company’s  network.  With SD-WAN, your company’s wide area networks will always be available, from anywhere.

Considerations for Adopting Unified Communications

As always, unified communications depend on a reliable network. Consider evaluating your network for its bandwidth and security, making sure it can handle additional traffic and no vulnerabilities to cyber attack. Your company’s antivirus and antimalware definitions and firewall should be up to date, too. Also, check to ensure only authorized users are able to access your network.

Unified Communications and its supporting technologies can be instrumental to helping your staff work anywhere. To determine your company’s readiness, contact us today. 

Streamline Customer Service with Unified Communications

More than ever, businesses are seeking new communications solutions. Instead of old methods, such as analog phone and private branch exchanges (PBX) and a separate computer network, companies are seeking the benefits of more streamlined, economical solutions. Read on to learn what Unified Communications–and its foundation, VoIP–can do for your business.

Unified Communications Provides Greater Efficiency

More and more businesses are moving into the future, using an Internet-based communications platform. According to research firm Gartner, adoption of Unified Communications (UC) is expected to grow to $167.1 billion by 2025, with an annual growth rate of 16.8%. The foundational technology, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), allows businesses to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection, sometimes right from the computer and sometimes with an adapter connected to their current equipment. Other modes of communication, such as chat and email, can be done over Internet connection also, eliminating the need for separate phone and computer networks. Other capabilities include going from chat to video conferencing, and integration with CRM. Employees then can be current on customer service, projects and confident of processes moving forward. 

Considerations Before UC Adoption

With all its benefits, Unified Communications can benefit your organization greatly. Not all solutions are equal, however, and it is wise for a company to evaluate its goals to determine what UC services will work best for them. How will this tool help streamline customer service? Which features are most important to have? How many employees does the business have? This last is a key consideration, for many vendors base their rate on the number of employees using the service per month. Some solutions offer  several different packages while others have low setup costs and can function across multiple devices. Many have services that are scalable, adjusting to times of more or less demand. Also consider customer support as service levels among vendors can also vary. Some vendors advertise high security with multiple layers of authentication and encryption, and availability during disasters and outages. Be sure to evaluate these features, considering carefully the best fit for your company. Be sure to inventory your current network, ensuring it can support unified communications.

Even with many factors to consider, Unified Communications might be just the solution for your business. To evaluate which range of services fits your needs, contact your trusted technology advisor today.

Consider Unified Communications for Your Business

Imagine being able to integrate business class phone systems, collaboration and virtual meetings and your contact call center all within a secure and reliable unified communications suite. This means you can work anywhere, get customer information instantly and route calls efficiently to communicate in real time all over the world. Increasingly, Unified Communications can integrate your office communications and help you help customers.

Unified Communications Adoption Continues to Grow

According to an article by Grand View Research, the market for Unified Communications is expected to grow to $167.1 billion by 2025, with a growth rate of 16.8% in upcoming years. Unified Communications, provides businesses a tightly integrated solution consisting of VoIP, along with applications such as video, web collaboration, and mobility. Three popular components of Unified Communications are Voice Over IP (VoIP) technology, web conferencing and call center technology. Voice Over IP helps businesses move from a private-branch exchange to a methodology that uses the Internet. Web conferencing allows companies to communicate with customers and employees in other parts of the world. Call center technology can speed communication through integration with CRM, to route the call to the best person to serve the customer.

Benefits of Adopting Unified Communications

Not only is UC an efficient way to integrate a business’ operations, it can help companies save money and increase revenue. Managers in the office can communicate with employees out in the field, and with voice mail that flows to email, employees in the office can get a quick answer to a question, or more information, with minimal wait time. The speed of processes can improve, helping a business gain a competitive advantage–for example, moving a loan application quickly toward approval. Also, cloud-based Unified Communications moves capital expense associated with large deployments to a subscription-based operating expense.

What to Consider when Adopting a UC Solution

When considering Unified Communications, be sure to consider the specific needs of your business and how integrated communication can help reach business goals. Also, evaluate the health of your network, whether it can support cloud-based unified communications, and what parts need upgrading or changing.

Unified Communications will become more common in the next decade. To evaluate your readiness, and get your network in shape, contact your trusted technology advisor today.

Getting the Most from Cloud Computing

Advantages of Moving to CloudCloud Computing adoption continues to outpace the growth rate of total IT spending. According to research firm Gartner, the market for public cloud services will continue expanding, with year-over-year revenue growth of 17.3%. Compare this to Gartner Growth expectation of total IT Growth of 1.4% and you can see how the market for Cloud Computing is maturing. Cloud Service Providers offer a wide range of solutions. According to CompTIA Trends in Cloud Computing, Cost reduction is the primary driver for VoIP, cited by 67% of companies with a VoIP implementation. Integration with other applications was cited as the second biggest driver by 36% of VoIP adopters. Here are a few tips to help realize the benefits of savings and integration of popular Cloud Services.

 

Manage Rogue IT


Rogue IT is a term for technology deployed without the aid of a technology advisor. Cloud Computing empowers Line of Business (LOB) owners to rapidly deploy Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and to minimize the involvement of a technology advisor. Financial management, HR management, Call Center and Help Desk services are common SaaS application purchase decisions made by LOB owners.

More often than not, LOB owners involve a technology advisor in the purchase decision for final approval and consultation. Cloud integration, security concerns, and the need to centralize technologies are common reasons to include a technology advisor. Without the input from a trusted advisor, the costs of Cloud adoption can increase, and the creation of silos from lack of integration can result.

Navigate Cloud Security Concerns

Due to the nebulous nature of Cloud Computing, Cloud Security can be a challenge to manage and is only as strong as its weakest link. By proactively managing their technologies and workflows, companies can avoid security issues including lack of regulatory compliance, malware infection and denial of service attacks. Seeking the support of a trusted technology advisor provides an unbiased perspective for performing due diligence on suppliers and partners so your business can use the Cloud with confidence.

Ensure that your Cloud Service Providers monitor their systems for malware and utilize firewalls and encryption. These actions protect your assets in the Cloud and ensure that Unified Communications, Web Hosting and other customer-facing applications run smoothly.

Manage Internal Change from Digital Transformation

Cost savings and integration resulting from Cloud Adoption will have a positive impact on internal operations. Building new policies, or updating existing policies and procedures, allows your employees to take full advantage of Cloud Computing Adoption. Also consider reviewing how you monitor performance for your network, applications and Cloud Services. Keeping things performing will contribute to the overall productivity and savings realized from Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing adoption drives change at many levels in today’s business world. With the help of a technology advisor you can get the most from your Cloud Computing investment. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your technology advisor to lift your business to the Cloud.