Understanding Unified Communications
What is Unified Communication?
Unified communications, also known as UC, is a business and marketing concept describing the integration of communication services. But what does that really mean?
As technology has evolved, so has how people communicate with each other. From writing a letter or faxing your information to quick instant messaging and cloud share. Technology has advanced, forcing professionals and businesses to follow suit, introducing new online ways to work together.
Unified Communications is the combination of communication tools to create a seamless conversation/workflow for your team. Using instant messaging, voice and video calls, meetings, file sharing, apps, etc. to help your employees share, connect and streamline how they work together in the company. This can be done using one or multiple applications such as a softphone or CRM system. Without UC the company has to approach multiple providers for each of their needs. Adding complexity to the whole business.
Benefits of Using Unified Communications
Increasing and improving communication in any setting will always have its advantages. More companies over the last 3 years using UC to help their employees work in synergy. Having the right UC device and platform can help;
Having the right UC platform and devices can help reduce the disruptions of slow loading times, buffering, unstable connection, and distorted sound or video. Saving time and stress for the user having to troubleshoot, wait on technical support, or possible replacements. Increasing the working time for each user.
Allowing each employee to contact other staff or management quickly and easily in their most comfortable method of communication, whether this is by phone, message, or video. Getting quicker, clear responses to keep the movement of projects and increase overall productivity for the user.
Allowing employees to choose between working from home, the office, or a mix of the two (known as hybrid working), or on the move. Using a platform with supporting devices to quickly go from each location, or stay in their preferred place. This also helps those who work remotely to feel more connected with their colleagues for quick conversations through messaging to more in-depth connections through video meetings which can reduce the feeling of isolation for remote workers as they are able to see other colleagues and read non-verbal cues, such as body language.
Enhanced customer experience:
For roles such as customer service, having a clear means of communication between you and your customer can help improve the reputation of your business. The right UC device will allow your employees to quickly contact colleagues for support during difficult or challenging calls so they are able to give the customer the correct information. This subsequently increases team bonding as they are able to rely on each other for quick support.
Having one software package that is capable of running all your devices and communication can reduce the overall expenses of separate software. Allowing companies to have more choice of different plug-and-play devices rather than one own brand-compatible model can also help to reduce costs.
Disadvantages of UC
With every advantage, there is always a disadvantage. With the evolution of technology to support UC’s new way of working, there are 2 main disadvantages;
With any new system, staff have to be trained. Spending time and money training staff on how the new system works and/or how the company would like the software/devices to be used. For some staff, this can be a challenge to adapt to an online system or accept the change. This is something for every employer to evaluate before committing to a full UC system.
Updating current hardware:
The new system or hardware may not be compatible with what you already have in place. Integrating a new system can be difficult without the worry of if it will work or integrate with your current system. Checking the compatibility of all your devices, phone systems and computer services is key to avoiding large expenses, and may also highlight any major upgrades needed to utilize all the UC features.
JPL with Unified Communications
JPL works with the UC industry by working with unified providers, softphone, desk phone and computer manufacturers to make sure our headsets and video conferencing solutions are compatible. We have also made sure that the majority of our USB devices follow our plug-and-play, software-last approach. This means that there is no need to download any third-party software for the device to work with your computer and that it is compatible with all major softphones and UC systems.
JPL’s next steps in UC
With the rise in video conferencing requirements within the UC industry, we at JPL are also evolving. Introducing our video conferencing solution range in 2021 with the Vision+, Vision Mini and Vision Mini+ webcams. All of these have been very well received in the UK, USA and European markets. With this success, we have expanded this range with the introduction of the JPL Spitfire conference room camera, JPL Agora large meeting room video soundbar, and the JPL Convey portable speakerphone.