When most people think about phones in the workplace they see the phone on their desk and think, “Well that’s the device I use to make calls. I pick up the receiver and hear dial tone.”
In today’s world the way we communicate has changed dramatically. It’s no longer just about the dial tone. With the advent of smartphones, tablets, and applications there are many more ways we can communicate with each other.
Introducing Unified Communications…
Unified Communications is a comprehensive solution that incorporates the various means of communicating with each other under one umbrella. Examples of these are below:
- Telephony – This is what most people think about when they think phone systems. There is a phone on the desk that is connected to a phone system used to make and take phone calls. Now with unified communications tools, we introduce the soft phone. You might not need a phone on that desk after all!
- Instant Messaging – Instant Messaging, or IM, is basically like texting, but using a business-like application on your device. It’s designed for quick dialogues back and forth. Using an IM application also allows you to have group chats, share documents, and share your desktop. We can stop using email as an IM tool now!
- Presence – Studies show that 80% of all attempted calls end up unanswered. Presence increases the chances of an answered call by displaying if the person on the other end of your internal call is available. If Presence displays that the person is unavailable you can either try someone else to get what you are looking for or simply leave a message for that person. A great way to connect a distributed workforce.
- Mobility – Smartphones are becoming a very important part of our business lifestyle. Most phone solutions today have an application that can be loaded onto your smartphone. This application then acts just like your extension in the office. People do not need to know your personal mobile phone number. They dial your extension and it rings on your smartphone. You can also make outbound calls using the application and caller id displays your work number to the person you are calling. Smartphones and smart apps are becoming a major part of your corporate phone system.
- Audio Conferencing – When multiple people want to talk to each other at the same time you can either conference them in directly on your phone or setup a conference bridge.
- Video Conferencing – There are times when meetings need video interaction. Video conferences allow people to meet with each other using conference rooms and/or personal desktop video solutions. This type of conferencing is gaining in popularity since it’s the next best thing to being there but doesn’t come with the typical travel costs.
- Web Conferencing – Solutions such as WebEx and GotoMeeting are good examples of Web Conferencing applications. Within these types of meetings you can add audio, video, and application sharing to display various types of content.
- Visual Voicemail – When we perform assessments for organizations one of the most common complaints is that you have to listen to all of your voicemails before you get to listen to the message you want to listen to. With Visual Voicemail you can click on the voicemail of your choosing to listen to it. You can also forward the message to someone else, append the message before sending it, or archive it for future reference.
- Unified Messaging – This feature gives you the ability to access your voicemail messages in your email inbox. People are more willing to listen to a message that is in their email versus dialing into their voicemail server. Some systems now offer a full transcription of the voicemail so you have the text in an email.
- Contact Center – Businesses use Contact, or Call Centers today to take a group of people and place them into a queue to take incoming or make outgoing calls. Contact Center applications are powerful ways to group these people together no matter their physical location. A supervisor can manage the Agents from a central location and make management decisions based on the reports given back to them.
As you can see there is much more to the phone systems of today. Unified Communications is the future of communications that is available to you today!
To find out more about this or other ways we can assist you with your business needs, contact us at 800.274.3978 or email us.