Unified Communications & Contact Center Choices – Making the Transition

Imagine a customer calling for detailed, technical information regarding your products and services. These calls can be cumbersome for customer support employees who don’t possess the technical knowledge about a particular product or service. Now imagine those same customer service employees having a comprehensive menu on the computer screens describing the precise technical knowledge about that specific product or service, as well as other detailed information the inquiring buyer can use to make the best decision right away.

In the world of UC (Unified Communications), technical customer support phone calls are handled and processed significantly differently than these were just a decade ago.

Transitioning to a UC system boosts communications both internally and externally by arming employees with better technology tools that add value to the entire communication process. This short article contains helpful understanding and insights to assist you in the transition to a unified communications program.

UC is essentially a unified platform for communications in every its forms. Potentially, this may include land-lines and cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging (IM), VoIP, IP-PBX, fax, voice mail, conference calls, videos conferencing, whiteboard and unified messaging. Your employees could have presence inside your business communications – whether they are physically at work or not.

The concept of presence is simple to comprehend within instant messaging where a “buddy status” is available at a glance. UC takes this a step further more by grouping these “buddies” jointly by specialized expertise and attaching them to particular knowledge areas. All of this would be available at a glance.

UC allows for real-time delivery of most these forms of communication within a single environment that consumers can access within a simple interface. For example, customer support staff could have a list of employees knowledgeable about a product, along with the best method for immediately contacting see your face who gets the correct answers about the information on the product.

By clicking on a contact icon, a call up can be made, or perhaps a page or a whiteboard program accessed to bridge key home elevators the product, customer and employee contacts concurrently. If your business doesn’t curently have it, Unified Messaging (UM) can provide communications integration, albeit on an inferior scale than UC.

Unified Messaging is with the capacity of grouping together communications from various sources, such as e-mail, faxes and voice mail, but does not allow (in all instances) real-time distribution. Unified Messaging devices store these multi-program communications for an individual to access information at his / her discretion.

Still, in the present day, UM does provide improved communication synchronization to an extent that was not available only a decade ago. It is very important understand that while UM possesses efficiencies by grouping communications mutually; it is not the same thing as UC. Oftentimes, these conditions are interchanged and interpreted to have the same meaning.

Again, they are not the same. Tying communications mutually in a UC platform can have a tremendous positive effect on productivity at your business. Businesses with offices across the globe have an excellent opportunity to synchronize communications as they occur around the clock instantly. Additional functionality allows phone calls to be routed according to preset rules.

For example, if an employee is doing work at a remote location beyond your office, the UC method can route a call to their cell phone and then a voice message into their voice mail. At the heart of UC is the Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies that allows analog phone conversations to be transmitted on the internet. UC basically expands that operation by allowing additional communications through the same protocol. Transitioning to UC does not have to be an overwhelming procedure.

First, consider what usable technology your business already has and how those assets could be integrated into the new platform. Consider what communications already are transmitted using the Internet Protocol (IP). Maybe your business is only several steps away from integrating these right into a truly unified format that substantially increases productivity.

Another good thing about introducing UC to your organization is enhanced security inside your company’s communications that has been never present before. Without UC, communications occur over several data formats using numerous protocols, and you may not need control over certain facts. Integrating these data forms using UC gives your company the ability to better manage the entire communications process.

The necessary equipment for developing a UC infrastructure includes various software applications and hardware products. The Microsoft variant of the UC solution is built around the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and the Microsoft Workplace Communicator 2007 for the interface. Microsoft, of course, is geared toward the software UC solution. Its server software is designed to be deployed on a dedicated communications server.

Cisco, the IT hardware equipment manufacturer most widely known for its routers and switches and its own reputation because the “backbone of the web,” also offers software UC solutions, along with the necessary hardware apparatus. Agentie de Comunicare Cisco is more well known as a hardware company; thus naturally, the business’s UC solution is extra hardware-based.

The two big players in the wonderful world of IT have developed UC solutions. Which one is best for you is really a function of one’s specific requirements and your company’s monetary resources to support and maintain the technology. Take into account that there are tailored solutions out there from both Microsoft and Cisco personalized for the size of your business.

Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 2007 will come in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. The Standard Edition is supposed for SMBs which have one server platform using one machine. Combined with the accompanying Standard Client Access License (CAL) it permits messaging, peer-to-peer video and tone of voice, and file transfers all that occurs in a integrated and familiar Microsoft Office environment.

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