Unified communications is a term you may have already heard, or will certainly be on the edge of hearing more about. In short, it’s a business expression that describes the integration of enterprise communication services like instant messaging, presence information, voice, mobility features, audio, web and video…
Still unsure? No problem, you’re not alone. As this relatively new mode of interacting continues to evolve we’ll no doubt start adopting its practices universally, once the benefits are truly understood. I’m sure more than a few of us have already started.
In short – some business communications tools like video conferencing, which we’re all familiar with, facilitate real-time communication, yet others, such as email, facilitate communication that takes place at a person’s convenience. How many of us have wanted to join that team brainstorming conference call, but had another meeting scheduled at the same time with a customer?
There’s been a rising number of collaboration tools emerging over the past few years. Ones that offer both messaging-centric workflows and near-real-time communication. The goal of such ‘unified communications’, as they’re becoming commonly known, is to integrate the software that supports both real time and convenience-led contact, so the user has access to all tools from whatever device is in use.
With the increase in agile working, unified communication is becoming more and more important. Being able to quickly touch base with your colleagues, and even your customers, without the need for face to face meetings can enhance overall business communication, collaboration and productivity. At Servest, I create weekly videos, that are shared on Twitter and our intranet, to show our followers what I’m up to on a regular basis. Servest is such a large global organisation that despite my desire to do so, I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to catch up personally with everyone. The videos keep people updated on what’s going on and keep me as a constant voice, and face, within the business. Which is just so important.
Lone and remote workers in particular, reap the greatest rewards in embracing these new communication methodologies. Service providers often have individuals or small teams working across a number of client sites all around the country, and even further afield. Outside of London in particular, these sites may be a significant distance apart. Our customers and colleagues can even work across completely different time zones. Not only do unified communication tools offer flexibility and quick responses, but they are also often free or inexpensive, and can be used anywhere – they help to create an even more unified workforce.