What are the advantages of Unified Communications?
What are the advantages of Unified Communications?
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies to keep up with the growing demands of modern business and maintain a competitive advantage. The ability to be agile and adapt to an ever-changing business climate is at the core of business success, and this does not come without its stumbling blocks.
Common challenges that many businesses will encounter include:There are a number of common challenges that businesses face when seeking to implement a Unified Communications solution:
- Replacing end of life technology
- Adopting a cloud-first strategy
- Tackling human latency
- Improving organisational silos
- Addressing scaling concerns for global expansion
- Enabling employees to work flexibly
- Attracting talent including millennials to the organisation and adapting to a culture shift towards a reliance on technology
- Relocating or resizing offices
- Innovation opportunities
- Undertaking a merger or acquisition
Benefits of Unified Communications
One of the most crucial challenges for businesses that Unified Communications (UC) can help to overcome is a plateau in productivity. Adopting a Unified Communications program can boost the productivity of teams as it enables them to collaborate more closely. Multiple team members can work on one document simultaneously, sharing ideas and adding comments, which means less time is wasted sending work back and forth for feedback.
Unified Communications allows teams of any size to have discussions in real time through a number of applications. With Skype for Business hosted by Arkadin, participants can be added in to conversations on the fly and teams can easily switch from a chat to a video call if the discussion becomes too complex. Microsoft Teams enables users to create chat groups, work on documents collaboratively and post email threads from within Office 365 enhanced by Arkadin. Cisco Spark provided by Arkadin also allows users to meet, message and make calls at any time, from any device, helping individuals and teams to work smarter.
Business agility & expansion
Unified Communications offers the very latest communication and collaboration tools, bringing your business up to date, and beyond, ensuring that you are managing user expectations in this digital communications age.
Consolidating multiple communications products into one user-friendly interface allows for faster integration when a new company is acquired, or when the business expands globally ensuring a smooth transition.
Unified Communications also allows for seamless collaboration between different global partners, and also external partners with features such as Skype for Business Federation.
Another benefit of Unified Communication is that it allows you to be fully flexible and react to unforeseen events. Train cancellations, severe weather and broken down boilers no longer spell disaster for productivity. With ArkadinTotalConnect, these occurrences don’t have to mean the whole day is disrupted. Employees can meet, message, and make calls while at home or in transit as easily as if they were in the office. Distance is no longer a barrier for effective collaboration.
Offering increased flexibility and allowing your employees to work remotely can also promote a better work life balance among your employees. Working is no longer synonymous with an office environment.
ArkadinTotalConnect enables employees to integrate their mobile phone into the office phone system, permitting them to answer colleague, client and customer calls wherever they are. Instant messaging empowers your employees to communicate with their colleagues freely and discuss projects as if they were sitting side by side.
In addition, video conferencing allows employees to hold face-to-face meetings with their colleagues or clients from wherever they are whilst still building a strong sense of rapport without having to travel to them.
Upgrading your old PBX to a cloud-based phone system enables employees to connect their mobile phones to the company cloud phone system and use VoIP to make calls. Making both landline and mobile calls over the internet reduces costs considerably as you do not have to pay expensive network provider costs. Instead, you have one vendor for all UC services, and one bill at the end of the month.
Implementing cloud-based services is inexpensive to install as it does not require expensive hardware to sit on site. The cost of installation, maintenance and management are completely eradicated, not-to-mention the costs of training people how to use different hardware systems and employing skilled IT specialists to keep on premise services up to date.
A key benefit of this is that businesses can make significant savings on travel reimbursement costs, especially with rail season tickets set to hit an all-time high in the next couple of years.
HD video conferencing using Skype for Business enhanced by Arkadin can also negate the need for regular face to face meetings, which can save costs of travelling to and from their offices.
Improved collaboration between employees & departments
ArkadinTotalConnect arms employees with a host of applications, including instant messaging, calendar updates, screen-sharing, audio and video conferencing, all designed to make collaboration between team members seamless.
Every member of the business can access the same information, at any time, and communicate with each other with ease. This can help to reduce silos between departments, and even global divisions, to ensure the smooth running of operations and information flow.
Less administration & maintenance
A key benefit of Unified Communications is that all information is stored centrally, which makes maintenance significantly easier. With ArkadinTotalConnect, maintenance and upgrade services are included, in addition to full service consultancy and 24/7 support. This enables employees to access support quickly whenever they need it, rather than having to rely on an already-overstretched internal IT department.
Consolidating your cloud-based applications into one centralised Unified Communications solution also cuts down your administration time and simplifies it as there’s only one provider, one contract and one bill to pay at the end of the month.
A notable challenge that many businesses report facing when implementing Unified Communications is resistance to change from employees.
One of the key advantages of Unified Communications, as reflected in its name, is that it unifies programmes and people with one solution. Unified Communications programmes require cooperation from all members of the company, from the C-level executives, to the IT department, HR and the sales team; no one is excluded.
Having one solution and one rule for all can help to encourage a positive culture change throughout the organisation as all employees have a shared responsibility to make the UC programme a success.
Arkadin have a proven success methodology for change management and user adoption, which can help to ensure a smooth transition period across the organisation.
Key takeaways of the advantages of Unified CommunicationsUnified Communications:
- Helps to improve productivity as users can share and access files from a centralised location, collaborate on documents in real-time and hold audio and video conferences with multiple team members at a time.
- Empowers business agility and expansion, enabling businesses to adapt and respond to the changing requirements of their industry and have the technology in place to keep pace with their competitors.
- Allows for greater flexibility, empowering employees to work remotely, and hold HD video conferencing calls instead of meeting with clients face-to-face.
- Reduces costs as ongoing maintenance and installations costs are eradicated.
- Cuts down on administration and maintenance, with 24/7 support and comprehensive training provided by Arkadin.
- Encourages a positive culture change throughout the organisation as all employees, including C-level executives have a shared responsibility to make the Unified Communications programme successful.
For expert advice on the next stage, check out A Staged Approach to Unified Communications.
Founded in 2001, Arkadin is now the world’s fastest growing collaboration services provider - and a proud member of the NTT group, one of the largest communications companies in the world. The cloud continues to transform how business is conducted, with more innovative technologies and services being developed each year.
Arkadin not only understands the technologies that make up Unified Communications, but more importantly, appreciates how they can be successfully implemented to transform a business from one saddled with outdated communications to one that uses their Unified Communications as a business asset to become an agile enterprise.
Placing the user at the centre of all we do has been highly successful for the companies we have helped build their Unified Communications platforms. The ArkadinTotalConnect solution offers an end-to-end service. A one-vendor approach enables our clients to build the perfect systems for their businesses, knowing they have experts supporting them every step of the way.
Case StudyToday, Arkadin services are utilized by ArisGlobal employees in their day-to-day work, clocking up over 52,000 minutes per month of conferencing time. The majority of usage is in the US, UK, India and Japan. Besides hosting external conferences with customers and prospects, the service is also used internally by employees across all divisions at all levels.
Collaboration solutions provide a more engaging means to communicate effectively for our external and internal people, to feel that they are in direct touch with the organisation.ArisGlobal