Getting the Most Out of Unified Communications

shutterstock_202503688The technology that businesses rely on has seen dramatic changes. Many businesses that used to rely on phone systems and IT teams independently have merged both. Traditional phone systems have given way to cloud-based VoIP and Unified Communications (UC), increasing efficiency in communications. IT departments are responsible for managing UC, which involves the use of the Internet, WiFi, high-speed connectivity, and more. UC has made it easier for customers and employees to communicate with companies.

 

Here are some more specific reasons why businesses should utilize this evolving technology.

Businesses Can Track Customers

UC allows companies to observe their customers’ online activity as it pertains to their business. With a rich online presence, companies can keep track of each customer to ensure services or assistance are properly received and expectations are met. UC can link customer presence information with business applications such as calendars, which makes it easier to see when customers are available for contact.

Applications Stay in Sync

Certain software-based UC solutions can work with many different apps. All connected applications can stay in sync with each other, allowing for more personalized customer interaction that helps ensure satisfaction.

Tailored Customer Communication

With UC, businesses can use applications to identify and keep track of more important customers. This can help make sure that they aren’t kept waiting.

Workforce Virtualization

Another benefit is the ability to seamlessly virtualize a company’s workforce. Customer service employees can connect with customers or each other face-to-face, and employees will also be able to work away from their desks. When employees and customers interact more quickly and directly, it can improve overall productivity.

International Business Is Easier

With UC implemented in international business operations, communicating with foreign employees or customers in different time zones is more efficient. For instance, if an employee works in a different time zone on another shift, call routing can easily redirect customers to available representatives. Customers might reach a call center or even an employee working from home.

Unified business communications means more overall efficiency and profitability. Along with streamlined business operations, companies can benefit from systems that readily adapt as the business grows. Working with the right UC service provider can also eliminate the need for in-house IT management. This can allow businesses to focus more on developing their products and services. In addition, customers will benefit from simpler and faster communication and are more likely to become repeat customers as a result.

What to Look for in Managed Mobility Services

shutterstock_177535688As the use of mobile devices and applications continues to expand, outsourced managed mobility services (MMS) are becoming increasingly popular. Managed services help lower mobility expenses and reduce stress on IT teams. Using managed services, businesses can better focus on business tasks rather than mobility, helping encourage growth.

MMS Basics

MMS are provided by a third party service. Vendors normally adhere to a service level agreement (SLA) and provide services according to specific business needs or subscription models. The right managed service provider (MSP) will be able to manage more IT tasks so businesses can focus on their area of expertise.

There are several questions a company should ask before deciding on a MSP.

Who Actually Provides Managed Services?

While many vendors provide services directly, some MSPs only work through other third party companies to deliver them, while claiming to do it all. Businesses should choose a provider that can offer services directly for seamless delivery, or go with a third party reseller that helps find the right provider and offers ongoing support.

How Much Expertise Do They Have?

Business managers should perform thorough research to determine a MSP’s level of expertise. Mobile device management (MDM) providers can be reliable sources; they may have a good relationship with their MSP and can offer a recommendation. MDM vendors can inform business managers about the provider’s ability to deliver services that go beyond simple device management, such as provisioning, kitting, or security applications.

How Do They Maintain Their Services?

Experienced MSPs take sufficient quality control measures to ensure that their services are consistent. ISO certifications and other standards will indicate proficiency in this area.

How Good Is Their Service Level Agreement?

It’s important that nothing is hidden in the SLA. Both parties should have a clear understanding of what the SLA entails, and companies should be able to look over any available performance records to review past performance.

Are Services Scalable?

When choosing a MSP, businesses should make sure that mobility services can adapt to the company as it grows. Businesses with goals of international expansion should determine if the provider is capable of handling international services. Each country has specific security, governance, privacy, and security requirements so it’s important that the provider comprehends and adheres to them.

Certain businesses may not even require outsourced mobility services. Based on the size of the business and the available costs, it may be better to stick with in-house mobility services. However, a reliable MSP can help many businesses grow and better focus on products and services.