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Complete integration across all of your office telecom devices and apps is a BIG advantage. We all spend plenty of time (probably too much time) trying to keep up with the constant multimedia dialogue going on across all of our office channels.

The thing is, we largely don’t notice how much time and effort is really lost managing and mitigating between channels. When you bring them all together, the difference is BIG on all fronts. Let’s look at the top 5 benefits of Unified Communications (UC) for the modern business.

1. Simple to understand and use.

We’ve all had to go through the trouble to learn a new protocol, in the ins and outs of new reporting software or a freshly revamped CRM. But what if you could reduce the learning curve and improve user confidence across all of your communications?

Everyone likes simplicity and consistency, especially when it comes to new technologies. It’s why iOS and Windows 8 have become the benchmarks for user interfaces. In the business world this has the dual-effect of maximizing employee comfort and competency while reducing what some call “human latency,” or the trouble we all have from time to time managing technologies.

A similar interface and shared dashboards can do wonders in this respect. The potential for everyone on your squad to be comfortable with your arsenal of telecom tools translates to cohesion and efficiency. It also means your employees are more likely to use the tools you pay for to the fullest potential.

No more explaining to Margaret (for the 10th time) how to join the conference all from her softphone… hopefully.

2. Do more work in less time!

We, and our industry peers, have been touting this for a while. The holy grail of business management is efficiency.

UC may not give you all the answers on motivating a team to work hard and effectively, but it will surely help. In most cases all it takes to speed up a task is the ability to find who you’re looking for at the right time to improve the tedious steps in your workflow. With UC, conversations can escalate from a simple instant message into a full blown video conference with a full team. Presence let’s you see who is available and on what channel. No changing programs or devices.

3. Get your information flowing.

The bigger your company the more likely you are to encounter problems with the flow of information. Remember broken telephone as a kid? It’s kind of like that except there’s lots more kids and they all have an IP phone, a smartphone, a laptop, an email address, a voicemail account, a videochat app and more. Oh, and the message is usually complicated and may be business critical!

The least you can do to shrink the problem is make sure that information can be stored and shared between your communication tools. Take, for example, a CRM like Salesforce.com. What if your voice system could push information directly into your client or contact’s profile?

Another example: voice and email integration cuts lost time by transferring voicemail recordings right to an email address. Everything is stored in one easy to locate and commonly used application that now is now multifunctional.

Not to mention the many forms of collaboration coming down the Unified Communication (UC) pipeline: real-time document sharing, collaborative software integration, social media and fully integrated mobile devices.

4. Save on both soft and hard costs.

Let’s not forget the other holy grail of business management: cost savings.

How does Unified Communications (UC) save costs—in a measurable way!—you ask? It’s tricky question since UC is largely about improving efficiency and efficiency is notoriously hard to measure. Nevertheless, it seems companies fall into two camps here.

For those on outdated systems, there are a number of transitions associated with Unified Communications that create hard savings. It looks like UC and its related benefits may be the straw that broke the PBX’s back for many businesses. For those who haven’t yet made the move from traditional telephone systems to VOIP, there is plenty of operational and capital expenditure to be saved. And if you want UC, you essentially need VOIP.

5. Unified Communication and the BIG Picture

Last but not least is the role that UC will play moving forward as a business. There is no questioning the role that technology plays today and will continue to play in nurturing a competitive edge and sustaining a sound business strategy.

Each year we see new technologies reach the market and inch their way towards the mainstream. The more powerful or specialized these applications and devices become, the greater need there is to keep them hinged upon a general process that guarantees interconnectivity and accessibility.

Unified Communications, in its various forms, is the solution to what will surely be years of technological proliferation and network complexity. It’s how we’re going to effectively harness all the marvelous tools that businesses have at their disposal.

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6. BONUS BENEFIT!

Let’s think small for a minute, too!

Your employees can bring their devices to work! You get to be certain they love the technology they’re on because it’s their own and you don’t have to buy everyone a phone. They step into the office and connect.

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