Get Business Communication Dialed
Business communications have expanded far beyond the ubiquitous desk phone. While still important and useful, desk phones are just one of many conduits by which we share, confirm and accept information – in other words, do business.
Compelling and convenient, communication technologies of today include voice, email, video, instant messaging, screen-sharing, and much more, and all are made possible by an assortment of mobile devices, wired devices, and communication and collaboration platforms. They can operate as on-premises infrastructure, in the cloud, or both.
This array of technology brings a tremendous advantage by increasing the speed and agility of business. But with that upside comes an equally tremendous challenge: How can IT departments keep up with administering and securing a multitude of tools and applications?
Fortunately, there is a way. Leading organizations use unified communications and collaboration (UCC) to foster cooperation among employees, partners and clients as they engage with one another to communicate and innovate. These platforms include phone systems, collaboration platforms, and contact center solutions.
With a UCC platform from Structured, you can count on reliability, remarkable flexibility and end-user empowerment. Loud and clear.
Business Phone Systems
Ah, the good old business phone system. These systems, available as on-premises solutions or, increasingly, cloud-based solutions, provide the same reliable voice services they always have. Dialing, conferencing, auto-attendant, call screening, voice messaging, and call forwarding are just some of the tried-and-true features available in modern phone systems.
However, business phone systems have evolved in recent years to extend the services listed above to any user device, not just vendor-specific hardware. (Although these vendors also continue to innovate with regard to their proprietary hardware, making these devices more open and compatible with third-party apps and platforms.)
Further, to stay relevant, phone system vendors evolved their platforms to keep extreme user flexibility at the forefront of design. In addition to being device agnostic, most modern phone systems allow users to switch devices mid-call, such as from a smartphone to a laptop. This omnichannel capability ensures people can be as productive as they need to be in the moment, seamlessly switching between voice, email, chat, and video conferencing where necessary.
These omnichannel capabilities also fuel collaboration and contact center platforms that are available through UCC systems.
Collaboration platforms take the phone system to the next level. With a unified service for voice, video, messaging, presence, audio conferencing, mobility and team collaboration in one solution, these systems effectively connect far-flung colleagues, breaking through organizational silos and keeping business on track – anywhere, any time.
Mostly cloud-based, backed by stringent SLAs, supported by high quality audio and video, and highly integratable with third-party apps and platforms, modern collaboration systems are the ultimate productivity tool for distributed environments.
Like collaboration platforms, contact center solutions extend the same flexibility and ease-of-use to the customer. Consumers today expect to reach customer support instantaneously and around the clock whether they call, email, text, chat, visit a website or hit a social media page. When consumers speak with a customer service representative, they expect that rep to have full access to account details — including a history of past contact and support issues.
Contact center platforms provide support organizations with tremendous agility to access critical data in real-time from anywhere on any device, route inquiries to the best agent for the job, and deliver support outcomes that are much more satisfactory to the customer — and to the agents. They also remove a heavy management burden from the IT department, shifting responsibility for uptime and performance metrics to the contact center vendor.
Clearly, unified communications and collaboration platforms barely resemble their staid POTS and PBX predecessors. Designed for a mobile and very demanding workforce, UCC represents ultimate agility and flexibility in what will always be the primary driver in business: human communication.