Unified Communications: A Practical Approach
Each year, billions of dollars are spent by enterprises across the globe to ensure a single call does not go unanswered, an e-mail does not get lost or a conference is not missed. In fact, society’s current emphasis on free and easy connectivity means the number of communications devices will eventually exceed the number of people using those devices.
The organizations that will succeed in this environment are those that harness the power of this hyperconnectivity. That’s where unified communications solutions come in.
Unified communications (UC) solutions remove the barriers between voice, e-mail, conferencing, video and instant messaging, thereby allowing for instantaneous people-to-people communications. This means reduced time to decision, increased productivity and the ability to provide a simple and consistent user experience across all types of communications.
UC has particular appeal for business executives since it integrates business applications and processes with existing communication channels to open the door for substantial process improvements. It represents a new way of doing business, enhancing individual, work-group and organizational productivity.
According to Forrester Research, an organization that “presence enables” its applications — meaning the applications share a common platform and draw from a synchronized store of presence information — can save more than an hour a week per employee in time otherwise spent tracking down and contacting colleagues. That’s valuable time that can be repurposed toward achieving business goals.
Successful implementation of UC requires a thorough knowledge of its capabilities, such as solving business communications problems, as well as an understanding of the financial and technological considerations. These requirements are common across any vendor’s proposed solution.
As interest in UC accelerates, businesses are in search of UC-knowledgeable professionals. According to research analyst Katherine Trost of Nemertes Research