If you read business journals or receive business
news alerts online you have probably come
across the term, Unified Communications. What
does it mean? Is it a passing fad?
Can UC really help your business?
Defining Unified Communications
For discussion purposes let’s shorten Unified Communications to
UC. Now, what is UC? Let’s approach it this way: look around at all
the devices you have at your disposal. These may include a smart
phone, a tablet device, desk phone, skype account (for video),
email, Instant Messaging on both your desktop and mobile devices.
Don’t forget your fax machine and e-fax accounts! There’s no
doubt, you have a lot of hardware at your finger tips. Each one has
over-lapping capabilities with the other one. And, we’re only
talking about what you may use. Take a look at your staff. Some of
them may only have a simple cell phone and desk phone but others
may be carrying quite a few devices.
The concept behind UC is twofold: consolidate devices and, in
doing so, try to streamline communication with your customers and
How practical is this? How can UC save your business money or
even make you a few dollars in the process? We can’t answer every
scenario in one article. So, we’re giving you a starting point for
researching UC further at your own pace and discretion.
Here are some scenarios to give you a better understanding.
Unifying Your Business Phone System
Many businesses have sales reps who need to travel. They need
mobile tools to connect with the office, customers and prospects.
However, with an updated UC solution, you can simplify
communications with your sales staff, clients and customer
Many IP-based phone systems provide the ability for clients to call
one phone number, reach a rep’s ‘desk’ and track down the rep in
the office or on the road. There’s no need to hang up and call a
separate cell phone number anymore. The phone system will
transfer the customer call to the rep anywhere in the world
without incurring toll charges. This saves clients time, simplifies
communication and provides consistency. This solution also helps
with company turnover. If a rep leaves, customers continue calling
the same corporate number and the caller is automatically
redirected to another rep. It’s easy to do and saves you time and
preserves business with your client.
Unifying the Office with Your Mobile Device
If you don’t use a smart phone or tablet today, go find someone in
your office who does. There are thousands of free and very
inexpensive business applications being downloaded and used on
these devices everyday. You can send images of faxes, work
documents and even meeting presentations between desktops and
mobile staff easily and efficiently. This doesn’t require extra
equipment or special training. You just need to be aware of the
tools available for you and your staff.
The future of UC and Your Traditional Office Equipment
Many traditional systems, office phones, copiers, faxes and even
traditional computers are subject to change this decade. UM
technology, the web and other factors are contributing to
foundational changes in the way we do business.
Internet Protocol or IP, is becoming the dominant platform for data
transmission. Many hardware-based tools will be replaced by
software applications that can run on mobile devices. Those
devices are connecting to local, national and international
networks via IP technologies. Voice, video and business
applications can all run efficiently on a single device and service.
As always, RAM is happy to be a resource for you. We can introduce
you to trusted vendors and partners and plan a practical, nononsense
approach that helps your business utilize and benefit
from Unified Communications today.
As always, please contact RAM if you have any questions or if you
need further assistance.
RAM Communications Inc.