Unified Communications & Contact Center Choices – Making the Transition

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 specific service or product. Now imagine those same customer service employees having a comprehensive menu on the computer screens describing the exact technical understanding of that specific service or product, as well as other detailed information the inquiring customer can use to make an informed decision right away.

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

Transitioning to a UC program boosts communications both internally and externally by arming staff with better technology resources that add value to the overall communication process. This article contains helpful know-how and insights to assist you in the changeover to a unified communications platform.

UC is actually 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 tutorial conferencing, whiteboard and unified messaging. Your employees could have presence within your business communications – if they are physically at work or not.

The concept of presence is easy to comprehend within instant messaging in which a “buddy status” is available at a glance. UC takes this a step further more by grouping these “buddies” together by specialized expertise and attaching them to particular knowledge areas. All this would be available at a glance.

UC permits real-time delivery of most these forms of communication within a single environment that customers can access inside a simple interface. For example, customer service staff could have a list of employees knowledgeable about something, along with the best 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 call up can be made, or even a page or a whiteboard program 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 provide communications integration, albeit on an inferior scale than UC.

Unified Messaging is with the capacity of grouping together communications from unique sources, such as e-mail, faxes and voice mail, but does not allow (in every instances) real-time distribution. Unified Messaging methods store these multi-system communications for an individual to access information at his or her 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 possesses efficiencies by grouping communications together with each other; it is not the same thing as UC. Oftentimes, these terms are interchanged and interpreted to have the same meaning.

Again, they are not the same. Tying communications together with each other in a UC platform might have a tremendous positive impact on productivity at your organization. Businesses with offices across the globe have an excellent possibility to synchronize communications because they occur around the clock in real time. Additional functionality allows telephone calls to be routed according to preset rules.

For example, if an employee is doing work at a remote location outside the office, the UC program can route a call to their cell phone and a voice message into their voice mail. At the heart of UC may be 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 some other communications through the same protocol. Transitioning to UC doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.

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

Another good thing about introducing UC to your organization is enhanced security within your company’s communications that was never offer before. Without UC, communications arise over numerous data formats using several protocols, and you may not need control over certain facts. 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 gear. The Microsoft variant of the UC solution is made round 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 software program was created to be deployed on a dedicated communications server.

Cisco, the IT hardware devices manufacturer most widely known because of its routers and switches and its own reputation as the “backbone of the web,” also offers software UC solutions, together with the necessary hardware products. Cisco is more widely known as a hardware company; so 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 best for you is really a function of one’s specific requirements and your company’s monetary resources to aid and maintain the technology. Understand that there are tailored solutions out there from both Microsoft and Cisco customized 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 that have one server platform on one machine. Agentie PR Along with the accompanying Standard Client Access Permit (CAL) it allows for messaging, peer-to-peer video and tone of voice, and file transfers all to occur within an integrated and familiar Microsoft Work place.