Business collaboration and communication are being drastically improved thanks to unified communications (UC). Whereas companies previously had to use various communication tools, frequently resulting in confusion, inefficiency, and higher costs, today’s businesses can combine multiple collaboration and communication tools into a single platform with UC, making communication more streamlined and seamless.
In this blog, we will explore how unified communications can help businesses improve their collaborative efforts, the benefits it provides, and the best practices to take your business to the next level.
What is unified communications?
Unified communications (UC) refers to a group of tools that make it possible to combine various channels of communication and teamwork onto a single, unified platform. It enables users to interact with others and collaborate in many ways. That includes channels of communication such as voice calls, video, instant messaging, email, and more, all operated from a single interface.
UC technology includes a variety of other communication and collaboration technologies, such as:
- Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and IP telephony: This tool lets users make voice calls over the Internet instead of using traditional phone lines.
- Video conferencing allows real-time video conferences between multiple participants streaming from different locations.
- Instant messaging and presence: It allows a real-time chat between individuals and displays participants’ availability or online status.
- Email: This function facilitates asynchronous communication and file sharing.
The primary objective of UC is to help users simplify and streamline communication and collaboration, increase productivity, and reduce costs associated with maintaining multiple communication tools by offering them a single platform to manage various needs.
UC solutions are effectively implemented in businesses of all sizes – from small to large firms. They are dynamic platforms that can be hosted on-premises, in the cloud, or hybrid environments.
Benefits of unified communications for collaboration
Unified communication platforms provide users with various benefits to help them efficiently manage multiple aspects of their business. That includes:
- Boosting team performance: UC helps boost team performance by being an engaging and convenient platform applicable to individuals across all levels of an organization.
- Generating leads: Certain types of UC technologies not only just help improve communication but can also help you generate quality leads with the valuable tools it provides.
- Reducing costs: UC can lower the costs of maintaining multiple communication tools by offering them all on a single platform.
- Increasing work productivity: UC platforms help employees identify the availability status of team members and offer them more efficient methods of communication than standard communication lines.
- Improving engagement: Users can interact with companies that use UCaaS systems using social media, client-centered applications, or call center tools to get real-time feedback and adequate facilities to increase customer satisfaction.
Best practices to improve collaboration with unified communications
Now you know what unified communication is and its benefits. Let’s look at some best practices to improve your collaborative efforts with UC.
1. Use integration features for collaboration
Using fundamental integration features can help you promote collaboration and boost engagement within your company. Fortunately, there are many useful unified communications features, such as calendars and scheduling services where employees get email and SMS when a meeting is started or canceled.
All unified communications solutions have integration with e-mail services. Employees can get transcripts from video conferences immediately after the meeting finishes. Moreover, they can also get a text of any VoIP audio message from colleagues through email.
Employees can interact using the preferred methods, such as live video calls, text messaging, or audio calls, from a single unified platform that provides the team with much communication freedom. With the help of a central dashboard, users can easily access all necessary interface elements, data, and statistics to facilitate their projects.
By combining IP geolocation, IP intelligence, and unified communications, businesses can keep track of company-owned devices, provide better protections for digital content distribution, and helps comply with licensing, distribution agreements, and regulations.
2. Embed company-wide data security
Using a common UC platform will help you keep all communication and correspondence under one roof in the company and implement top-level encryption. All employees should get the same data security even in a BYOD scenario.
Regularly update all devices’ OS and web browsers to prevent attacks and give the best experience. Do an inventory of your business tools like Google Analytics to define weak links and tools with poor security and disputable privacy policies.
To make data security a competitive advantage, you can hire a data privacy ambassador to educate other employees, improve privacy principles, lead conversations, and find resources for specific changes. Creating a privacy-centered company culture takes time and effort, but it pays off well in the future.
3. Enable user profile management
Managing all employee information and access in small or large enterprises is essential because only some users need access to everything. Giving employees access to the tools, external apps, and security requirements they need at the right time will make it easier for them to adopt for daily use.
Effective user profile management can help you identify which business areas require improvement, easily track your team’s results, and keep organizations secure.
4. Facilitate remote employees’ collaboration
One of the significant challenges associated with remote work is the need for more effective involvement in team projects. Fortunately, UC helps improve alliances with remote employees by displaying the availability status of team members along with the best methods of communication to reach out to them effectively.
For example, you can use white-label softphone and instant messaging to work on team projects more efficiently. That creates a productive atmosphere and participation in team project decision-making.
5. Develop a communication policy
Creating a communication policy is an effective practice to boost collaboration. It can guide team members toward using the best channels to communicate and collaborate, including providing enough flexibility for remote workers.
It embraces out-of-work communication in non-real-time, such as a work email or IM, but the recipient won’t open the message until he is available to work. So, a good communication policy can help you define channels for the project, team, non-work, and company-wide communication.
6. Incentivize positive collaboration
Regularly creating contests to promote teamwork and collaboration is a good practice. They can use analytics and user data from UC platforms to foster friendly competition amongst teams or departments.
Ensure to keep track of things like the use rate and how many people contributed to a file or document. These incentives encourage workers to use their resources fully and contribute more towards the goal.
The insights we gained into how UC benefits an organization and helps boost collaboration are critical in the PR industry. UC is a well-established, tried, and tested way to communicate effectively in a company and maximize resource management while reducing costs and saving time.
Today’s corporate world depends heavily on unified communications as more workers work from home instead of in an office. The above practices can help you integrate unified communications into your business and make your company’s communication infrastructure.