Employees have more ways to communicate with each other than ever before. They use email to send documents and messages. Instant Messaging (IM) allows them to have quick, real-time conversations. Web conferencing enables co-workers and clients to conduct face-to-face meetings remotely.
Every employee has his or her favorite way to communicate. Problems develop when companies don’t have an integrated system for communication. If a business’s communication system is jerry-built from a bunch of separate tools, employees get their wires crossed. They miss important messages. They redo work that has already been completed.
Unified Communications (UC) solves this problem. UC transforms the workplace by creating an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation that empowers employees to work smarter.
Encouraging Business Collaboration
A fragmented communications system stifles creativity. Without UC, employees work in isolation, unable to share their ideas freely. In a study by Queens University of Charlotte, nearly 75% of respondents stated collaboration is very important. Unfortunately, 39% of employees felt their business doesn’t collaborate enough.
When employees can access an integrated suite of communications tools, they can collaborate with each other to create new products and improve business processes. A company that fosters a collaborative environment has a better chance of maintaining a competitive edge with the new ideas its employees generate.
Team chats let employees form special groups devoted to a specific project. Members of the group can share ideas even if they work in different departments or offices. Files can be shared while maintaining version control so team members can work more efficiently. All the communication tools can be controlled through a single user interface.
Seeing Beyond the Cubicle
With more millennials entering the workforce, companies are looking to create working environments that are in tune with the always-on culture. Many organizations are establishing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that allow employees to use smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices of their choice to conduct business.
UC enables this expanded definition of the workplace. Employees can easily switch from device to device when they want to. They are no longer chained to their desk phone. UC lets co-workers, customers, and clients know when an employee is available and how to best reach him or her. Voicemails can be sent to text or email so employees never miss an important message.
Now employees can work from home or on the go. They can redefine the traditional 9 to 5 workday to accommodate family obligations or personal travel. A better work/life balance makes employees feel more satisfied and happy.
Creating a More Profitable Workplace
The CDW 2017 Digital Workplace Solutions Report discovered that 53% of employees feel more productive when they use digital workplace solutions such as UC. Increased efficiency in communication helps employees finish projects more quickly. They can easily get feedback from other members of a project team so they can move forward.
UC also saves companies money on travel and office space. Instead of flying employees out for a meeting with clients, business leaders can schedule a web conference to take place right in the office. Less real estate is necessary to house employees. Instead of working from a desk at the office, they can work from home.
Realizing Communication Goals with UC
According to the CDW report, 40% of companies want an integrated team communications solution. UC fulfills this need by providing a comprehensive and coordinated suite of communication tools. A cloud platform can be used to run all the applications needed for UC. Implementing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows companies to digitize voice so telephony can be part of UC.
FirstLight is the ideal partner for companies in New England that want to take advantage of UC. We give organizations access to VoIP through one of the largest high-speed fiber optic networks in the Northeast. With fiber optics, your business can harness the bandwidth necessary to optimize business collaboration tools. We also give you the option of running UC on-site or in the cloud.
Is your business experiencing a communications breakdown? Access the benefits of UC with FirstLight.