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Diversity Is Key for Future Unified Communications Strategies

January 22, 2015 by

A unified communications platform offers many benefits. UC tools allow employees to become more productive by improving their collaborative abilities and overall efficiency, all while driving down operating costs. UC solutions also have a positive impact on worker morale and job satisfaction.

All of that is obviously appealing to companies in every industry. To maximize the benefits, though, organizations need to choose the right approach to UC. Among the most important factors in this area - one that will only grow in significance in the coming year - is diversity.

Freedom of Choice

By definition, a UC platform will unite a number of different communication channels into a single system. Any authorized personnel can then use whichever of those channels they deem best at any given time.

Diversity is simply the variety of options included in such a platform. Some UC platforms contain only a handful of communication channels - say, voice, email, and presence tools. Others offer well over a dozen options. These can include interactive voice response options, SMS, video conferencing, audio conferencing, live chat, and much more.

It's true that the three basic options included in the less robust UC packages are typically the most commonly used - although video conferencing is rapidly gaining in that capacity. However, this does not mean that the other UC channels lack value. On the contrary, they are an essential part of effective UC systems. Why? Because one of UC's greatest potential benefits is that it allows users to choose the ideal channel for specific communication issues.

In the contact center, for example, a customer service agent may decide that a particularly complex technical issue may be best solved with a video conference, while a simpler matter might require a single SMS message. If the UC solution in place is too basic, though, the agent will probably have to rely on voice and email for these issues, respectively. They may get the job done, but these limitations will hurt the agent's efficiency, productivity, and job satisfaction.

Device Matters

Beyond offering a variety of communication channels, a high-quality, diverse UC solution should also accommodate a wide range of devices. Increasingly, employees expect to have the ability to use their personal smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets to access and utilize corporate assets, including UC systems.

If a UC system limits its users' device options, it loses a lot of its utility and value, and employees will be far less enthusiastic about leveraging the offering. This makes device-agnostic Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) the ideal choice for many firms. High-end UCaaS offers anywhere, anytime connection to a robust suite of UC options.

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