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Unified Communications

In the fast pace world we live in companies are continually looking for ways to make it easier for their employees to effectively communicate with each other and with their customers. Although traditional practices of email and phone calls are still widely used, they also come with their own set of limitations. We have all seen the situation where our coworkers don’t respond to emails we sent them. Or we were expecting that important call from a customer but had to step away from our desk and missed it. Or our employees are geographically dispersed due to lack of qualified individuals in our given area, but they need to communicate face to face in weekly meetings. These challenges can be met with Unified Communication and Collaboration tools.  Unified Communications tools have been in the industry for some time, but the challenge is making these tools simple to use and unified so they all work together, no matter what device you are using, or place you are using it from.

Voice and Video

Tools today allow not only voice calls to desk phones, but your mobile phone can also appear just like your desk phone. These calls could be traditional calls to/from a dedicated phone number or through calling someone’s SIP address like their email address. The calls are also not just limited to voice conversations but in some instances, this could also include video also being shared. Conferencing resources allow for multiple individuals to join meetings with any number of devices and device functions.  Conference resources are becoming more like in room meetings or experiences.  Including the ability to share and markup a whiteboard, or share documents for review.  You can join meetings from high end video endpoints in large conference rooms or join by a app on a mobile device or software on a computer.

Instant Messaging and Presence

So instant messaging has been around for several years, but traditionally this has been between individuals or a small group of individuals. Messages are not easily searchable for past conversations and you were limited to just text not sending files, or screen shots. Today’s tools allow for you to see not only a person in your contacts is online, but also multiple ways to reach out to them. You can setup a group, team, or space where all members could meet and communicate effectively to each other.  Documents that are shared to the group, or conversations that are had can easily be searched for and found. Members will be alerted instantly of new communications in the space leading to quicker response from team mates.

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The Cancer Center of Iowa struggled with three disparate legacy phone systems and the clinics had no way to transfer calls or dial between locations.  Once the Cancer Center of Iowa went live with Avaya IP Office, they immediately took better care of their patients. 

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