Businesses today have realised how important it is for communication to be easily accessed and flexible for employees. Being in a fast-paced and highly demanding environment, companies should be able to keep up with the trends. Businesses need technology-driven solutions to thrive and Unified Communications (UC) might be the perfect solution.
UC connects different digital communication tools to a system supported by a centralised database. The benefits of Unified Communications include an integrated suite of applications and services designed to facilitate communication and collaboration of organisations. Team members can have higher levels of interaction through UC and it can be equipped with instant messaging, audio and video conferencing screen sharing and more.
Why Businesses Are Reluctant to Try UC Systems
In a typical setup, people tend to be hesitant in trying something new, even more so in businesses where the risks are higher. When deciding to switch from an old system to a new one, companies may encounter setbacks about operational setups and may have business delays.
Just like any other system setup, these are the common problems that companies experience when switching to a UC system:
1. Underestimating the implementation
Many of us tend to dither or become complacent in dealing with new projects. It is common for people to think that a project will just be easy when we run low on energy to plan and think about contingencies.
That could also happen in a UC system migration. As a result, implementation could go beyond the timeline and budget. It is important to find a trustworthy provider that can guide you through implementation and can manage your expectations.
Companies should also consider the following factors affecting the final cost and timeline of the implementation, as well as compare different Unified Communication platforms:
Foresight is the key and planning helps. Be sure to put the right amount of time and money into each factor and have an experienced and trustworthy provider to help you.
2. Using public internet connection for the UC system
Businesses don’t want their communications disrupted, and a UC system will be a great help in preventing that, but don’t run it over a public internet connection as when you use the public internet, your UC data will be transmitted along with all public internet data.
During peak hours of public internet usage, your UC apps may experience a lag and communication may be disrupted because the public connection is occupied with data transmission.
Data security and reliability are also at risk when using the public internet. Engaging in UC system migration should come with investing in your private data connectivity and cloud exchange.
3. Spending over the budget for UC features you don’t need
In implementing a UC system, companies should be able to establish a balance between the price and the value they get from the system. The cheapest provider available may not be able to give you the desired quality of service and security but the most expensive provider with the most tempting add-on features may exceed your planned expenditure.
To avoid these pitfalls, companies should maximise the budget by ranking UC features according to need or importance. Select only some features based on their ranking that fit your budget and start from there.
4. Unable to properly train staff for the new system
Similar to other system migrations, company staff should be well oriented on how to use the newly installed UC system. One major factor that could hinder this is time constraints. Again, you must set a realistic timeline for this implementation and make sure training is given a generous amount of time. The business may also consider creating a team composed of key personnel dedicated to training staff members.
A UC system migration can be stressful, just like other major changes you have embraced in your company. It may look chaotic, but for those who enjoy a challenge, it could be fun. In embracing a major step up, it is important to note that a little discomfort, in the beginning, can save your business from a lot of pain in the future.
Benefits of Unified Communications System for Business
A growing business is becoming more complex and dynamic to a point where it could have difficulties in coping with the increasing demands of the modern business world. To keep up, it is imperative to possess and retain a competitive advantage. That’s why the UC system has now become a trend. It helps businesses to maintain that agility and adapt to the playful and chaotic business environment through the following:
1. Real-time and streamlined communications
A UC system equips employees with various communication and organisation applications all at once on a single contract with a provider – everything you need is in one place. These applications are designed to make interactions among team members seamless, wherever they are.
Under a UC system, information relevant to every business team member can be centralised so that it can be accessed at any time with ease. This is one of the greatest benefits of Unified Communication platforms because it allows businesses to have a smooth information flow.
- Flexible communication that moves with the users
Another concern that the UC system helps you with is flexibility. Team members can now work anytime and anywhere with the UC system in place because employees can meet, message, and make calls while at home or travelling, just as if they are in the office.
Distance is no problem as the UC system can enable employees to connect their mobile phone to the office phone system, giving them the power to make business communications wherever they are. This also means allowing team members to have a better work/life balance.
2. Improve employee collaborations
Through instant messaging and video conferencing, team members can discuss projects, tasks, deadlines, goals, and other concerns with ease, even when they are away from each other. The UC system creates a virtual, easy-access meeting room where collaboration can take place in the here and now. This can happen without taking extra time from employees to commute and deal with heavy traffic.
As a result of centralised information and communication, ease of collaboration among employees, and communication tools all in one place, the UC system has helped businesses to improve productivity, prevent downtime with great reliability, reduce overhead costs, and fuel up business expansion and scale-up.
3. Prevents downtime with great reliability
UC provides performance backup that can protect your data during downtime. When one tool goes down or not functioning well, another tool is programmed to serve as a backup.
If you combine an optimal recovery setup with a top-notch data centre and a good cloud provider, you can have your business running even during unexpected situations.
4. Improve productivity
The advantages of Unified Communications systems are not only exclusive to the business. If done successfully, customers will be happy too when you migrate to UC. With the UC system, there is better customer service. Reaching out to a company with concerns is an inconvenience for consumers because they want their concerns to be addressed as soon as possible. That’s where UC could be useful.
Through the UC system, employees can respond to customer calls even when away from their desk or out of the office. If customer calls are not answered, the UC system can redirect the call to the next most suitable employee. Plus, a pre-recorded, monotonic voice will not greet the customers.
5. Reduced overhead costs
Upgrading your telecommunication system into a cloud-based phone system enables you to save a lot on operational expenses. With UC, employees can connect their mobile phones to the company’s cloud phone system and make calls through VoIP. This can save you from paying expensive network provider costs and have everything in one UC bill instead.
With UC, you do not have to install expensive hardware to sit on-site and you can get rid of the installation cost, maintenance, and management cost. With that, you can realign your budget instead of more important plans that your business needs.
6. Make it easy to expand and scale-up
Since UC operates on a cloud-based system, you can connect with partners and employees anywhere your business takes you. It will also be easier to expand because you can reach out to anyone around the world, whether it is for career or business opportunities.
What to Look for in a UC System Provider
There is an overwhelming number of providers who offer promising business benefits of Unified Communications. It is important to consider a sufficient number of them to take into account all the available features you may need and to widen your price range options.
The objective is to assess each potential provider to close a deal with the best provider at the most reasonable cost.
Aside from the features and price they offer, here are key things to be critical about in choosing the right provider:
- The provider should have local call media. To save costs and avoid anxiety on making long-distance calls, the provider’s call media should be kept as close as possible.
- The provider should source a private data service for you. It is practical to ask the potential provider what type of internet they will connect you with. Choose the provider that has its data service.
- The provider should understand networking and telephony. Migration is a lot easier if the provider is an expert in networking and telephony. The provider should be able to configure and port old phone numbers to a UC system smoothly and accurately. The business should assess the potential provider’s experience.
- The provider should be able to accommodate phased migration. Most businesses prefer incremental migration as they may not have sufficient resources for a one-time major rollout. A phased migration also enables the business to test the system on a smaller scale, so that problems may be quickly resolved and avoided for the next phase of migration.
To sum up, look for a provider with experience and ethics. Avoid a provider that lacks vision, has poor implementation support, is inexperienced with your needs, and lacks passion for customer service. They should also be able to guide you through the process.
When considering experience and ethics, VoIPTech Solutions may be the one you need. As a leading VoIP service provider, we can help your business prosper in a competitive era with our cost-savvy solutions. Our designers, developers, engineers, and support staff are passionate, and we prioritise customer satisfaction.
We offer communication solutions such as multi-tenant conferencing, multi-tenant broadcasting, VoIP Softswitch, hosted PBX, and much more. VoIPTech Solutions is the one place for your UC needs.
Give us a call on 0203 745 0201. Our customer support is available 24/7 to answer your queries. You can also visit our website to find out more about the products we offer.