Unified Communications & Contact Center Options – Making the Transition

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

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

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

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

The concept of presence is simple to comprehend within instant messaging in which a “buddy status” is available at a glance. UC takes this a stage additionally by grouping these “buddies” together by specialized abilities and attaching them to certain knowledge areas. All this would be offered by a glance.

UC allows for real-time delivery of most these forms of communication within a single environment that customers can access inside a simple interface. For example, customer support staff could have a list of employees knowledgeable about something, along with the most practical method for immediately contacting see your face who gets 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 program accessed to bridge key home elevators the product, customer and employee contacts simultaneously. If your business doesn’t curently have it, Unified Messaging (UM) can provide communications integration, albeit on a smaller scale than UC.

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

Still, in these modern times, UM does provide improved interaction synchronization to an extent that was not available only a decade ago. It is important to understand that while UM does offer efficiencies by grouping communications mutually; it is not the same thing as UC. Oftentimes, these words are interchanged and interpreted to have the same meaning.

Again, they are not similar. Tying communications together 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 in real time. Additional functionality allows phone calls to be routed in accordance with preset rules.

For example, if an employee is operating at a remote location beyond your office, the UC system can route a call with their cell phone and then a voice message into their voice mail. In the centre of UC is the Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology that allows analog telephone conversations to be transmitted on the internet. UC basically expands that functionality by allowing other communications through the same protocol. Transitioning to UC does not have to be an overwhelming process.

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

Another advantage of introducing UC to your business is enhanced security inside your company’s communications that has been never present before. Without UC, communications take place over numerous data formats using several protocols, and you may not have control over certain data. Integrating these data forms using UC gives your organization the ability to better manage the overall communications process.

The necessary equipment for creating a UC infrastructure includes various software applications and hardware equipment. The Microsoft variation of the UC solution is made around the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and the Microsoft Workplace Communicator 2007 for the user interface. Microsoft, of course, is geared toward the program UC solution. Its server application is designed to be deployed on a separate communications server.

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

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

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