Unified Communications: What Is It and How Can It Help Your Business?

MSP BusinessExcising Redundancies

Unified communications will help streamline your business’s ability to operate cost-effectively, and the drawbacks are far outweighed by the benefits in the majority of cases. Just consider the three primary ways people remain in contact:

• Email
• Instant Messaging
• Telephone (mobile and “land-line”)

Unfortunately, you can’t really get rid of “snail mail”, but at the same time, because of its slowness, it isn’t regularly used in a communicative capacity anymore. Very few people send letters back and forth to one another. Today it’s all done with e-mail, or via text message. While people do still make telephone calls on “landline” phones, these can also be consolidated into a single package that utilizes the Internet.

Really, modern communication unification means Internet consolidation: using the web as a means of conducting all contact, outside that which must be physically dealt with like ballots or packages. One of the most efficient ways the Internet is being used to consolidate resources is via telephone communication facilitated online: VoIP.

Voice over Internet Protocol

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is an extremely cost-effective way of handling telephone communications through the same service that provides your business Internet connectivity. Instead of paying a separate phone bill and Internet bill, with VoIP, you can combine the two together and save money. Additionally, this service allows you to make calls to and from devices that are mobile, or of the landline variety. Voicemails can likewise be saved on your organization’s computer system, making them easier to access and catalog for infrastructural, operational, and security reasons. With VoIP, you’re able to get unlimited calling at a set monthly rate. Unified communications of this variety also increase how predictable your bill ends up being. With most packages, you can kiss overages goodbye.

Disadvantages?

The primary disadvantages with such communication consolidation come in the transition period, where you’re replacing old components with new ones, and employees must adjust to the change. Depending on the size of your organization, this advantage will be greater or lesser; but even in the direst circumstances, the savings experienced by the group who makes the switch far outweigh these initial transitional bumps in the road.

Competitive Advantage

In a market that is steadily shifting toward cloud computing arrangements and even regular online visual communication via Face-time, Skype, iChat, and other applications, it’s getting to the point where not having a VoIP option could actually represent an ineffectively costly operational roadblock. It’s possible for businesses to conduct face-to-face meetings in real time, internationally, with very little disruption in service. Each year these options get more trustworthy.

But even more integral than businesses communicating with one another via video is customers being able to talk to a real customer support representative who they can see is a flesh-and-blood human being. Not only does this cut down on dissatisfied customers over time, it also gives your business a more professional veneer that becomes externally remarkable. When suddenly the futuristic tropes of your childhood are at your fingertips, and manageable, it tends to slightly alter you’re thinking as regards business “A” or “B”. Where business “A” has Skype customer service reps, business “B” keeps everybody stuck on hold while a robot updates them every several minutes, and may funnel them into an electronic queue that’s never seen a human operator and never will.

If you’ve consolidated your communications into a unified front, such options become more affordable to you. If you are paying separate bills for your telephone and Internet arrangements, such solutions simply aren’t possible — unless you want to overload your existing network randomly and deal with the fallout.

Technology Navigation

Unified communications are bringing people closer together while consolidating their expenses. Going this route isn’t only wise for businesses; it also makes sense for households looking to save a little money on the back-end without curtailing their ability to communicate with the world. For businesses or individuals, it only makes sense to work with an organization that has a long track record of providing trustworthy technology services; that can comprehensively explain the changes to you and has a vetted history of satisfied clientele. The Internet has already taken over; it’s time to start making it work for you.

Michael Fitzgerald
Spacelink
San Diego, CA

About the Author

IT Support San DiegoMichael is the CEO of Spacelink, providing IT infrastructure cloud hosting services and IT support in San Diego since 2001. Michael has over 9 years of experience in IT infrastructure and has a passion for simplifying the complexities of information technology and cloud services. Spacelink exists to help companies propel their businesses with a well-reasoned IT strategy and forward-thinking technology that’s cost effective and reliable. Spacelink was recognized as a top Managed IT service provider in North America by MSP Mentor in 2016.