How to Streamline your Business Communications for Increased Productivity
Communications, notifications and information scattered across a variety of unlinked devices and applications cost the U.S. economy $650 billion annually, according to Taher Behbehani, CMO of BroadSoft. A study conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey found that unified communications significantly chips away at these pervasive losses by linking disparate modes of communication and changing the way work gets done – saving as much as 20 minutes per employee daily due to efficiency gains. This makes Unified Communications (UCaaS) an organizational and business imperative.
Why Unified Communications?
With WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype for Business and a host of other apps growing in popularity, there are more ways than ever to end up with disjointed communications. This can lead to gaps and delays that impede work getting done.
With Unified Communication Systems, you can access voice, video, voicemail, instant messaging, employee presence information, conferencing, and web collaboration through a single platform — significantly improving your productivity. The right unified communications tools also give you a single interface for knitting together the various tools you use to perform your work. This may include office applications, enterprise software, team productivity tools, and even shared storage services such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox.
Increase business productivity
The expected productivity and cost benefits of UCaaS solutions are a great driver for giving up your premises-based hardware (PBX) and making the move to the cloud. UC applications offer scalability and redundancy, perfect for businesses in flux. Perhaps more importantly, Uc also supports seamless access to business communication from any mobile device. Employees at organizations of all sizes have the potential to be more efficient and to work with greater flexibility. Consider all the steps involved with scheduling a traditional conference meeting. A modern UC solution can streamline each step of the process in comparison. These are powerful features that make it faster and easier to get work done
These are powerful features that make it faster and easier to get work done.
Save money on business communications
UCaaS reduces IT administrative burdens by shifting technology investments and maintenance burdens to your single service provider. The alternative requires separate products, administration and integration services for IM, voice and video. Which one would your IT team rather manage?
UCaaS provides flexible features that increase productivity, manage rising costs, and provide your business with a highly adaptable working infrastructure that supports varying job roles, from contact center agents to field workers.
Unified Communications features
Save your company money by completing projects faster using identity-based communication. Traditional communication solutions are typically device-centric and are often limited to just voice. With UCaaS, however, you call people, not devices. There is one assigned number per name, no matter if they’re calling from their computer, cell phone, or office phone. Communications can include text, voice, or video – and the mode used can change throughout the conversation without interruption.
Collaborating with and contacting your colleagues has never been more simple with features such as:
1. Multi-device Ringing
It’s easy for users to determine how they can be reached. Depending on user preference, one or many selected devices can ring simultaneously, in sequence, or by preference — fewer calls are missed and business gets done faster.
Display your current availability status on your instant messaging profile so others can see when you are available, busy, in a meeting, mobile or offline. By broadcasting your status, team members know when they can quickly ping you to get questions answered or when to check back later. The best part? You’ll experience fewer meetings, voicemail messages and emails.
In addition to manual toggle, a combination of keyboard activity, phone line status, calendar and location information is used to determine your availability. By chatting only your internal colleagues in the middle of important customer calls, for instance, your team can make important decisions without skipping a beat.
3. Multimodal Communications
Instead of calling someone, conversations today are often initiated in other ways, such as text or video. UC allows all conversation types to be part of the same thread. The modality of the conversation isn’t fixed to a certain type (such as audio) or limited to just one modality at a time. You can quickly pick up conversations where they left off since the chat, recording and/or documents are all linked within the UCaaS application. Persistent availability, irrespective of the device, lead you to better communication and higher productivity.
4. Mobile Clients
Phone numbers remain company property, even though the device may not. UCaaS eliminates the geographic restrictions of both work and the work phone. For exam- ple, many companies are now leveraging employee-owned mobile devices to cut their overall technology costs. A mobile client makes calls that originate from the employee device look as if they are made from an office phone instead. Employees can work from where they choose on their de- vice of choice and keep their personal number private.
Training employees on communication systems
UCaaS is a solution meant to streamline communications, but simply acquiring the technology is not enough. Training matters. Organizations are advised to carefully plan how best to promote widespread adoption and engage others in the launch process early on. Training will ensure those benefits are fast-tracked and that you reap the full benefits of your investment.
We’ve all been there. You launch a new service and you have limited adoption. Superusers may have gotten what they needed, but what about the rest of your team? Learning UCaaS properly can transform the way you work, engage, and communicate. Unfortu- nately, it is often bypassed. A recent Softchoice survey regarding UC adoption found that a third of employees receive no education at all regarding new services. Studies consistently link this decision to bypass end-user training to short-sighted attempts to save money. Cost savings fail to materialize, though, if employees don’t get on board.
UC Adoption is plug-and-play, meaning calls can be made immediately and you waste no down time switching solutions. Many aspects of UCaaS are highly intuitive and easy to pick up on your own. You can easily make and receive calls without training or a manual, for instance. However, for more advanced features, your service provider will need to update training as system upgrades occur. That means IT and training staff aren’t burdened with developing training courses — they can simply adapt the new training to their needs. Users can start with the features they are accustomed to and then learn the new, advanced features later. It isn’t an “all or nothing” usage.
You can also teach a small number of coworkers how to perform internal training, saving money on external vendors. This also helps you to customize training to your organization and to the terminology you use. Lunch-and-learns, demos, and “bring your device to work” days can teach users how to streamline and simplify communications and get work done using their favorite endpoint.
Take into account the communications patterns among those in different job roles. For example, contact center agents use communications differently than someone working on the manufacturing floor. By personalizing the training ex- perience, you can boost adoption of cost-saving productivity features.