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Unified Communications Support All Aspects of a Virtual Office

April 06, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Virtual Office Resource Contributor

If you’d asked most companies a decade ago what their biggest frustration was with communications, they would probably have answered “the bills.” Their second pet peeve likely would have been a lack of congruity between different systems and data, such as voice, email, text and video, which led to a lack of control over organizational communications.

Today, both problems – the high costs and the lack of integration and control – are being solved by unified communications, or UC. In the average company today, workers are mobile, disparate and scattered all over the country (or the world), and UC offers a way to build a single virtual office between workers and partners who may never meet in person.

But collaboration is about more than just opening up a channel of communication. A virtual office means that employees must work on projects together, so innovative UC solutions providers are going further and integrating other business applications into UC.

“In the past, the main concern was to bring different forms of communications onto one platform and put them all in the cloud,” according to Alon Cohen (News - Alert), executive vice president and chief technology officer of virtual office solutions provider, in a recent interview with CIO Review. “But now, things are changing and there is a growing trend to include integration with services such as customer relationship management (CRM).”

Solutions providers such as Phone (News - Alert).com are working to develop UC platforms that enable the integration of other cloud-based business services (by including APIs) so workers can collaborate using the applications, databases and files they need, all over the unified communications solution. It’s a way to make unified communications “smarter” and work harder, according to Cohen.

“We also offer various value-added features like audio and video conferencing, screen sharing, WiFi (News - Alert) calling, call recording and caller analytics,” he said. “Innovating new service models and studying what customers want and sometimes what they don’t even know they want, are all key to what we do and how we operate.”

As networks get smarter and more complex, and more devices are added to the scene (think “Internet of Things”), a good unified communications solution will need to be adaptable and have the ability to onboard clients’ virtual or physical devices as needed. Communications are changing, and organizations need solutions that can help them include old media and new in their UC mix. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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