4 Main Unified Communications Components and How They Help Achieve Business Results
Unified Communications (UC) is a set of solutions that provide various tools such as: instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, call control and speech recognition with real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). The UC platform can be divided into several parts that can be used cohesively or stand-alone. Nevertheless, the majority of clients interested in UC solutions choose to implement the full UC suite to improve their organization’s productivity. It is to the customer’s advantage that some major UC manufacturers such as AVST adopt a corporate philosophy of developing solutions to cater to a large audience. This vision allows the development of products that permit clients to scale and add tools as they grow or identify the need for a specific UC component.
There are four major components of UC: Mobility, Voice, Business Process and Interoperability. Each of these components plays a major role in defining the need and the value for the organization. Companies who deploy UC solutions are not required to implement 100% of what is available and can choose to implement “a la carte” based on their budget and network capability. Modern unified communications technologies deliver easy to deploy, out-of-the-box packages that do not restrict you to one vendor and permit connectivity to multiple PBX and IP telephony manufacturers. Learn more – Free Webinar.
1. UC Mobility: Identifying the Business Challenges for Mobility
Unified Messaging in an Evolving IT Environment
- Unified messaging can deliver a diverse e-mail system, and can be both premise-based and public cloud based. It also can offer flexible storage options to enhance your organization’s security and integration compliance objectives.
Improve Mobile Workers Connectivity and Productivity
- This component offers a Personal Assistant function with advanced features that help manage business communications efficiently. The Personal Assistant function can be used in hands-free, eyes-free mode while driving or in visual mode while in a meeting.
- AVST has pioneered an intuitive voice recognition interface that has been in the market for more than 15 years. Simply saying, “Get new messages,” or “Call John Smith,” for voice-activated hands-free, eyes-free communications will allow users to interact through the device.
Securely Support Employee Owned Mobile Devices
- Mobile security risk is a hot topic for many organizations. To overcome this threat, all business voicemails, contacts and call logs reside on the company’s voice infrastructure rather than the employee’s personal mobile device. This eliminates the danger of data leaks and/or other security breaches, while supporting the trend to BYOD.
Unify Fixed and Mobile Phone Networks
- This is the ability to manage communications through the company’s voice infrastructure in order to provide mobile number protection, single number reach and a single mailbox. In addition, this feature enables savings on roaming fees and decreases high costs from international calls.
2. UC Voice: Identifying the Business Challenges for Voice
Unified communications is not always an open, plug and play, out-of-box solution. Although it has a simple and robust structure, it still depends on existing setup and network allowances. In some cases, in order for organizations to realize the full potential of their existing infrastructure and optimize future investments, they must be able to overcome some network infrastructure challenges to have a full present and future proof system.
Migrate Your Legacy Voicemail System
- The “process” of the migration itself, is one of the major hurtles in transitioning from legacy technology to a UC platform. Although it can strike fear in the eyes of some IT personnel, it is one of the most flexible factors to manage. AVST’s solution seamlessly connects to multiple PBX and IP systems while mirroring the same functionality available on the legacy system. This permits IT departments to leverage new exciting technology while allowing organizations to save on user retraining. This also permits the retention of legacy PBX until budget to evolve to VoIP or IP is affordable.
Prepare for the Cloud
- There are several approaches that are available on the UC platform: private cloud, public cloud, or a hybrid of the two to meet the organization’s IT initiatives, vision and architecture.
Centralize and Consolidate Voice Applications
- When organizations decide to pursue the development of data centers in support of private cloud initiatives, the typical UC solution tackles three critical IT objectives: scalability to meet changing corporate business requirements; business continuity; and virtualization for efficiency and ease of data centre management. It creates a positive environment for cloud expansion and delivers streamlined communications between the implemented components of unified communications.
Support for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Initiatives
- UC sets a new benchmark in reliability by combining high availability, remote disaster recovery, and virtualization deployment options to the enterprise. In addition, it optionally provides enterprise-class reliability and scalability for business critical applications.
Migrate to Network-Based Faxing
- Another benefit is the resultant increased efficiency, flexibility and security to faxing and electronic document handling.
3. UC-Business Process: Identifying the Business Challenges for Business Process
While individual and group productivity continue to be the focus of UC implementations, the growing trend today is in enabling organizations to improve business process efficiency. By enabling customers to integrate communication with information, human latency is reduced and productivity is accelerated.
Automate Customer Notification
- Easily manage outbound calling campaigns with sophisticated outcall notification capabilities. With notification features, you can record and deliver messages, appointment reminders, schedule changes and emergency notifications more efficiently than ever before.
Provide Information Access Around the Cloc
- Accelerate the flow of information to your customers who expect 24/7 access to information and services such as checking account balances, paying phone bills, accessing event information, or scheduling appointments.
Enable Click-to-Call for Business Applications
- Eliminate the tedious work of placing calls with Click-to-Call by integrating database content and voice solutions. This feature enables users to quickly communicate with others with just one click of the mouse.
Web Portal Communications
- Enhance your company’s web portal to provide convenient access to corporate voice and fax messages. Presence application means turning contact information into communication by adding Click-to-Call to the corporate directory. Minimize the time to connect by utilizing user availability information to place calls to the right device on the first call.
Rapidly Create Custom Applications
- This feature allows you to design your own custom applications to fit the specific needs of your organization. Applications can be developed using UCConnect, a Microsoft .NET open development framework. UCConnect leverages the extensibility of the UC platform to rapidly create unique custom applications. Core technology includes telephone call management, voice, fax and text messaging, database queries and updates, text to speech conversion, and audio announcements.
4. UC-Interoperability: Identifying the Business Challenges for Interoperability
Interoperability is key for any successful UC deployment. By participating in our webinar you’ll discover how UC solutions can help you realize the full potential of your existing and future infrastructure. No matter what challenge you face, there is a solution element that can solve it.
Interoperability in Your Multi-Vendor IT Landscape
- A fully capable advanced UC solution seamlessly allows integration with all the major PBX systems, e-mail, presence engines and business applications. You will reap the benefits today by leveraging your existing investments and unlocking the full power of your communications landscape.
Deploy Unified Communications/VoIP at Your Own Pace
- As enterprises planning to deploy VoIP over time, there is still a requirement to support hybrid TDM PBX/Centrex/IP-PBX environments. This application is your bridge to pure Voice over IP deployments, enabling the natural evolution of your communications.
Avoid Single Vendor Lock-in at the Initial and more Importantly the Future Stages
- AVST’s UC product enables the flexibility to interoperate with other third-party Unified Communications vendor solutions of choice. Unlike virtually every other UC suite, this solution does not constrain customers with a single vendor lock-in approach. In fact, it’s the very opposite. The applications are built on open standards, providing the flexibility to round out your Unified Communications deployment with best-of-breed solutions.
To deliver more information about Unified Communications solution, network requirements and other important UC features we are hosting a free 45-minute webinar on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11:00am.