Unified Communications And Leveraging A VoIP Phone System
Business communications have come an extremely long way since the introduction of the telephone, but still, it is probably the most powerful communication tool we have. By leveraging technology, we are now able to integrate telephone use with other major communications tools, such as email, instant messaging and cell phone use. This is broadly referred to as Unified Communications (UC), and is a major business technology trend.
If you are running a legacy phone system which is not leveraging your IT infrastructure and Internet connection, then you are incurring greater telephone costs plus failing to take advantage of what is now available. More than this, failing to take advantage of the benefits of a UC strategy, means your business is falling behind and losing competitive advantage.
The major benefits of a UC strategy are reduced costs, enhanced collaboration, true communications mobility, and your company will enjoy communication features previously unheard of.
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, uses your existing IT infrastructure and Internet connection to allow you to make telephone calls. By using the Internet connection you are already paying for, you benefit from a reduced phone bill plus you are also leveraging existing IT infrastructure, so you have reduced infrastructure costs too. For instance, there is no need for a PBX system.
Upgrading to a VoIP telephone system is also a low-cost exercise which does not take much time to implement either. Business disruption is minimal, if not zero, and the phone system will immediately deliver benefits to your business.
Here are two major ways in which a UC strategy can help your business become more competitive:
True Mobility and Freedom from the Desk
Implementing a VoIP solution means you will free your staff from their desk phones. The modern business environment means that collaboration takes place anywhere, and restricting communication to the desk severely limits your staff’s ability to deliver value and be more productive.
The solution is to allow your staff to connect via Smartphone, laptop, tablet or any other device to their desktop phone. This allows them to participate in telephone calls using their desk phone number, they can even join web conference sessions no matter where they are in the world – they are no longer tied the desk.
A VoIP solution will be compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and devices, and no matter where they are, they can take and make their calls using their extension number for your business.
Enhanced Staff Collaboration & Productivity
Implementing a VoIP telephone system allows staff to communicate and collaborate no matter where they are. They can be sitting in the next office, be mobile or in a foreign country – it makes no difference. Staff have full access to all of your communication tools in addition to telephone calls, i.e. fax, video conferencing, voicemail, instant messaging and also file sharing.
Simply dialing your colleague’s extension gets you to them, no matter where they are, and this applies to remote and mobile workers too. More than this, the calls do not cost anything – you are already paying for the Internet connection!
Jane Wrythe is a business and technology writer and she is currently reviewing VoIP providers, such as Swift Systems in Maryland.