Business excellence is propagated by the notion of healthy competition, inter & intra connectivity and steady growth opportunities for an increase in return on investment (ROI). According to Jack Welch, American executive & ex-Chairman and CEO of General Electric, “Number one, cash is king…, number two communicate…, buy or bury the competition.” When the modern era is craving instant and wholesome connectivity options, your business needs to stay up-to-date with the competition, so that you can stay ahead of it. Unified Communication is the ultimate key solution for the enhancement of productivity of employees and customer experience collectively. The emergence of remote work policies and bring your own device (BYOD) course of action by companies has established a need for unified communication as a service. In addition to addressing more traditional communication issues, unifying connections among departments keeps everyone on the same page.
Defining unified communication can be simply put as the process of integrated business communication that optimises human interaction by diminishing invisibility, removing device dependency & managing transmission of information through a functional suite that can be accessed from anywhere. Unified communication integrates multiple business communication tools such as voice calling, video conferencing, presence, content sharing, etc. merging into a seamless interface for enhancing the productivity and user experience. In the broadest sense, unified communication can be honourably mentioned as the method of delivering both real-time and non-real-time communication based on the personalisation of the mediums. An enterprise can easily be supported by unified communication to administer various types of interaction modules across multiple devices and applications while being integrated with back-office processes, applications and software using certain protocols for improving customer service, revenue, business agility and overall results.
To analyse and appreciate unified communication breaking it down to its components will clear the perspective.
Components of Unified Communications
An ideal unified communication system might contain some or all of the below-mentioned components however it will always be a combination of elements and not a single product.
1) Call Control
The process of utilising the telecommunication networks to maintain and monitor the connectivity once the connection is created. In cloud telephony solutions, call control is one of the three important categories of communication traffic along with media communication and call signalling.
2) Multimodal Communication
Multimodal communication can be defined as the competence of users to share presence information for enabling and modifying instant messaging into voice or video conferencing sessions.
Being one of the key components of unified communication, presence can be defined as the service that accepts, allocates and collects presence information which is the status indicator of the capability and preparedness of a user to communicate.
In unified communication, messaging includes instant messaging, unified messaging, email, voice mail and video messaging.
a) Instant Messaging – The technology that allows real-time text transmission over a computer network or the internet is called instant messaging or IM. Some of the top instant messaging applications used by businesses are WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram, Hangout, Facebook Messenger, etc.
b) Unified Messaging – The process of integrating various electronic messaging and communication media into a single interface is called unified messaging. In comparison to the traditional system, unified messaging stores all the messages in a single system. Although unified messaging is a part of unified communication all of the unified communication services are not related to unified messaging.
c) Email – The facility to send messages and attachments to both colleagues and customers is emailing. Some of the top email service providers in the market are Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! Mail, iCloud Mail, AOL Mail, etc.
d) Voicemail – The method of storing voice messages electronically while allowing users and subscribers for the exchange, selection and delivery of voice information is voicemail. A few examples of voicemail services available to be downloaded to your computer or mobile are Google Voice, Hullo Mail, Insta Voice, etc.
e) Video Messaging – Video messaging is a beneficial tool where the communication is done through a short & precise video in both real-time and non-real-time instead of a written text. The recent times have adopted video messaging services most productively and efficiently for both personal and business domains for ease in remote work environments. The top video chat applications used are Zoom Meeting, Google Duo, Facetime, Discord, Skype, and many more.
5) Cloud Telephony
Cloud telephony is a critical part of unified communications. Obtaining a stronghold on business communication is much easier with cloud telephony services. Accessibility of unified collaboration features like sharing files, chat, presence, video conferencing, instant messaging, web meetings, voicemail, interactive voice response (IVR), CRM integrations, mobile and desktop applications, the addition of extensions, security, and much more can be done from anywhere on any device. Some of the top cloud telephony service providers in India are MCUBE, Ameyo, Exotel, Knowlarity, IVR Guru, etc.
This component includes web, audio and video conferencing applications such as Zoom, Cisco Webex Meeting, Skype Meet Now, Google Hangouts, etc.
7) Collaboration Tools
These are the integrating digital tools that help in real-time interactions within and outside the team. These tools include virtual whiteboards, a digital vacant space that can be utilised by several people who can communicate with each other by writing or sharing the space; video conferencing and real-time audio. Some of the best collaboration tools for business are WebEx, Flowdock, Wimi, Redbooth, Dapulse, etc.
8) Mobility & Mobile Access
In unified communication, mobility means the ability to access data from remote locations across various devices.
9) Business Process Integration
A reliable business process integration (BPI) is the syncing of the internal operations of a business with other divisions & trading partners by connecting incongruent systems in real-time. The BPI ensures automation of business processes, secure sharing of data and integration of systems and services both internally and externally. The software that enables business process integration is quite a few in the market that assists the organisation in designing hassle-free management of business processes. Interfaces like ZOHO, Kissflow, Pega, Process Street, etc. are best for your business process management.
Why Do You Need Unified Communication for Business?
The elaboration of the components of unified communication already paints a clear picture of how important unified cloud services communication is for businesses. However, here few more pointers that can clarify your perspective in a more well-defined way.
- Managing your contact centre or call centre along with call report management becomes extremely easy. Many of the call management applications both build-in and third party can be integrated effortlessly with the unified communication server facilitating reduction of call volume, automation of call treatment, identification of calls, etc.
- The geographical barrier in reachability and assisting customers is obliterated as both your local and global customer base can communicate instantly and cost-effectively from anywhere in the world. Multiple as well as toll-free numbers can be made available to both clients and partners for correspondence with the organisation.
- Collaboration of the workforce has never been easier than with unified communication. Employees can communicate, share, monitor, record, and analyse the entire work process even remotely with physically being present at the office. This not only improves team spirit but also the efficiency of the employees and productivity for the organisation.
- A cloud-based unified communication platform is incredibly cost-effective and scalable. Customised packages ensure the availability of the required tools and assistance with a budget-friendly deal. Due to the cloud-based server, there is no need for additional hardware or purchasing updates.
- Devices connected across the network in a unified communication enable answering and transferring of calls fast, automatedly and consistently. Also, all the calls made are routed through an encrypted internet connection. These amenities of unified communication make it a time saving and secure solution for your business.