Unified Communications & Contact Center Alternatives – Making the Transition

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

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

Transitioning to a UC program increases communications both internally and externally by arming staff members with better technology equipment that add value to the overall communication process. This article contains helpful information and insights to assist you in the changeover to a unified communications platform.

UC is essentially a unified system for communications in every its forms. Potentially, this can include land-lines and cellular phones, e-mail, fast messaging (IM), VoIP, IP-PBX, fax, voice mail, conference calls, video clip conferencing, whiteboard and unified messaging. Your employees could have presence within your business communications – whether they are physically in the office or not.

The concept of presence is easy to comprehend within instant messaging where a “buddy status” is available instantly. UC takes this a phase further by grouping these “buddies” together by specialized skills and attaching them to certain knowledge areas. All this would be available at a glance.

UC permits real-time delivery of all these forms of communication within a single environment that customers can access within a simple interface. For example, customer service 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 contact can be made, or even a page or a whiteboard session accessed to bridge key home elevators the merchandise, customer and employee contacts simultaneously. If your business doesn’t already have it, Unified Messaging (UM) can offer communications integration, albeit on an inferior scale than UC.

Unified Messaging is capable of grouping together communications from several sources, such as for example e-mail, faxes and voice mail, but does not allow (in all instances) real-time delivery. Unified Messaging systems store these multi-system communications for the user to access information at his / her discretion.

Still, presently, UM does provide improved communication synchronization to an extent that was not available just a decade ago. It is very important understand that while UM does offer efficiencies by grouping communications collectively; it is not a similar thing as UC. Oftentimes, these terminology are interchanged and interpreted to really have the same meaning.

Again, they are not the same. Tying communications together in a UC platform might have a tremendous positive effect on productivity at your business. Businesses with offices around the world have an excellent possibility to synchronize communications as they occur around the clock in real time. Agentie PR Additional functionality allows cell phone calls to be routed according to preset rules.

For example, if a worker is operating 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 may be the Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems that allows analog phone conversations to be transmitted over the Internet. UC basically expands that features by allowing various other communications through exactly the same protocol. Transitioning to UC doesn’t have to be an overwhelming procedure.

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

Another benefit of introducing UC to your organization is enhanced security inside your company’s communications that was never existing before. Without UC, communications take place over several data formats using several protocols, and you may not have control over certain info. Integrating these data platforms using UC gives your organization 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 version of the UC solution is built round the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and the Microsoft Workplace Communicator 2007 for the user interface. Microsoft, needless to say, is geared toward the software UC solution. Its server computer software is designed to be deployed on a dedicated communications server.

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

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

Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 2007 comes in two editions: Standard and Business. The Standard Edition is intended for SMBs which have one server platform using one machine. Along with the accompanying Standard Client Access License (CAL) it allows for messaging, peer-to-peer video and tone of voice, and file transfers all that occurs within an integrated and familiar Microsoft Work place.