Improve your information systems with unified communications

Nowadays, integrated tech is cheaper and more reliable than ever. It’s a great way to graduate from piecemeal business solutions that often conflict with one another and bring about more headaches than they are worth. Unified communications (UC) is one example.

What is unified communications?

UC allows you to manage all your communications as one piece of architecture rather than as several different components patched together. It integrates computer-related communication technologies like instant messaging and video conferencing with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows you to make and receive calls using the internet.

What can be integrated?

Just about every medium of communication can be integrated. This includes voice communication in all its forms — voicemail, phone calls, voice memos, and the like — as well as multimedia services like video chat and web conferencing. Real-time communication like call screening and call conferencing can also be integrated. Even data services and transactions like eCommerce and online banking can be added to a UC system.

What are the benefits of UC to small businesses?

One of the most evident benefits is having a single and flexible communication infrastructure that allows you to streamline and enhance business communication and easily manage all the components.

Features can be easily scaled up or down to support your business needs. Other benefits include:

Hypermobility

UC enables you to access your files via a wide array of smart devices, like laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more. This means you can create your office environment and satisfy customers from anywhere you please. This opens up a world of opportunity for real-time collaboration and remote work.

Improved productivity

Productivity-enhancing communication features, like call info, call routing, and more, gives staff the ability to work more efficiently and better tend to customers’ needs. Web and video conferencing calls, for instance, not only allow for real-time interactivity, but also for better collaboration. Delayed response times and gaps between dispersed teams are also minimized.

Real-time updates

Real-time presence updates share users’ location and contact information — provided that you authorize the use of this feature. This way, you can get the right information from the right person when you need it.

Single point of contact

Clearly defined points of contact ensure that stakeholders can reach you by email, phone, SMS, etc., whether they are reaching out to you from a softphone, an IP phone, email, or IM.

Reduced costs

UC eliminates travel costs and lowers phone bills since it uses the internet to make calls. It also limits the need for expensive on-site hardware, as one UC server keeps everyone connected using the aforementioned communication features.

Even better, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on office overheads by allowing employees to work from home since they’ll remain connected with their softphones even when they’re not in the office.

It’s only a matter of time before unified communications becomes the norm for day-to-day office interactions. If you’re interested in learning more about how UC or VoIP can transform your business, just give us a call. We’ll answer your questions and help you devise an integration strategy for your business.

This post was originally published on this site

Improve your information systems with unified communications

Nowadays, integrated tech is cheaper and more reliable than ever. It’s a great way to graduate from piecemeal business solutions that often conflict with one another and bring about more headaches than they are worth. Unified communications (UC) is one example.

What is unified communications?

UC allows you to manage all your communications as one piece of architecture rather than as several different components patched together. It integrates computer-related communication technologies like instant messaging and video conferencing with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows you to make and receive calls using the internet.

What can be integrated?

Just about every medium of communication can be integrated. This includes voice communication in all its forms — voicemail, phone calls, voice memos, and the like — as well as multimedia services like video chat and web conferencing. Real-time communication like call screening and call conferencing can also be integrated. Even data services and transactions like eCommerce and online banking can be added to a UC system.

What are the benefits of UC to small businesses?

One of the most evident benefits is having a single and flexible communication infrastructure that allows you to streamline and enhance business communication and easily manage all the components.

Features can be easily scaled up or down to support your business needs. Other benefits include:

Hypermobility

UC enables you to access your files via a wide array of smart devices, like laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more. This means you can create your office environment and satisfy customers from anywhere you please. This opens up a world of opportunity for real-time collaboration and remote work.

Improved productivity

Productivity-enhancing communication features, like call info, call routing, and more, gives staff the ability to work more efficiently and better tend to customers’ needs. Web and video conferencing calls, for instance, not only allow for real-time interactivity, but also for better collaboration. Delayed response times and gaps between dispersed teams are also minimized.

Real-time updates

Real-time presence updates share users’ location and contact information — provided that you authorize the use of this feature. This way, you can get the right information from the right person when you need it.

Single point of contact

Clearly defined points of contact ensure that stakeholders can reach you by email, phone, SMS, etc., whether they are reaching out to you from a softphone, an IP phone, email, or IM.

Reduced costs

UC eliminates travel costs and lowers phone bills since it uses the internet to make calls. It also limits the need for expensive on-site hardware, as one UC server keeps everyone connected using the aforementioned communication features.

Even better, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on office overheads by allowing employees to work from home since they’ll remain connected with their softphones even when they’re not in the office.

It’s only a matter of time before unified communications becomes the norm for day-to-day office interactions. If you’re interested in learning more about how UC or VoIP can transform your business, just give us a call. We’ll answer your questions and help you devise an integration strategy for your business.

This post was originally published on this site

Supercharge your office’s chat app

Do the features of your company’s chat application feel limited? With many tasks and people involved in daily work, having a centralized chat app to help you organize your team not only makes you more efficient, but it also saves time. Here’s how you can use a simple app that lets you do much more.

The convenience of chat apps has enabled workers to cut time spent chatting with colleagues and spend more time doing their tasks. What’s more, work-related software is increasingly becoming more mobile- and user-friendly, with apps like Microsoft Teams bringing together several different platforms. Here’s how you can use that to your advantage:

Use SharePoint to store and share files

You might already be using SharePoint to store files and collaborate with your teammates. But did you know that in every Teams channel, you can click the Files tab to share files from SharePoint with team members? You can also access SharePoint files already shared in the channel and use Office Online or Office Desktop to collaborate on those files.

Forward emails into a channel

You get countless emails every day, many of which might be buried in your inboxes. Fortunately, Microsoft makes it easy to forward any email message from Outlook to a Teams channel so they show up in both platforms.

To do this, click the ellipsis (…) next to any channel name and select Get email address. This generates an email address for the channel, which you can copy and use to forward files, documents, and messages.

Stick with a few groups

While you can create as many groups within your organization as you like, going overboard can result in a cluttered messaging interface that overwhelms team members. Instead, you can create groups based on the number of projects and team members involved ー you can always add more if necessary.

Set up audio conferencing

Teams lets you host voice meetings with groups or with just one team member. This is particularly useful when communicating with remote workers or clients, in which case you can give them guest access to your Teams channel. Guest access ensures they’re able to communicate with someone but unable to view private information.

Test communication strategies

Just because some of the features in Teams overlap with other Microsoft platforms, such as Yammer and Skype for Business, doesn’t mean they’re all redundant. Think of it as a chance to test different communication strategies to find out what works best for you. For instance, if most of your clients have a Skype ID, you can use Skype for client calls.

Share conversations with new team members

Teams makes onboarding new hires easy. Rather than forwarding numerous emails and documents to new employees, use Teams to share past conversations and projects with them. This enables everyone to catch up without having to deal with cumbersome documents.

Microsoft Teams and other Office solutions are equipped with plenty of useful features that can take some time to master. But by taking advantage of these tools, you’ll be able to save time and maximize efficiency without having to spend a dime. If you have any questions about Microsoft Office and how it can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

This post was originally published on this site