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What is Unified Communications, and why is it important?

Businesses are always looking to improve their internal communication and promote smooth collaboration. Unified Communications may be the best way to do just that.

At YTL, we believe our UC systems can revolutionise your approach to internal and even external communications. But what is it, and how can it help your business? Hopefully by the end of this blog post you’ll have a more thorough understanding of the benefits that the latest UC systems can bring to you.

So, what is UC?

Put simply, Unified Communications platforms combine all your business communication tools into one platform, with the goal of reducing complexity and improving efficiency.

The idea is to create a holistic system that’s more than the sum of its parts. Removing the boundaries between your tools to make each one more effective. UC Cloud includes dozens of tools and features all designed to increase your business agility. These include:

– Enterprise-grade phone system features

The heart of any UC platform is its PBX, or phone system. UC Cloud is no different.

UC Cloud packs all the features you’d expect from an enterprise-grade phone system. Advanced queues, auto-attendants, voicemails, call recordings and more can all be managed from one interface.

– Video conferencing

Third-party video conferencing solutions have become ubiquitous over lockdown, helping remote staff stay connected. UC Cloud’s systems provide a far more slick and professional video conferencing experience than you may be used to.

Video conferences can be created and scheduled in seconds. Since they are already integrated with your phone system, providing an alternative dial-in number for remote attendees is as simple as selecting an option from a dropdown menu.

The HD conferencing experience of UC Cloud is a step above popular alternatives like Zoom, giving you even more controls and features. Record your meeting, share your screen, instantly share documents with participants and even create surveys.

– Instant messaging

You probably already use an instant messaging app or service in your business, but integrating it with your other communications tools allows you to instantly share files and even your screen with your colleagues.

Ask a quick question to a colleague in an IM chat, send messages to entire teams in a group chat, or start a call in a single click. Instant messaging itself is a fairly simple tool, but UC Cloud supercharges it by using it to tie together your entire communications estate.

– Mobile and Desktop Apps

A key element of Unified Communications platforms is compromise-free desktop and smartphone access. UC Cloud’s desktop and smartphone apps are available on all major platforms, ensuring your staff can work from any device.

The smartphone app is a huge upgrade for remote and mobile workers, connecting them to head office while they’re on the move.

– Integrations

It doesn’t stop with the tools that are included in the UC Cloud package, though. Part of UC’s power lies in its ability to work at the core of your business, integrating with a huge variety of third-party apps and services. Among others, UC Cloud can integrate with your CRM and the most popular email clients and can even add web chat functionality to your website.

Why is it important?

Many people compare Unified Communications to a Swiss army knife or multi-tool, but we’re not sure that’s fair. For example, anyone who’s struggled with the tiny scissors on a Swiss army knife will tell you that they are no replacement for a decent set of shears.

The term implies compromise, suggesting UC is a jack of all trades. Not so. UC can become a central communications hub for your staff, becoming far more like a toolbox than a multi-tool. Every tool for every occasion.

For many of our customers, it has really come into its own throughout the Covid pandemic. Our UC Cloud systems promote smooth collaboration and enable truly flexible work for everyone in your business.

The most important benefits of UC Cloud include:

– Reduced costs, increased flexibility

Routing calls over the internet through VoIP eliminates a huge portion of your call spend. Calls to UK landlines and mobiles are even included in the monthly cost, giving you fixed costs to budget around.

VoIP also allows you to extend the reach of your business. Since there’s no direct link between your phone numbers and your premises, VoIP systems give you the ability to deploy dozens of phone numbers from different areas.

– Agile working

The smartphone app transforms internal calling by ensuring your staff are always reachable at their extension, whether they’re in the office, working from home or on the move.

This even extends to client calls; log in to the app and all calls to your direct dial will be sent straight to you. There’s no need to set up a call forward or even press a button. Just log in from the device you want calls to be sent to.

– Begin the customer journey sooner

In an increasingly online business environment, it is important that your potential customers have plenty of ways to get in touch with your team. 81% of Millennials and Gen-Z customers claim to actively avoid making phone calls. This means that your website is your best bet. The solution here is webchat.

Webchat is included within your UC platform and can add a live messaging feature to your website. From here, visitors and existing customers alike can get in touch with a member of your staff. This allows you to provide great customer service to your existing base and provides a simple way for new customers to begin their journey with you.

– Improved customer outcomes

A fully-integrated UC platform can transform your customer service. Enterprise-grade call queues ensure no calls are missed, keeping your callers informed about their wait time, queue position and even any special offers you’re running. Advanced auto-attendants also guarantee that your customers reach the right team for their query every time they call.

The tools of UC all combine to help you get answers to your customers sooner. With your colleagues no more than a few clicks away, and valuable caller information at your fingertips, your callers will never have to wait.

Do you want to find out more? We’d be happy to provide you with a demo of UC Cloud today, call a member of the YTL team on 01924 249 499.