Remember how clunky traditional conference calls used to be? You had to go through the string of hardware and internal checks before you could join a call. Even after all that, it was a waiting game of whether or not a participant maybe joining you. The whole process lacked any intuitive communication path. Over last decade, however, things have changed dramatically in the world communication.
Technologies used in B2B Unified Communication (UC) systems are overlapping with current consumer communication technologies. Consumer applications that provide direct messaging facilities such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and many more are convincing business users to leverage their offerings for UC. While we will be concentrating on UC technology for businesses in this piece, the way consumer tech has influenced the way we communicate with instant messaging, video conferencing, AI-driven features, unified messaging, and speech recognition, is impossible to ignore, even when it comes to UC.
The primarily differentiator between consumer communications and business UC, is that solutions for businesses need to offer greater capability and strategy for seamless collaboration and communication across geographies, irrespective of hardware, application, and network specifications of individual locations. Any business UC should have three main components—invisibility, time-saving abilities, and a collaborative environment.
Business UC solutions should be invisible because the lesser users interact with the hardware, the better it performs. An ideal UC is an integrated system is designed to run along with other business activities. This communication solution should allow automation to perform behind the curtains to boost efficiency in the workplace and therefore, create more time for individuals to focus on achieving business goals.
2. Time-saving Abilities:
Good UC solutions go well beyond setting up con-calls. They aid organization-wide communication and collaboration, simplify activities, and save time. For example, a UC calling service sets up calls, provide support during calls, and provide follow-up services, including recording and transcriptions, text-to-speech transcription, and even click-to-dial technology that makes calling much quicker and error-free.
A user should be able to move from one communication platform to another seamlessly without changing the user login, giving employees ease of access to all forms of corporate communication, from email to voice call to video conferencing.
3. Collaborative Environment:
As more and more business interaction and transaction is being conducted in the virtual space. Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) should be able to use cloud solutions to enhance communication and collaboration. Cloud services offer a virtual environment that is essential for communication and has software-defined options that support business operations. It eliminates the confusion and ensures the right person can access the right information within the business.
Mobility in UC technology is vital for a modern workforce as they are often physically disparate. The collaborative approach is an essential tool for addressing the changing needs of businesses with collapsing time and space constraints.
What should your UC solutions have to serve you best?
Now that we know the components and capabilities a good UC should have, it is time to examine what channels of communication are the most important for your organization. But there is a good bet that the four aspects mentioned below will be handy for any organization looking to scale up business communication.
Voice and Instant Messaging
Voice communication has to move beyond the barriers of language. Using a UC platform’s language converter, two users can communicate without actually knowing each other’s language.
Instant messaging is indispensable for increasing the efficiency of internal communications. Using instant messaging, a user can communicate with internal (and sometimes external) teams eliminating delays. Instant messaging is perfect for shorter forms of communication that can be accessed through every device connected to a network.
Applications available on desktop should also function smoothly across mobile devices. However, most applications do demand exorbitant memory and processing speed to make them work on mobile, hence a limited number of features are available on mobile. UC as a Service is one option as businesses move towards digital transformation, it offers flexibility, improves solutions, and reduces costs.
UC applications can even integrate with users social media. For example, if a user is not present on their system, the UC application will automatically change the status of user to ‘Away’ and communicate that message externally using other integrated social media platforms. An integrated solution can provide a business with the ability to track which communication channel is being utilized the most by a user. Even calendars can be synched across the devices to ensure more efficient scheduling.
Tools for Reporting and Analytics
Reporting and analytics is a very important aspect of any business operation, and these tools provide managers with all the details they require to monitor progress efficiently. Information such as what types of calls are being made, call duration, and messages exchanged, etc. is easily accessible should someone choose to review it. Now with AI voice analysis an organization can even predict the tone of the user’s voice, taking them through targeted solution structure.
Good mobility solutions are geared to bringing communication and collaboration to every user, making geographical boundaries irrelevant. And UC solutions are in for the long haul, according to Gartner there has been a growth of over 20% for every year since 2015 in the UC business, and consumers spent USD 1,791 million on UCaaS in 2018, which was a whooping USD 1480 million more than what was spent the year before. Gartner projected that this market segment will be worth USD 2,146 million in 2019.
The features mentioned above provide a simplistic overview of what a good UC can do for an organization. But UC features are rapidly evolving in tandem with today’s modern workspace. While, calls, mails and messaging are important, the role of virtual reality and artificial intelligence to improve communication and collaboration is undeniable. Businesses need to realize the potential of advanced UC platforms to appreciate the benefits of adopting them.
To know more, you can download our latest Whitepapers on Unified Communications.