Structured Blog

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Unified and Integrated Communications: So much more than plain old telephones

By Gizzelle Akin, UC Solutions Advisor, Structured

Gone are the days of organizations simply looking for a new phone system. Businesses now need Unified and Integrated Communications platforms that provide calling capabilities and improve business processes.

Yes, everyone still feels they have a God-given right to dial tone. But, they now also expect instant messaging, mobility, video conferencing, CRM integration, and so much more.

Businesses want communication systems with integrated beacon technology that identifies an individual walking into a conference room and automatically dials the bridge he or she needs – all while activating the room’s projector system for screen sharing.

They want contact center software that pulls up a customer’s detail history right when they call in and routes the call to the appropriate agent. That software also should be powerful enough to automatically adjust the gain settings on the phone based on the levels that specific customer prefers to hear.

Sound too far fetched? Nope. These are actual examples of customer needs that can be met with modern Unified Communications and Contact Center Platforms.

There are now three primary types of interactions we see included in UC systems: people to people, people to machine, and machine to machine.

The differentiation between manufacturers in this space is less about interface and administration. It’s about what open APIs and how much customization is available — all while simplifying the end-user experience.

With the increased number of interactions in play, the conversation necessary to properly scope a UC project has become more complex. It is less about pitching a technology and more about becoming a business process consultant. This requires different types questions, such as:

  • “What are the existing application integrations?”
  • “What else would you like to be able to integrate with?”
  • “How does the desired daily workflow look?”
  • “What employee performance metrics do you have in place?”
  • “Why…..?”

As you can see, this is a drastic deviation from asking, “How many DIDs/PRIs do you have?” or “Do you need auto-attendant?”

Picking the right partner to guide you through this journey is key. Pushing boundaries and challenging status quo is part of the process, but so is compassion and appreciation for the way things historically have been done.

It is an exciting time. The value employees provide can be maximized by doing something they already want to do: Communicate.

If you haven’t yet looked into what modern Unified Communications and Contact Center systems can do in your environment, take the first step. Schedule a time to meet with our team. You won’t regret the talk.