For a while, many businesses have been able to see the convenience of, say, connecting their fax machines to their email and phone systems, allowing them to smoothly switch between various communication channels as necessary. However, the concept of unified communications goes a major step further.
That’s because it seamlessly weaves a wide range of communication channels – from the “usual suspects” like email and phone to the likes of instant messaging and videoconferencing – into one system, resulting in just one intuitive point of contact. It’s a kind of setup that could take on a renewed relevance in 2021.
How UC came to the rescue of businesses in 2020
UC is, of course, a reference to unified communications, which threw a huge lifeline to many businesses last year, as the emerging COVID-19 pandemic threatened not only their resilience but also their very ability to function. In a socially-distanced world, UC enabled firms to continue valuable teamwork and collaboration.
As the pandemic intensified, many businesses abandoned their usual office environments in favor of mandating their employees to work from home. This was a dramatic shift, with many companies scrambling for solutions that could help team members to easily communicate with each other from their respective homes.
According to research highlighted by ITProPortal, UC usage surged by 86% during the pandemic, with the medical and healthcare sectors perhaps unsurprisingly recording the highest growth in UC uptake. However, companies across many different sectors certainly stand to benefit from the technology.
What practical benefits can UC deliver for various companies?
At a time when many of us are unable to leave our homes except for essential reasons, it is obviously convenient that UC enables us to continue working from any location – including our homes – and from almost any device, such as laptops we might have previously only used in the traditional office.
This flexibility made possible by UC has given employees greater freedom to work unorthodox hours and, in this way, drive up levels of efficiency and customer service. Furthermore, replacing face-to-face meetings with remote meetings has enabled employees to join and leave meetings as necessary rather than spend entire meetings simply sitting around and listening to others speak before they get their own turn.
This, in turn, has given workers more opportunities to complete tasks that would otherwise have been held off in the wait for the meeting to finish. It can be seen, then, that UC adoption is far from just a “make-do” situation – it can actually help to improve a company’s overall output.
A UC system is also easy to expand as required
Of course, despite COVID lockdowns, many of us might still occasionally have to leave the house as part of our work – for example, to undertake business trips. It’s understandable, then, why an SME Web article deems it “essential that businesses offer a combination of flexible and mobile telephony to staff”.
For many businesses, the addition of a mobile connectivity solution like Gamma Mobile to their UC systems can make such a streamlined arrangement possible.