Integrated Unified Communications: Why It’s a Smart, Cost-Effective Move
Effective communication is a key driver for business productivity across all industries. Today’s business environment makes unified communications nearly an operational necessity.
Small businesses (SMBs) may feel such use of technology is limited only to larger enterprises with huge IT budgets. However, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a technology that offers a strategic advantage to businesses of every size.
What is UCaaS?
With the advent of cloud computing, many businesses have turned to hosted services for managing IT resources that include network topology, servers, data storage, and even complete data centers.
This evolution in technology now extends to communications infrastructure, allowing providers to offer access to sophisticated functionality without the acquisition, maintenance, and management expense that goes along with building such systems in-house.
Benefits of Integrated Unified Communications
Today’s mobile workforce presents many challenges for business:
- Teams that work remotely for health reasons
- Sales force teams that cover large territories and spend a great deal of time on the road or at customer sites
- Remote education for employees, technicians, and students
- Efficiency of service representatives
- Quality support for customers located across town or around the world
Technology is the enabler that meets each of these challenges head-on. It provides the capabilities needed to manage these business requirements with sophisticated tools:
- Live chat to connect with employees and customers
- Video conferencing with individuals or larger groups
- Email and file sharing with cloud availability
- Educational sessions and training for staff, service teams, or students
- Remote access to critical business applications
- Full voice communication from anywhere, with any device
Why Should Your SMB Adopt UCaaS?
Integrated unified communications offer many advantages for both large enterprises and small business owners:
- Reduce the demand on existing IT staff. UCaaS providers manage equipment configuration, installation, and upgrades.
- Cloud-based architecture ensures access from any location, leveraging the power of the internet.
- Scalability – pay only for what you need, with ease of expansion as your business grows or needs change.
- Financial advantage – UCaaS can often be funded as an operating expense, without the up-front cost of purchasing equipment or periodic upgrade costs.
- Security – cybersecurity is a critical concern for most businesses. UCaaS providers provide a secure environment with continuous updates for subscriber protection. Many are also compliant with regulations such as SOX, PCI, and HIPAA.
- Reliability – redundancy is built into UCaaS offerings, providing consistent access to business systems, phone connectivity, video conferencing, and internet services.
- Reduced time to implement – providers handle planning, installation, and support, accelerating deployment time.
Coupled with these operational and financial benefits are the many ways UCaaS enhances productivity for a competitive advantage.
Boost Productivity with UCaaS
There are many ways UCaaS contributes to business efficiency.
Access to Business Systems and Peers
Employees are often working from home, at job sites, or visiting customers. UCaaS is designed for mobility:
- Sales teams benefit from the power of UCaaS with immediate access to inventory levels, plant schedules, or other critical information that helps make the sale.
- Cloud storage can be used to manage files and documents securely, making important documents available to all authorized users.
- Spam callers and robocalls plague many businesses. UCaaS can offer protection from such nuisances that impact productivity and expose the business to security risks.
- Technicians can be dispatched in real time with interactive messaging, avoiding extra mileage or delays in reaching customers who need services. With remote access to applications, they arrive knowing what equipment is on-site, what is covered by warranty or service contracts, and where spare parts are available.
- When you need to connect with a sales representative or collaborate with peers or management, a quick phone call or video conference is an efficient way to resolve issues or answer questions.
Solve Business Communications and Educational Challenges with UCaaS
Online training is an incredibly useful tool provided by integrated unified communications.
- Train service technicians with a live web conference or video feed, saving time and travel expenses.
- Manage call centers with UCaaS reliability and cost-effective VoIP.
- Reach employees with important announcements quickly and efficiently. Add a personal touch with live video presentations.
- Conduct online classes for remote students with reliable connectivity and real-time feedback.
Why UCaaS is a Smart Choice
UCaaS is being implemented by both global enterprises and SMBs for many reasons, including efficiency gains and financial benefits:
- Lower initial investment through leasing equipment or bundling equipment into service costs.
- Operational expense vs. significant capital outlay.
- Flexibility – add or remove users and services as needed.
- Exchange email access in the cloud.
- Limited need for technical/IT resources in-house.
- Offer new services to employees such as videoconferencing and webinars that improve productivity.
- Access to applications from anywhere – on any device – with cloud communications.
- Security and compliance assurance.
Contact Intermedia today to discuss your business needs with our communications professionals.