Unified Communications

5/15/09

Talking makes things happen; Unified Communications (UC) is a technology architecture [tool] to unify our talk within one system, that’s accessible from anywhere, at any time, with any device connected to it. We take such technologies for granted today, yet connectivity in the past came from a collection of systems that were not integrated or unified within a single system.

I offer a single, hosted solution by subscription to handle the data aspect of UC for about 20% of the cost of owning the same equipment. You’ll need to configure voice and fax software to integrate with the solution I offer. I can train your staff to use it and setup a power point tutorial for sharing with new hires. The articles at these links explain UC in detail: SME perspective, Case study 1, Case study 2.

Any business with more than three locations and people seeking to connect to their info, or each other simultaneously, needs unified communications (i.e. landline, cellular, fax, voicemail, email, scheduling, file sharing, data synching, virtual conferencing between 3 or more people, often integrated with CRM software).

Whether your business staffs 5 or 1500 employees, UC is available; simple to complex. Here’s how they work and what to expect:

  • Voice. Software is integrated between your phone system and emailware to take calls, route them, convert them into text or save as sound file for listening from an email. The system can be programmed to forward your calls to where you are or the device your carrying.

  • Fax. Hard faxes are augmented with electronic documents, retrieved from a web-based portal or are routed to your email inbox. Fax documents [on your hard drive or flash drive] from this portal or scan hard documents for virtual faxing.

  • Email. Email can be downloaded to your contact management system (i.e. MS Outlook, Entourage or GroupWare) or handled via cloud computing (hosted email). Whichever you choose, login to your inbox via UID/PW. Email is safe 24×7, is protected from malicious software and Spam is stored into a special folder for review or deletion.

  • Contacts or CRM. Like email, maintain this information on your device or within a cloud from a host. Cloud computing enables you to share contacts 24x7with your team and offers a one-write system.

  • Scheduling. The most effective way to handle this now is in a cloud with shares. Cloud computing maintains the integrity of your schedules and allows others to schedule meetings with you within their schedule. This one-write system saves time from data entry and tethered synching.

  • Data synching. A hosted solution enables seamless, real time synching of information, viewed by devices connected to the data. This feature saves hours of time in data entry and eliminates tethered synching.

  • File Sharing and Collaboration. Cloud computing facilitates this; Sharepoint is a known technology commodity for file sharing; Google Docs or Apps offers something similar for much less per mailbox. It enables you to store files in a virtual folder that you control shares to, as viewer or collaborator. Collaborated files can be edited by multiple people, simultaneously, regardless of time zone. It eliminates the need to email file attachments and review document versions to reach a finished product. It works best with small-medium size files; large ones take a while to upload; big files can mis-upload.

  • Virtual Conferencing. This technology puts audio, files, IM, polling and whiteboards under a single portal when more than 3 people need to meet, yet are located in different places. This web-based portal is accessible from a browser and VOIP, cellular or landline connection. It’s very handy, optimizes time and cuts traveling costs substantially. ###

One thought on “Unified Communications

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s