Economic shifts creating unified communications opportunities

    Businesses can benefit substantially from unified communications deployments. The technology improves disaster recovery capabilities, especially when hosted in the cloud; can reduce telephony costs, particularly when combined with VoIP, and can increase the flexibility of enterprise and small business collaboration. This final point is among the capabilities that are enabling UC solutions to emerge as an ideal platform in light of current economic conditions, a recent UCStrategies report explained.

    According to the news source, understanding the potential role of unified communications systems requires looking back at the U.S. economy shortly after World War II. During that time, hopes were high, the middle class was thriving and the concept of a career involved finding an entry-level position and growing with that organization through the years. In this environment, benefits and other considerations were all handled by the corporation and flexibility was an afterthought.

    In today's economy, businesses are shifting away from this model. Instead of hiring full-time employees and nurturing them into future roles, organizations are working with contractors and benefiting from their skills over the short term, the report said. Similarly,  the average career no longer involves hunkering down with a single company, but instead floating from job to job as skill requirements shift, often working multiple contract positions simultaneously.

    Because of this major shift, unified communications is emerging as an essential technology, according to the news source. Since employees are no longer so closely tied to the corporation and more businesses are enlisting the services of workers who are not based in the office, advanced collaboration tools are becoming a mandatory part of business phone services. Essentially, everything about the workplace is becoming more flexible, and adaptability is essential. Without unified communications, this would drive travel and telephony costs to the point that they are no longer sustainable. UC solutions are proving necessary to enable a more fiscally responsible and elastic corporate environment.

    Unified communications is able to revolutionize a business' telephony infrastructure. Instead of traditional handsets, a UC-enabled business can use phones with built-in videoconferencing capabilities. These systems can also tap into PCs to connect employees with key data while they are making calls. All of this contributes to making in-person meetings less important, allowing businesses to optimize efficiency and dramatically reduce travel costs.

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