Once the preserve of big business, Unified Communication is a productivity tool that mid-sized businesses are now adopting.
That’s because Unified Communication (UC for short) offers huge scope for immediate productivity increases.
Here are five ways UC can improve productivity in your business:
1. By eliminating ‘phone tag’.
Through real-time presence reporting, UC lets you know where a colleague is, what they’re working on, and whether they’re available to take a call.
If they’re busy or in a meeting, UC can estimate when they’ll be available and notify you the instant they are.
Not only does this eliminate ‘phone tag’, it also improves productivity across the board by letting everyone in the business to work smarter and more efficiently.
2. By allowing ‘best-method’ communication.
UC similarly enables everyone in the business to choose the most appropriate communications method at any time.
Taking into account either a contact’s status, current activity or geographic location, communicators can choose to call, voice-mail, video conference, email or instant message – whatever the most productive medium is at the time.
3. By integrating your handset with Outlook.
The best UC systems integrate the handset on the user’s desk with Microsoft Outlook.
This allows you to quickly make or redirect calls by clicking on a contact, removing the need to remember numbers, extensions or the correct combination of buttons for forwarding a call.
4. By allowing you to control incoming communications.
UC allows you to decide how and when you’ll be contacted. If you need to go uninterrupted, a simple click will divert all calls to voice mail.
UC systems also provide everyone in the business with a single phone number, able to reach them both at their desk or on their mobile.
5. By empowering your receptionist.
One person likely to experience a large productivity boost from UC is your receptionist. A typical estimate of time-saved answering and directing calls via UC is around 50%.
You’ll also improve your businesses’ responsiveness and customer service by allowing your receptionist to check that a contact is ready to receive a call before putting your customer on hold – easily redirecting the caller to another contact if they are not.
Thanks to the cloud and other recent developments, UC is now easier to deploy and integrate with existing systems – making it a fast way to find a range of productivity increases with a rapid return-on-investment.
Robert Chau is Telephony Practice Manager, Brennan IT