The plethora of communications devices available to today’s workers has created the reality of prolonged games of phone tag, voicemails, and missed calls. To combat this productivity drain, a growing number of organizations are adopting unified communications, a technological resolution that allows people to be available on the device or means of their choice.
Whether they are using their office desk phone, smartphone, or home phone, unified communications enables callers to reach employees with one dial of the phone. Unified communications also integrates instant messaging, presence information, videoconferencing, data sharing, call control, and speech recognition, via integrated products that deliver a consistent user interface across multiple devices and media. The goal: To connect people immediately, no matter how they choose to communicate.
After all, employees waste countless hours trying to track down colleagues, customers and partners. Not surprisingly, then, more than 90 percent of global midsize and large organizations polled plan to implement unified communications, and more than half are already using or implementing the technology, according to a March 2012 study conducted by ReRez Research for Siemens Enterprise Communications.
Organizations reap multiple benefits from unified communications, executives said. Communication and collaboration improve, resulting in better customer service and a more productive environment. Businesses can cut costs by pooling resources, too.
“I suppose the most obvious benefit of UC is the higher level of communications achieved, which to some extent takes away the need to travel to customer meetings or to have distributed teams all traveling to a single location for team meetings,” said David Venning, director at Market Development Associates, in Basingstoke, United Kingdom, in an interview. “Similarly, where there is distributed expertise this can be accessed on an as-needed basis which saves time and money.”
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