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How Unified Communications Is Boosting Corporate Productivity

David Trounce
David Trounce

UCaaS technology streamlines enterprise communications by seamlessly integrating internal and external communication apps and information into external software solutions.

Most enterprises are engaged in a constant search for the magic bullet that will increase productivity and unify the communication streams available through a plethora of apps, tools, and software.

Businesses know that satisfied and productive employees will generate more revenue and often spend a lot of time in search of the holy grail of productivity apps. However, increases in productivity are often achieved by using a collection of systems, tools, and apps under one roof rather than a single solution.

Many businesses have figured out that the key to boosting workplace productivity lies in the communication systems they use. Business communications affect the quality of both internal and external relationships. The reverse is also true.

High-quality internal communications keep employees connected so they can work collaboratively. This, in turn, improves external communications with clients.

What businesses need to boost productivity is a unified communications phone system.  

What is a unified communications system?

Unified communication (UC) refers to the integration of different communication tools into one centralized system. Companies can manage all forms of communication easily. Employees and teams can access information and be in touch from anywhere at any time.

UC includes all the usual communication channels:

  • Telephone
  • Voicemail
  • Web
  • Audio
  • Video conferencing
  • Live chat

When UC is used as a service, it is referred to as "unified communications as a service" (UCaaS) and is more than just a simple exchange.

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS is a technology that streamlines enterprise communications by harnessing cloud-based services. It enables mobility across departments and staff, provides information about employees' availability, and seamlessly integrates external software solutions.

Companies that use UCaaS solutions do not have to purchase, maintain, upgrade or manage an in-house IT infrastructure. They also do not need to hire a full IT staff, thus saving time, money and resources.

UCaaS enables businesses to focus more on operations than infrastructure. Below are nine ways UCaaS can boost your company's productivity.

1. Increase employee satisfaction and happiness.

The days of employees sitting at their desks in an office all day long and punching time clocks are becoming passe. With a shift in employee expectations, advances in mobile capabilities, and recent events, workforces can now be just as productive offsite. In one survey, 75% of employees say that a flexible business environment where they can work remotely has improved their work-life balance.

Workers, especially millennials, get frustrated when meetings are dragged out or the task at hand could have been handled via email or other means of communication. With UCaaS, messages, announcements, and tasks can be sent and received no matter where your employees are. There is no need to require workers to come into the office or pull them off another task to make an announcement.

Communications are more efficient (even instant), giving staff more control over their time. This, in turn, increases their motivation and satisfaction with their job. Happy and satisfied employees are more productive and bring in more profit for your business.

2. Streamline connectivity between remote teams.

The shift to remote work requires businesses to implement flexible and seamless communication capabilities. Today's workers are accustomed to communicating via apps anywhere at any time. UCaaS simplifies business connectivity and enables efficient communication in a number of ways:

  • Employees can communicate with each other through SMS, voice and interactive video from one central hub.

  • Because UCaaS is cloud-based, as long as users have an internet connection, they get the same call quality and features as they would if they were sitting in the same office.

  • Increased mobility helps companies attract top talent with perks such as telework. Qualified candidates are more likely to accept an offer from your company if they can work remotely and flexibly.

  • Remote workers do not need to travel to an office every day and can opt in for video conferencing.

  • Doctors can provide telemedicine services to patients, and home healthcare workers can connect with doctors to assess client conditions.

  • Sales representatives visiting a client factory can connect directly with engineers in their company to analyze and diagnose issues via on-demand HD video conferencing.

  • When working remotely, workers can receive or send SMS messages and transfer calls from their mobile device to a desk phone, or vice versa.

  • A UCaaS suite of integrated solutions increases productivity by allowing screen sharing, file sharing, video conferencing, and chat.

  • Features such as integrated business apps and call transcription provide workers with the tools they need to be accountable, stay connected, and be more productive.

3. Flexible access increases productivity.

As today's mobile workforce grows exponentially, companies need a solution that enables business communications to span across multiple devices.

To meet these demands, UCaaS streamlines mobile experiences for both customers and team members.

  • Workers can stay in touch from anywhere at any time via UCaaS' cloud-based unified communications platform.

  • Team members on the go are supported with HD video, a user-friendly mobile app, group chat features, texting capability, mobile messaging, and calls.

  • Communications such as voice calls, instant messaging, and video conferencing across time zones and borders are as efficient as if they were done within the same location.  

4. UCaaS reduces costs.

Companies that combine their internet-based communications with their phone systems will save money in several ways:

  • They will eliminate the need to purchase software and hardware to build multiple systems for data, voice, video, and telephony.

  • Convert the capital investments into operating expenses by putting the management overhead on someone else.

  • Save money by eliminating the need to manage multiple global hardware support providers.

  • Combine the costs of all public switched telephone networks (PSTN) into a single UCaaS provider fixed cost.

  • Costs associated with the excess capacity you do not need will be eliminated.

  • Reduce travel costs by using collaborative tools.

5. Collaborate more efficiently and conveniently.

Modern workplace collaboration is much different than it was even a few years ago due to more effective communication options, especially instant messaging.

  • The messaging features of UCaaS solutions enable employees to streamline collaboration by sending a quick text question to another team member or in a group chat.

  • Time is saved and procrastination avoided when workers use tools such as instant messaging and presence detection to solve problems more efficiently and faster.

  • Employees can collaborate and generate messages on the go from any device such as tablets, smartphones, and even smartwatches.

  • Cloud communications and device interconnectivity offer more flexibility in hiring while not being bound to a narrow geographical area. 

  • Employers can broaden their search to find top talent when they offer remote work as an option because 80% of those surveyed consider telework a job perk.

  • Allowing workers to collaborate when it is convenient for them will increase their satisfaction.

6. Keep all data in a centralized location.

When needed data is not integrated into a complete communication data strategy, information soon becomes scattered across multiple platforms and channels. AS a result, employees must search through all their communications such as chats, emails, and texts to find what they need. 

A unified communication plan helps reduce time and energy waste and therefore increases productivity in a number of critical ways..

  • Unified communications store all the information and data you need on one centralized platform.

  • Companies that have multiple teams or locations avoid delays and reduce the risk of miscommunications with UCaaS solutions.

  • This flow of information and productive communication enables workers to have easy and convenient access to all the tools, data, and information they need.

7.  Take advantage of business continuity and disaster recovery.

Disasters come without warning and can cause severe damage to organizations that are not prepared for them.

And companies often find developing business continuity plans to be overwhelming. UCaaS solutions have you covered in the following ways:

  • UCaaS is more than just a toolset of communication services. It has built-in business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

  • A trusted UCaaS provider will ensure that all your business data and communications are safe.

  • They provide 24/7 vulnerability and network threat monitoring for safety.

  • Redundant data centers are built into the UCaaS providers’ network for reliable disaster recovery capabilities.

  • In the event of a disaster, businesses can access UC tools from any device and location to stay connected and continue their work without losing any time.

  • During a disaster, workers can still communicate with their team to access the damage and touch base.

  • Because the installation, hardware, and maintenance are installed and hosted by the UCaaS vendor, it is possible that companies might not even notice any interruption of service due to the provided redundancy.

  • UCaaS will minimize financial losses should a disaster occur. Keep your business running by letting the provider’s trained professionals handle any issues.

8. Improved speed increases productivity.

Organizations that use UCaaS services can improve their customer response times. Because all the communication channels are located on a single platform, it is easier and faster for workers to see questions and respond to them.

  • Sales teams can be alerted of queries immediately and respond promptly increasing the chances of converting a lead into a customer.

  • Workers from multiple departments can respond to more queries during working hours, thereby boosting productivity.

  • By communicating and sharing files in real-time, workers are less reliant and spend less time on long email chains.

  • Calls to business phones are quickly and automatically routed to mobile devices.

  • Employees can organize a face-to-face meeting in a few seconds with video applications. 

9. Increase security.

Cybersecurity is a significant concern for all organizations. Savvy business owners are always looking for ways to increase the protection of their data and tighten security.

With the increased use of cloud-based systems, more technologies are being developed specifically to minimize the risks of DDoS attacks, hacking, and malware. UCaaS systems come with robust network security features.

  • Data encryption is used to prevent hacking and eavesdropping.

  • Account access and administration is controlled and monitored.   

  • Software is updated and upgraded with the necessary security patches.

  • Data centers are secured with power redundancy, robust physical security, and disaster recovery.

  • Messages, calls, and other communications are protected with encryption.  

Are you ready to switch to UCaaS?

If you are ready to boost your productivity, then a UCaaS solution for your business growth and success is almost inevitable.

UCaaS boosts your company's productivity by improving the speed of communications, mitigating damage due to security breaches, overcoming collaboration challenges, keeping employees happy, and streamlining connectivity between remote teams locally and globally.

Image Credit: fizkes / Getty Images
David Trounce
David Trounce,
business.com Writer
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David is a small business marketing and web design consultant and the founder of Mallee Blue Media. David lives in Australia and is also a contributor to Lendio, Power Retail and Digital Marketing Magazine.