Over the last three years, unified communications (UC) has become more than just an industry buzzword. It’s become a necessity. Having all business communication programs on one “pane of glass” is crucial to the success of businesses that have fully remote or hybrid workforces. Even in-office workers benefit from having access to a robust UC solution.
But since many UC offerings are highly customizable, many companies don’t know where to start. What unified communications features should they prioritize? What kind of integrations should they be looking for? If you’re asking these questions, this blog is for you. We’ve put together seven of the top unified communications features a business needs to increase efficiency and promote effective collaboration between employees.
1. Unified Communications Features: Audio/Visual Conferencing
Conference calling has been a cornerstone of business communication since its inception – with video conferencing right behind it. Being able to add other participants to a call is critical when questions need to be answered, issues need to be resolved, or approval needs to be given. Having both audio and video conferencing capabilities gives your employees and customers the freedom to pick their preferred method of communication. Just be sure your unified communications platform’s conferencing solution is simple-to-use, feature-rich, and visually appealing.
2. Unified Communications Features: Chat with Presence Functionality
Inter-office communication benefits immensely from an integrated chat application. When your unified communications solution is equipped with chat it gives employees the ability to provide updates to their team, submit requests, and check up on projects in a timely manner. When chat is integrated with other communication software, chat can be utilized to schedule a meeting, send an email, shoot a client a text message, or update management without having to log into a separate platform.
When chat includes “presence” it also gives employees the means to see who’s available to chat and who isn’t. This gives them the ability to set realistic communication expectations and plan their day accordingly.
3. Unified Communications Features: Softphone Application
At its core, a softphone application puts a virtual business phone in the hands of every employee – if they have a phone or not. It looks like a normal office phone interface and can be accessed from a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, ensuring your employees are accessible even if they’re not at their desks. Unified communications solutions with softphone applications also eliminate the need for your employees to give out personal cell phone numbers to customers. Now their office number is as mobile as they are!
Since a softphone is – essentially – a handheld office phone system, features like call transferring, call forwarding, visual voicemail, and more can be managed quickly and easily by users, teams, or the company at large.
4. Unified Communications Features: Email and Calendar Integrations
Most stand-alone conferencing solutions offer some kind of email and calendar integration. Unified communications should as well. Choosing a system with email and calendar integrations helps teams schedule client meetings or follow-up calls without changing programs or even changing tabs in their browser windows. Imagine you’re on the phone with a customer and they tell you the date they’re free to discuss your product. With unified communications, you can log that call into your CRM and from the CRM add that meeting to your personal and corporate calendar applications. Some integrations even allow you to schedule automatic reminders.
5. Unified Communications Features: Worldwide Accessibility
The world seems to be getting smaller and smaller with each technological advancement. Odds are, if you haven’t dealt with an international client yet, you will soon. It’s only a matter of time. And when you do, everyone you’re put in contact with will appreciate having a local number. For instance, if you’re serving a customer in Australia, you should have an Australian-based telephone number that forwards to a number in the United States. That way your customer can call that number without entering a country code or paying extra fees.
Be sure that your unified communications provider offers numbers for the countries you already have employees or customers in.
6. Unified Communications Features: Omni-Device, Omni-Channel Communications
One of the biggest advantages unified communications provides is omni-device and omni-channel accessibility. If you took a meeting on your smartphone, you’d be able to review the call recording on your laptop. That’s an example of omni-device functionality – being able to access the same data from multiple devices. An example of omni-channel functionality is being able to chat with an internal team, create a meeting invite for them based on the current discussion, and email the full chat summary to relevant parties all without exiting the application. This unified communications functionality increases productivity by decreasing the amount of time switching between necessary applications. Now everything you need to do can be accomplished from one place.
7. Unified Communications Features: Data Analytics & Management for Administrators
The last, but certainly not least, important feature in a unified communications offering is a real-time analytics and data management program. Having insights into employee performance and preference, as well as your communication trends overall, will help managers make informed decisions about how to improve internal processes. It also allows them to customize how certain systems are set up, ensuring the right team members get the right notifications at the right times.
Empower Corporate Collaboration Today with Rytel
In this age of remote and hybrid work environments, we know how important effective collaboration is to a business. Which is why Rytel offers unified communications solutions that fit teams of any shape and size. Equipped with video conferencing, online meeting rooms, business messaging, and more, Rytel’s unified communications offering is the leader in communication and collaboration solutions. Reach out to our experts today to see for yourself!