What is Unified Communications? The Beginner's Guide

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According to research by McKinsey, most enterprises plan to spend 80 percent of their IT hosting budget on cloud services by 2024. Interest in cloud-based technology has exploded in recent years as businesses are expanding their operations to allow employees the ability to work remotely, whether that be from home or out on the road meeting with clients.

Another driver is the fact that cloud-based services don’t require on-site servers. This allows businesses of all sizes to save building space and to enjoy enterprise-level technology with near limitless scaling capabilities.

Basically, if your business isn’t tapping into the advantages of cloud technology, your competitors could leave you in the dust. Are you willing to take that chance?

Cloud technology isn’t only for large organizations. It is a great choice for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well. Especially when it’s used as a part of a Unified Communications solution. 

What is Unified Communications? 

Unified Communications or Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud-based communications technology that uses the internet to send and receive data. This technology can be configured with a variety of options to meet the needs of your organization, including services such as phone, video conferencing, chat, screen sharing and file management.

Whether your users are offering customer support over the phone, participating in a video conference, or sharing files with one another, everything happens through an internet connection.

Since the software for your communications technology is hosted in the cloud, your business doesn’t have to buy and maintain costly hardware to run applications. There’s also no need for physical phone lines in your office, so you don’t need to pay public switched telephone network (PSTN) calling costs. In fact, with internet calling, small businesses often save hundreds of dollars every month on calling costs.

Because Unified Communications solutions are hosted on off-site servers and managed by your cloud provider, it’s also easier for you to customize your communications technology stack to revolve around your business’s needs. You can adopt additional cloud-based software, integrate your communications technology with other business apps and add or remove users easily. 

Unified Communications for SMBs 

SMBs are discovering the productivity-enhancing benefits of Unified Communications through a Managed Voice Services provider. 

There’s no one best way to communicate internally. That’s why it’s best to give your staff choices in communication methods. When co-workers need to share a file, they’ll use email. Internal chat tools work well for quick questions or comments and video conferencing software is a must-have for remote and hybrid team meetings. Phones can even be configured to create a contact center and assigned to call queues to allow staff to more effectively answer questions, resolve problems and build trust with your customers – all while working from anywhere.

This single, unified, cloud-based system is managed, monitored and maintained as part of a contract with a Managed Voice Service provider. Whether your staff works remotely, hybrid or in-office, Unified Communications brings together your staff’s favorite communications and collaboration tools so they can chat, call, meet, and message each other without ever having to search for contact information or switch between applications. 

LEARN MORE: Managed Voice Services 

6 Reasons Your SMB Needs a Unified Communications Platform 

SMB managers are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition and keep their team productive, all while keeping costs under control. One area that’s often overlooked, but is critical to success, is your communication system. On-premises phone systems can be very limiting, especially given the rapid adoption of remote and hybrid work models.

Here’s six reasons why SMBs should consider making the switch from on-premises to cloud communications solutions: 

  1. Save Money: Cloud communications solutions eliminate the need for expensive hardware and maintenance costs, allowing you to save money on setup and maintenance.
  2. Flexibility: Cloud communications solutions offer the flexibility and scalability needed to keep up with the changing needs of your business. You can easily scale up or down as your business needs change, without having to invest in new hardware or software.
  3. Collaboration: With cloud communications solutions, your team can communicate and collaborate in real time, no matter where they are located. You can also access your communication tools from any device, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
  4. Streamlined Operations: Cloud-based Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can automate your inbound call-handling process, allowing your team to focus on more complex tasks. This can help you streamline your operations while improving your customers’ experience.
  5. Remote Collaboration: Cloud-based video conference solutions can provide high-quality video and audio, as well as screen sharing and other collaboration tools. This can help your team stay connected and collaborate effectively, no matter where they are located.
  6. Better Call Quality: Cloud-based Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions provide excellent call quality, even in areas with poor network coverage. This can help you stay connected with your customers and provide better service. 

Business Communications Made Easy 

Elevate Managed Voice Services provided by Gordon Flesch Company is a Unified Communications platform geared towards forward-thinking businesses looking for a competitive edge in their marketplace.

Are you navigating choppy waters trying to bridge the gap between in-office workers, remote employees and customers in a single application? Download our handy infographic and chart a path to smooth sailing

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