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Unified Communications & COVID-19: What Your Business Needs To Know
COVID-19 changed everything, including how businesses run and how people do their jobs. With everyone working remotely, effective communication between employees has never been more important.
If you had unified communications established pre-pandemic, you likely were better able to weather the storm than your contemporaries. Unified communications help employees stay connected and work more efficiently, no matter where they are – meaning they’re critical now during COVID-19, and will likely only become more important going forward.
What Are Unified Communications?
Unified communications (UC) are a way of understanding and organizing communication in the business world. It integrates all types of business communication – emails, instant messaging, voice and video calls, file sharing, conferencing and more – into one unified system.
A UC system works best when it is cloud-based (ie, when it is not bound to a local server hosted at a company’s location). Moving business operations to the cloud has become increasingly popular, not just for UC for but for other business practices like document and customer management as well. Connecting your business to the cloud makes working remotely easy. It also offers more benefits, like regular back-ups of your information, and an outsourced tech team.
Cloud based software also makes it easier to expand as needed while also managing costs. Managing costs is one of the biggest advantages of UC. In fact, utilizing UC can save money and time in a big way, which is why it’s so attractive.
For example, UC makes scheduling easier. Meetings are necessary for just about every business and before UC, you’d have to fully furnish a board room, manage everyone’s schedules, and maybe even account for travel costs for some employees. But with UC, you can easily coordinate schedules and have a meeting with no travel time or board room costs – without sacrificing any quality. It just makes sense, both before and after COVID-19.
UC also allows for much easier and more efficient communication between staff and customers. Instant messaging, or chat, is a much better way to communicate quick information, leaving email for more important and lengthy matters.
Ultimately UC systems help improve communication by reducing email overwhelm, enabling instant communication amongst team members, and making all forms of communication seamless. This will always be important – and perhaps never more so than during a pandemic which forces everyone to work remotely.
How Can Unified Communications Especially Help During The COVID-19 Pandemic
UC systems let people stay connected, no matter where they are physically working – which obviously is critical now. UC makes it so easy to keep your team safe, by making switching to work-from-home a painless process. Your team can have all the tools they need to keep your business thriving, so that you don’t have to sacrifice safety, quality, or success.
Think about the meeting example. Perhaps before the pandemic, even if you have UC, you might still have had in-person meetings. With UC available you were better prepared for a world where in-person meetings just aren’t possible. Your learning curve was less than other companies who were not prepared. UC just makes it so much easier to perform all functions of business remotely.
Depending on your business, it may not be possible for all your staff to work from home. However, support staff, social media management, advisory services, communications and more can likely all be done remotely – and done just as well - when you employ the right UC.
The way business trends are moving, it is likely that many staff will continue to work remotely, even after the pandemic. That’s why unifying your communications is one the best things you can do right now to future-proof your company.