Understanding Unified Communications (UC)
Today’s communications market is more complicated than it has ever been, and it is continuing to evolve quickly. The largest challenge for most organisations’ communications systems and infrastructure is often related to its fragmented nature.
This is simply explained by the timeline in which communications technologies were introduced and implemented.
For the bulk of its history, telephone has existed as a stand-alone service that required dedicated equipment and services. As other communications technologies, such as web conferencing and instant messaging, were introduced and adopted, they often existed within their own framework, with sometimes their own architecture. The nature of technology at the time which many new innovations were adopted simply didn’t allow for interoperability.
Now, however, there has been a convergence of mobile technologies and data capabilities that allows for the operation of many different communications platforms and equipment to standardise on an IP architecture – allowing for centralised management and resource consolidation. This includes Voice over IP, or VoIP services.
The Benefits of UC
When VoIP technology is adopted, it opens up an opportunity for the entire organisation to achieve a Unified Communications architecture, which offers many business benefits. The range of functionality is also expanded with many new or enhanced applications, including the following.
IM simplifies communication between colleagues by making it easy to ask someone a question or provide them with information in real time simply by sending the message from the computer.
When communication is completed using several, disparate devices or platforms, it is easy to become burdened with the need to have additional equipment or miss a message that is time-sensitive. With UC, it does not matter what device you use (computer, smartphone) or how you use it (email, IM, digital fax, videoconference) – the communication will be handled more effectively and efficiently.
On a UC platform, physical presence can often be conveyed in real-time, allowing employees to select the most appropriate method for communication. The capability to see everyone’s status simply by looking can enhance collaboration and make scheduling much easier.
In an increasingly mobile society, employees are able to complete critical work from almost anywhere in the world. With both on-demand and scheduled conferencing available, this improves collaboration even when physical distance may have made it impossible in the past.
When these applications are used by employees, several key outcomes are generally found. UC can work to facilitate information much more efficiently, optimise team work, strengthen collaboration and increase productivity.
Unified Communications Services
UC and the Cloud
Migrating data and operations to the cloud has been the focus for many companies in the last few years, and for good reason. The cloud offers scalability and flexibility in a cost-effective way. This allows companies to pay for only what they need now and expand their cloud as their network needs grow. These efficiencies can also be found when UC is moved to the cloud.
The cloud will be in integral part of the workplace moving forward. With the shift to service-based, scalable and flexible solutions, even the most riskaverse organisations are considering a cloud migration. However, these migrations can be incredibly complex, requiring a huge amount of planning, preparation, and testing. Despite this, the end result of greater centralised management of digital resources coupled with huge operational efficiencies and financial savings. Moving the entire UC architecture along with other digital resources capitalises on additional efficiencies. Int Tec Solutions has extensive experience with these migrations, as well as creating a complete UC system that can meet the needs of any organisation.
UC Challenges and the Workplace of the Future
While these benefits are huge for any company, there are significant challenges in ensuring that implementing a UC solution goes smoothly. The professionals at Int Tec Solutions recognise the fact that there is no such thing as a “standard” UC solution and that the needs of their clients can be dramatically different than one another. Despite this, the trends toward greater mobility and the need for more immediate access with communications are present in almost all industries.
The Journey to a Unified Communications System
With all of the aspects of creating, managing and maintaining digital networks, many organisations can easily feel overwhelmed – especially when this is combined with another challenging task, such as a move to Unified Communications. Int Tec Solutions has the knowledge and skill to assist with every step of this journey, from start to finish.
Assess your current resources
The first step in any Unified Communications plan is to take stock of what you currently have. Int Tec Solutions can help you determine the costs and capabilities of your current assets, while also making sure that they meet the organisation’s needs. If they do not, we can help you identify key service improvements that can be made.
Analyse your needs
Knowing your resources is one thing but being able to identify the best resources to meet business objectives is quite another. Int Tec Solutions works with their partners to create a needs-based service plan that will be forward looking, accounting for business growth and workforce changes that are expected in the upcoming years.
Compose your vision
In order to truly deliver the network resources and services needed for an organisation, we understand that we need to work with you to create the best possible design. By leveraging the knowledge found at Int Tec Solutions, organisations can be assured that the best possible products and providers are selected, creating the optimal conditions for an extremely effective and efficient IT architecture.
Reconstruct your Communications Systems
With your vision guiding us, Int Tec Solutions will take care of the rest of the planning, implementing and testing that needs to occur to ensure that all IT functions are operating as they should be. We will be there for every step in the journey, making sure that there is minimal impact to operations, while also striving to reduce downtime.