Why Unified Communications is Essential for Small- and Medium-sized Businesses
July 27, 2016
Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Nowhere is this sentiment more true than in the world of business. We’ve all been there. You’re against a deadline and need to get in touch with an employee who holds the final piece of the project. You try to call her at her desk. No answer.
You page her over the intercom. Looks like she must be out of the building. You text her. Still nothing. Finally, you resort to sending her an email. And she replies — five hours later. It’s an all-too-common frustration that you simply don’t have the time or energy to deal with. And wasted time means wasted money. If only there was a way to make communications easier, faster, and more effective. And actually, there is—adopting a Unified Communications system.
What’s Unified Communications?
Unified Communications systems interconnect multiple communication channels into one stream. If your email, phones, cell phones and instant messaging systems are all currently separate, your systems are not unified. And that’s your problem. With a robust Unified Communications system, you need to send your message only once—not echo it through multiple, unconnected channels. A Unified Communications system can help you remove the figurative static and help you reach your employees and customers instantly. Thanks to technological advancements, contemporary Unified Communications platforms differ from their ancestors. Because these systems are generally both customizable and scalable, the specific features vary. Common components include:
- Routing of landline calls to cell phones
- Dedicated instant messaging systems
- Upgraded email systems
- Instant and recordable video conferencing options
Solutions for Businesses of all Sizes
Establishing a Unified Communications system for a business was once both complex and costly. Because of these limitations, these systems were once almost exclusively used by larger businesses. However, thanks to the decreasing costs and increasing ubiquity of technology, small- and medium-sized businesses are now able to enjoy the benefits of these systems. No business is too small to benefit from a Unified Communications system. In fact, certain characteristics of small- and medium-sized businesses actually make them pine after these technologies even more so than their larger counterparts do:
- Smaller staff size – Small- and medium-sized businesses, by definition, have fewer workers on payroll. This can make it seem like having a Unified Communications platform is less important. In truth, it’s quite the contrary. When you have fewer employees, each individual employee becomes more important, making the ability to reach him or her more critical.
- Remote work arrangement – Some small- and medium-sized businesses obtain a physical workspace right away, but many spend their early years growing with remote workers. When your workers aren’t all in the same physical space, arming them with a cohesive communication system is an absolute must.
- Rapid rate of change – Though change occurs in businesses of all sizes, in small- and medium-sized businesses, the rate of change is often accelerated. When change occurs frequently in your business, effective communication across the workforce is essential.
To the advantage of leaders in small- and medium-sized businesses, affordable and adaptable modern technologies have now brought Unified Communication systems into their reach. By harnessing the power of this technology, you can revitalize your communications stream and reinvigorate your workforce.