Unified Communications & Contact Center Alternatives – Making the Changeover

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

In the world of UC (Unified Communications), technical customer service cell phone calls are handled and processed very much differently than they were just a decade ago.

Transitioning to a UC system improves communications both internally and externally by arming staff with better technology resources that add value to the entire communication process. This article contains helpful expertise and insights to assist you in the changeover to a unified communications system.

UC is essentially a unified program for communications in all its forms. Potentially, this may include land-lines and cell phones, e-mail, instantaneous messaging (IM), VoIP, IP-PBX, fax, voice mail, conference calls, video clip conferencing, whiteboard and unified messaging. Your employees will have presence within 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 stage even more by grouping these “buddies” together by specialized skills and attaching them to specific knowledge areas. All this would be offered by a glance.

UC permits 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 listing of employees knowledgeable about a product, along with the most practical method for immediately contacting see your face who has the correct answers about the details of the product.

By simply clicking a contact icon, a contact can be made, or perhaps a page or a whiteboard session accessed to bridge key information on the product, customer and employee contacts concurrently. If your business doesn’t already have it, Unified Messaging (UM) can provide communications integration, albeit on a smaller scale than UC.

Agentie PR Unified Messaging is capable of grouping together communications from different sources, such as for example e-mail, faxes and tone of voice mail, but will not allow (in all instances) real-time distribution. Unified Messaging methods store these multi-system communications for an individual to access information at her or his discretion.

Still, today, UM does provide improved conversation synchronization to an extent that has been not available only a decade ago. It is important to understand that while UM possesses efficiencies by grouping communications collectively; it is not the same thing as UC. Oftentimes, these words are interchanged and interpreted to really have the same meaning.

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

For example, if an employee is functioning at a remote location beyond your office, the UC system can route a call to their cell phone and then a voice message to their voice mail. At the heart of UC may be the Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems that allows analog cellphone conversations to be transmitted online. UC basically expands that features by allowing other 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 utilizing the Internet Protocol (IP). It could be that your business is only several steps from integrating these right into a truly unified format that significantly increases productivity.

Another good thing about introducing UC to your business is enhanced security within your company’s communications that was never found before. Without UC, communications arise over several data formats using multiple protocols, and you may not need control over certain details. Integrating these data forms using UC gives your company the opportunity to better manage the entire communications process.

The necessary equipment for developing a UC infrastructure includes various software applications and hardware devices. The Microsoft edition of the UC solution is built round the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and the Microsoft Workplace Communicator 2007 for the interface. Microsoft, needless to say, is geared toward the software UC solution. Its server software was created to be deployed on a dedicated communications server.

Cisco, the IT hardware tools 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 products. Cisco is more well known as a hardware company; consequently naturally, the company’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 your specific requirements as well as 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 tailored for the size of your business.

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

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