In the business environment, communication is defined as the timely flow of accurate information between different parties needed to complete tasks. Effective enterprise communications form the basis of smooth business operations, collaborations, management, coordination, planning, and decision making.
A report investigating communication barriers in the workplace shows that poor communication often leads to delayed projects, missed performance goals, low morale, and lost sales. Today, prompt and dependable communication is an undeniable necessity, considering that companies rely heavily on dynamic information systems for making critical business decisions. Effective communication begins with choosing the ideal medium for your business. Here is a look at what makes a unified communications system work and some of the key benefits it presents to businesses.
Your communications and collaboration, unified
Businesses have a wide variety of communication methods to choose from, thanks to internet-based telecommunication technologies. In fact, most organizations utilize several communication channels simultaneously to relay information both internally and externally.
The main reason for using different information mediums in business is to ensure that communications channels are available to everyone. Nowadays, many businesses interact with a spread-out workforce comprising of remote and on-site employees and overseas clients and partners. A single mode of communication is often not enough to cater to the unique needs of each party.
However, implementing multiple communication solutions from different service providers can be expensive, inconvenient, and riddled with compatibility issues. This is where unified communications come in – it’s a system that integrates various communication services into one neatly packaged solution. This guarantees reliability and ensures that all channels are secured under universal principles.
Here are some of the essential communication channels that can be integrated into unified communications systems.
Instant messaging (IM) is a simple, cost-effective way of exchanging information in real-time. Most instant messaging services are packaged into smartphone and desktop apps linked to hosted platforms. As IM evolves, developers continue to add more business-friendly features and functions such as file sharing, logging, and group chat. For this reason, instant messaging is becoming more popular in the workplace, especially in managing and collaborating with teams.
Email is the most popular and versatile form of written enterprise communications. Companies use emails to broadcast marketing messages, send files, collaborate with remote workers and clients, and even sign documents (receipts, contracts, etc.). Unfortunately, emails are prime targets for cyber-attacks. Most phishing attacks are also perpetrated via emails.
A recent report revealed that about 94 percent of malware is delivered through email attachments.
Communication in business normally involves a lot of file sharing, mostly with remote workers and clients. File sharing platforms allow businesses to transfer and share access to files and documents with remote parties. However, sharing sensitive business files is a risky affair – you never know where the information may end up. As a caution, it’s best to use a sharing platform with a built-in viewer to stop recipients from manipulating and downloading valuable information.
A lot of business is still conducted over voice calls. But, revolutionary technologies such as VoIP, smartphones, and high-speed networks have completely redefined the telephony industry. Today, you don’t even need a conventional phone to make calls; this can easily be done on computers, apps, and smart gadgets. Furthermore, modern enterprise phone systems are equipped with robust data systems capable of gathering, storing, and processing business-relevant information.
Video conferencing is quickly becoming the standard for holding virtual meetings. It’s basically an audio/visual connection between two or more people via conferencing-capable hardware or apps streamed over the internet. A dependable video conferencing service should deliver high-definition media, low latency, and a continuous connection to avoid dropped calls. Most platforms also incorporate additional features such as live chat, recording and playback, and screen sharing.
The only downside is that video conferencing is bandwidth-intensive, and highly demanding on the internet connection and network. For high-quality services, you’ll need a high-speed internet connection and robust network infrastructure.
Maximize mobility and connectivity in the cloud
More and more organizations now realize the productivity benefits of cloud-based or hosted unified communications as these services move into mainstream adoption. Hosted UC goes a long way in minimizing communication overheads and redundancies, but that’s not all.
You can choose between a private cloud tailored to the business’s exact needs or a low-entry-barrier public cloud to host UC services. Either way, a cloud infrastructure allows your staff, clients, and associates to access a shared data pool from any location on the globe instantly. Below are some of the main reasons why cloud-based UC is the most mobile communication solution for modern enterprises.
Connect your mobile workforce
Organizations are now embracing the idea of a remote workforce. If you have employees working from home, traveling workers, remote contractors, or are always on the move, cloud-based UC is the ideal communication solution for collaborating with off-site workers. All that’s needed is an internet connection.
Multiple locations, one communication solution
If you run multiple offices, outlets, or establishments all over the country or outside the border, tethering the different locations to a common data point is crucial in ensuring everyone is on the same page. With a hosted UC, you can have a single source of consolidated up-to-date information instead of having to set up multiple independent platforms.
Always be security-first
Communication channels are among the most vulnerable business assets to cyber-attacks. The more channels you have, the greater the risk. Hosted unified communications solves this problem by securing the entire communication infrastructure under multi-layered security systems, including encryption, active defense protocols, and behavioral analytics.
End-to-end encryption is a security protocol that involves encoding information in-transit between the sender and receiver. The sender’s node encodes the information in a way that only the intended recipient can decode. Any party or eavesdroppers outside the communication loop receiving the transmission either intentionally or maliciously cannot decipher the exchange. This mitigates the risk of data leakage and theft along communication lines.
Complete platform coverage
Another security advantage of using hosted UC is that all channels are secured under a single data protection umbrella. There is no need to put in place separate measures for all the different mediums. Plus, any updates and patches done on the security systems apply to all the communication channels automatically.
Cloud-based UC collects and combines sophisticated enterprise communication systems into one simple and convenient platform. Communication is the lifeblood of any business, more so in today’s fast-paced business landscape that requires the quick transfer, dissemination, and utilization of rapidly changing data. With hosted UC, your business can leverage every communication solution afforded by modern technologies and innovations.