The topic of United Communications (Unified Communications, or simply UC) moves by leaps and bounds along the planet. Thematic articles and brochures are full of new terms and expressions: “presence – allows you to see which colleague is in the workplace” or “solution X allows you to save on buying equipment for a new office.” But rarely, in a nutshell, it can be figuratively and capacitive to point out the everyday value of UC, since it is seen by the end-user manager / designer / engineer / leader / business owner when he looks at the monitor and solves his current tasks. In most cases, they do not know the technical background of the solution, but they are looking for effective tools for doing business. It seems that this secret will give the key to the successful sale of UC.
So, the talks about ideal unified communications usually start with the royal phrase of the signalmen – “communication overcomes space and time”. That’s what time-saving analysts think in Sage Research. They calculated that the combination of the most used tools allows you to save:
- 32 minutes – using a single interface for all types of communications;
- 43 minutes – when using a single mailbox for all types of fixed communications;
- 55 minutes – when using a single box for all types of mobile communications;
The calculation is done for one person.
This is certainly the magic of numbers, but behind them, there are much more interesting facts. With the development of the society, the number of types of communication equipment and computer programs has grown so much that simply the head goes around. It is necessary to remember which number and to whom it was given, to solve the same question by phone, duplicating e-mail, it is simply impossible to get used to all this diversity. An average office worker has to get used to the technical features of a new job every time he changes a company. If in Moscow and St. Petersburg the population is less advanced, then in the regions often unhappy workers of the state. Sector or representative offices of large companies are horrified by this bloat. In fact, a person has become more dependent than ever on the “piece of iron,” and the reaction time and decision-making began to strive to a greater extent.
Solving this problem is one of the main goals of UC. Users like that on the PC screen, he sees a simple notebook where the mouse pointer and the only click selects the action: call, start a chat or send an e-mail. By combining such an elegant and simple way the phone and the computer, we make communication more convenient, more efficient, in each case – the most convenient way and, as a result, increasing business activity. Three very simple actions on the tip of your fingers. It is interesting that, in most cases, users do not immediately talk about this advantage, they just use UC, with little or no additional training – a sure sign that the technology has taken root.
Another moment is the social aspect of office communications. Many hundreds of business consultants made a name in training on this topic. We do not want to admit, but the fact is, often we do not have the best opinion about colleagues in the next department / office / city. “Yes, he is so, I do not want to call him,” “it’s impossible to talk to him on the phone,” “I’m too loaded and tired now to waste my energy on this difficult conversation” – familiar phrases / thoughts. Write a short message! The chat format is the most suitable form for cases of uncertainty, much more convenient and effective than epistolary e-mails or “difficult calls”. So it happened that we are not very open to a lot of daily contacts, we communicate with colleagues in the same office, but as soon as a brick wall or distance appears – the social barrier immediately arises. Most people talk about this problem, just touch on the subject and immediately agree. It was interesting to listen and sales managers, and designers, and programmers, especially when it comes to a distributed team – they all have different specializations, but the opinions on this topic are always the same. And it’s not just the mental characteristics that are inherent in us. The modern world works at prohibitive speeds. Everyone from the lowest professional is busy at the same time in several projects, leads up to hundreds of tasks and a whole bunch of trivia. Any delay or pause in the chain can lead to a natural accumulation of negativity – the work has risen (“Why did not he immediately answer the letter? We always respond quickly to their requests”). In most cases, this delay is not due to the unwillingness to work, but rather to employment in another process, but this is the nature of psychology – the reaction is always negative. We are overwhelmed with unresolved cases, stacks of papers and empty blisters of anti-stress pills; All these can be solved with two clicks and a short message is considered and decided for several days, or even weeks. As a result, negative synergy for all projects and the failure of even the most promising idea. Life in the open world requires a lightning fast reaction, you need a convenient tool that will be comfortable and at the same time will support and develop the process. This tool is simple and familiar (thanks to skype and ICQ) communicator.
We know that every innovation requires a corporate culture of use, without this any tool is a shovel broken about a stone. Interestingly, in the case of UC – the solution merges into the overall life of the company naturally; employees simply see a convenient mechanism for getting rid of the discomfort. Need a quick reaction? – here is a short message. Need a detailed alignment? – E-mail. A joint discussion? – a conference or group chat with one click on the list of online colleagues. Go to a meeting or do not like to carry a DECT? – set the call forwarding, the call will simultaneously come to your office phone/communicator and your mobile. Communications flow from one type to another when circumstances require it. And if at first, the innovation can scare (as it happens with any innovation), then in a week or a month the whole team is already in UC and does not know life without them. The team is united and open to each other.
Thus, Unified Communications overcomes two new barriers: man-made (user-friendliness) and communicative (rapid flow of business processes). It would be worth adding this fact to the famous phrase and point out that this is what Unified Communications is different from the traditional telecom. As you can see, the conversation about the applied use of technology should begin with such moments. UC creates the right conditions for doing business, and this, as you know, is the first thing for any enterprise. Already, as a result, the well-known advantages: providing business processes, increasing the quality of customer service, increasing sales, etc. With regard to savings, this is the law of development – new communication systems should exceed not only the functional advantages but also direct savings in related costs (acquisition, maintenance, Payment of bills for communication).
Previously, United Communications solutions were available exclusively to the large business sector, where all their power could be seen immediately. Today, there are already inexpensive products for small segments, and what is interesting is not only the “boxes”. Recently, Unified Communications is available as a service (according to the evolving SaaS model here, any company can rent online, connect existing phone numbers or buy new ones, we get all available functionality, and the payment is charged for the number of accounts Workplaces), the used disk space for mail and files, and the cost of calls and communication rates are much more profitable than in conventional solutions, even more, profitable than Skype.