When it comes to compatibility in life some things are just meant to be together; peanut butter and jelly, ying and yang, pen and paper, and now VoIP and Unified Communications. Their components and functionalities uniquely unify them, and together they provide a productivity powerhouse for business.
First came VoIP, and even 15 years ago the big names were clamoring to develop VoIP products and services. They knew then VoIP was the future of communications. VoIP standards, technologies and equipment have all evolved tremendously since then. Today you don’t have to convince businesses to switch, it’s a matter of how and when they will adopt VoIP.
As VoIP was evolving and growing so to were other forms of communication; instant messaging, email, mobility, video conferencing, data sharing, text messaging, just to name a few. Unified Communications developed due to a desire to communicate seamlessly via all these communication components. Unified Communications, or UC for short, refers to an integrated set of solutions that deliver a range of communications capabilities in a single interface, facilitating all types of communication.
So what is it that makes these two technologies inseparable? VoIP is not the same as UC, and in reality is only a portion of the UC picture, but they are unified by communications via the internet. Although most modern VoIP systems include so much functionality that they are now true UC solutions in and of themselves. They remain inseparable truly because businesses demand what both VoIP and UC solutions have to offer. And why wouldn’t they? The benefits are very attractive; customized integrations with software, massive amount of features, flexibility, scalability and reduced costs. The dramatic increase of mobile and remote workers is a driving factor. Moving away from traditional desktop technology to Unified Communications and VoIP solutions helps companies empower a more mobile workforce, while retaining productivity. Commonplace stumbling blocks that used to prohibit remote productivity such as poor face-to-face communications, collaborating with colleagues in real time, access to network data and not being able to make phone calls from their computers, are easily solved with the latest innovations in communications and collaboration technology.
When it comes to actual functionality of UC, what are businesses really looking for in their solutions? In their recent study Benefits of Unified Communications Integrations, Software Advice examines what are the most common communications functionality UC integrations enable. They surveyed organizations similar to Ancero, who integrate VoIP with other business applications. According to their data, top integrated UC tools were Screen pops and Cick-to-Call.
Their research also reveals that integrating a UC solution should be conducted by a skilled IT provider. “Only 14 percent of organizations sampled look solely to in-house IT personnel in order to customize and integrate their systems. These findings suggest that businesses will need a capable IT team with bandwidth for major strategic projects if they want to perform an integration themselves.” Cited the study. But most small to mid-sized businesses do not have the in-house IT team to build out a customized UC solution. Adding voice and UC traffic to your data network can have a significant impact on the overall performance of your network. Voice traffic must be given a higher priority on the network than data traffic since VoIP serves as the IP backbone for UC collaboration systems. Businesses need to make sure their network can handle the addition smoothly and efficiently. VoIP monitoring is also a key component to ensure the quality of service, performance, and user experience in the UC environment. A full service IT provider like Ancero, is able to conduct a VoIP readiness check; a full assessment of the cable plant, bandwidth and core infrastructure and will design and implement any necessary changes to the network to prepare it for a successful UC integration.
A full featured VoIP solution like Ancero’s Utility VoIP includes the top Unified Communication tools that businesses want combined with a dynamic and robust VoIP phone system.
- Click-to-Call – seamless integration into Microsoft Outlook
- Operator Panel – enhanced switchboard with dynamic views into an organizations internal communications
- Call Center Reporting Suite – set of tools to quantify the performance of inbound call centers
- Enterprise Instant Messaging – secure, internal real time communications
It has all the functionality of UC within one solution that can easily integrate with office productivity software. Thus eliminating disparate systems, streamlining operations and enhancing communications. A cost-effective, full featured solution, with end-to-end VoIP monitoring, perfect for small to mid-sized businesses ready to reap the benefits of a UC and VoIP union.