What is Unified Communications and Collaboration and Why Should I Care?
What does unified communications and collaboration (UCC) mean?
Unified communications and collaboration brings together multiple forms of communications, like voice, video and data services, and software applications into a single environment, improving business processes making it easier for employees to connect.
Unified communications and collaboration can include components like:
- Instant messaging
- Presence – knowing if a contact is free or busy
- Unified messaging – the ability to retrieve all your messages from one central location
- Conferencing applications – to connect larger groups and allow them to share information and ideas
- Teamwork applications – to coordinate work on group projects
- Video conferencing – on your PC, mobile device and using room-based systems
- Mobile applications – extending unified communications and collaboration to smartphones and tablets
What impact does unified communications and collaboration have?
Hyper-connected. 24/7. Always-on. Pick your adjective for today’s business environment. But no matter how you classify it, the current speed of business puts pressure on organizations like never before. And your ability to quickly find and communicate with the right people, access data, and exchange information can make the difference in business success or failure.
With unified communications and collaboration, you can address these challenges by helping people connect more efficiently and intuitively. You can use unified communications and collaboration to bring together multiple forms of real-time and historical communications, like voice, video and data services, and software applications into a single environment, making it easier to connect. Business processes improve as a result.
The three major benefits of unified communications and collaboration
When you embrace unified communications and collaboration, you can increase employee collaboration and productivity in three major ways.
Reduce time wasted
Unified communications and collaboration enables real-time presence across your organization, giving employees instant insight into their coworkers’ availability to connect via voice, IM or video. This at-a-glance information, which can be automatically retrieved from employees’ existing calendars, can reduce communications latency by making it easier to find the right person and get an answer to a business question.
Connect geographically dispersed employees
The reality is, today’s business is global. In order to truly leverage top talent across the globe, businesses can use unified communications and collaboration to make it easier for employees in multiple locations to work on projects. To bridge the geographical distance, unified communications and collaboration’s teamwork components are key to enabling real-time collaboration even when in-person interactions are not feasible or ideal.
Provide freedom of choice for maximum ROI
Adopting a complete unified communications and collaboration strategy lets your employees communicate the way they prefer by eliminating the need use a specific device or be in a set location. It’s becoming nearly impossible for businesses to operate without a solid BYOD policy, and the dangers of Shadow IT should be enough motivation for any organization to ensure it’s taking a proactive approach. A mobile-first, any-device strategy for business communications can greatly improve user adoption to maximize your productivity benefits.
The proven results of unified communications and collaboration
Studies have shown organizations save time and money by reaching people on the first try, switching between methods of communication to improve information exchange (e.g., turning a chat session into a multi-party conference call or video conference with a few mouse clicks), reducing expenses and employee downtime due to travel, extending office applications to mobile workers and giving employees more flexibility to work from any location.
Organizations that leverage unified communications and collaboration tools are more efficient, with 60 percent saving three hours a week per mobile worker. Companies also reported a 20-25 percent increase in productivity.
Collaboration tools can also save businesses money, as the cost of an inefficient communications strategy in a mid-sized organization is about $11,000.