As companies continue to navigate the return to office and hybrid work models, most are still trying to support a patchwork of different messaging, conferencing and telecommunications applications they adopted over the past three years. These fragmented technologies negatively impact productivity, innovation and customer engagement.
Seventy percent of U.S. organizations say communications modernization is now a top priority. Most plan to achieve that with a unified communications (UC) platform. Industry analysts predict the global UC market will experience a 24 percent annual growth rate through 2028.
The appeal is obvious — UC allows users to access video conferences, conversations, files, projects, calendars, images and more through a common dashboard. On-premises UC systems can present some technical challenges, however. In a recent NetScout survey, IT decision-makers reported that more than half of their help-desk requests are related to UC issues.
The Rise of UCaaS
A UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS) solution offers a more trouble-free adoption path. It is a cloud-delivered solution that relieves organizations of the need to purchase, maintain and upgrade servers and other hardware. Instead, they get on-demand access to enterprise-grade resources delivered by a provider with specific expertise in communication and collaboration solutions.
Best of all, the cloud-delivery model future-proofs communications by ensuring you always have access to the latest UC features and functions without forklift upgrades. Here are some of the other ways UCaaS supports evolving workplace requirements.
UC may be the single most important technology for enabling hybrid work. Cloud-based solutions, including hosted UC, hybrid UC and (UCaaS), make critical communications and conferencing tools available at any time from any location. That’s an essential capability for hyper-distributed organizations with employees and offices located across various time zones. Desktop sharing, file sharing and integrated storage make it possible for distributed team members to stay organized and ensure everyone is working with the latest project iterations.
The capacity to integrate messaging tools with other business-critical systems is among UC’s more valuable characteristics. The ability to access voice, video, chat and text communications from within key business applications such as customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, salesforce automation and supply chain management streamlines workflows and increases productivity.
Artificial Intelligence and Automation
The integration of virtual agents, speech-to-text capabilities, automated data entry and other AI-driven capabilities makes UC an even more powerful productivity platform. For example, chatbots, automated call routing and data analytics improve customer interactions, automate routine tasks, conduct independent research, and analyze UC data logs to identify and troubleshoot issues affecting system performance.
UC systems with embedded AI can also enhance security by identifying anomalies and automating responses to attempted attacks. For example, deep neural networks can process millions of emails to learn the tell-tale signs of malicious emails. Machine learning algorithms can even analyze grammar and syntax in texts and emails to spot likely frauds.
UC supports continued operations during business interruptions by enabling dispersed employees to access business communication and conferencing systems from any location with mobile phones or PC-based softphones. Voice mail can be managed through an email client. Built-in redundancy and survivability features ensure there’s no single point of failure. For example, UC software can be installed on multiple physical and virtual servers in a failover configuration to ensure survivability in the event of an equipment failure or service disruption.
Ask the Experts
The workplace is evolving, and business communication solutions must evolve as well. Unified communications, and UCaaS solutions in particular, promote efficiency and innovation by maintaining close links among highly distributed colleagues. Cerium’s engineers have extensive experience in the design, implementation and management of UC and UCaaS solutions. Contact us to learn more about future-proofing your business communications.
Future Proof Your Business Communications
Unified communications solutions support increasingly distributed operations with a full range of communication and collaboration features. However, choosing the right solution can be a challenging process. We can help you evaluate all the options and choose a solution that best meets your requirements.