The amazing business world of unified comms
Modern businesses are looking for seamless communications solutions that integrate both fixed and mobile applications. Glenn Baker went to some major solution providers to learn about the benefits of unified communications technology – and why now’s a good time to upgrade. Mention the term ‘unified communications’ to a business owner and you’ll quickly notice a definite glaze over the eyes. It’s a concept that’s been around for a while, quietly impacting on the face of business communications, but when it comes to understanding the concept many business owners find it hard to get their head around it. “
Modern businesses are looking for seamless communications solutions that integrate both fixed and mobile applications. Glenn Baker went to some major solution providers to learn about the benefits of unified communications technology – and why now’s a good time to upgrade.
UC for small business
Meanwhile, across town at gen-i’s impressive new corporate HQ in Victoria Street West, Peter Meredith, business manager product development, informs me his company took its first real step into the UC world for small business 18 months ago with its Smart Call product. Smart Call links a business’s fixed line phone with a mobile phone through a single voicemail box. “A customer can dial a typical local number and the mobile phone will ring simultaneously. You get your fixed and mobile charges included in the one monthly fee. A lot of businesses use it because they can be contactable on either device and they have a single voicemail box for both phones. That’s basic unified comms.”
Think in terms of layering up applications, he says. Bandwidth and speed at the bottom lets you run lots more applications on top. “So you start off with high speed data then add voice on top of that, then email and intranet services, then video, desktop sharing, video collaboration and security. All of a sudden you’ve got a full service that’s available in the cloud.”. We call it “Connect, Control, Collaborate”.
The real value of unified comms is through having access to the right people and resources required to get the job done properly. It allows for easier, direct collaboration between co-workers even if they are not located in the same office, says Vodafone’s Becky Lloyd.