Aug 14

UC and the Single Source Communication Apps: Keep it Simple, Silly!



There haven't been a lot of tech developments more interesting than the modern evolution of communications. In fact-in spite of all the initial skepticism-smartphones have managed to completely change the way people interact with each other. Instead of navigating through many physical and digital interfaces, many mobile users are finding that single source communications apps make the process of connecting with others a lot less of a hassle than it used to be.

Unified Communications in the Business World
"As UC technology increasingly expands into the business marketplace, it means that more end users are beginning to take advantage of its capabilities for flexible communications," wrote Unified Communications Strategies contributor Art Rosenberg. "This movement is being driven heavily by mobile users who now have mobile, multimodal endpoint devices that can support all forms of communications between both people and between automated business processes and people."

In short, UC technology is making it even easier for individuals to connect, and this technology is also being utilized in the workplace as well! More organizations are finding success with single source communications programs that utilize a wide range of channels with the convenience and mobility that today's workforce needs. A vast majority of people in any given company have the skills needed to operate and maintain this kind of technology, so why not play to these strengths and enable innovation in the enterprise's roots?

It's time for enterprises to get serious about updating their business communications systems in order to access this form of technology. But while this is a clear-cut necessity, there are some considerations that will need to be made in order for success to be possible. Much of this will come from how far UC's influence can be stretched to meet requirments beyond direct employee collaboration.

Single source communications are a modern requirement
People have much greater expectations of technology than they used to. This comes from being experienced in the operation and basic upkeep of advanced IT devices. There is a wealth of untapped potential here that allows organizations to increase their productivity and overall performance.

But failure to understand unified communications can be almost as bad as not utilizing UC tech at all. It's about more than making multiple channels available in a single interface-it's about improving the way that these channels function and finding new ways in which they can be applied. If these networks were just part and parcel replacements of traditional technology then we wouldn't be giving it so much attention.

So, basically, an update of your enterprise's communications technology doesn't have to be a huge ordeal. You don't need a lot of fancy tools and apps to keep employees connected and productive; all you need is one solution to completely unify the way your organization communicates. In short, keep it simple, silly!

Aug 14

Cloud communications require new considerations




It seems like everyone is moving to the cloud these days. Whether through an on-site deployment or a hosted provider, more companies are realizing that modern enterprise telecom needs are best met through the cloud. But while this new model of communication delivery is viable in that it can streamline daily operations, it is not a drag and drop solution - there are new considerations that have to be made before jumping right into the future.


Businesses that are interested in unlocking the power of cloud communications have to make sure they prepare themselves for the switch. It is not enough to embrace the transition with open arms, as issues like Internet connection and security will have to be considered. As communications become further unified over IP channels, it will be important to treat them in the same ways that other online assets have traditionally been handled.


Internet connections have to be bolstered
The more employees an organization has, the greater the demands on their Internet connections are going to be. It is important to keep this in mind when upgrading existing digital phone solutions, as those still working in the office will be requiring greater speeds to support their current practices simultaneously with new telecom networks. According to Philadelphia Business Journal contributor John Gelhard, bandwidth will be a key consideration when navigating these migrations. This is something that will be true for both those seeking hosted providers and on-site deployments.


Security takes on new importance
Businesses should be well-accustomed to the idea of cybersecurity by now, but there has never been a need for communications security quite like this. While those turning to hosted solutions will have the assistance of their provider in this case, those converting their existing systems through SIP trunking will likely have to bolster defenses on their own.


But this should not be considered a drawback. Rather, this is a fairly small price to pay for an advanced telecom asset. As cloud unified communications become more popular and employees continue to demand them, those organizations who do not invest themselves in these networks will increasingly find themselves falling behind.


Turning toward the future
At one point in time, it might have been okay to ignore the rise of cloud UC and write it off as a passing fad. But this is no longer the case. As such, it will be critical for companies to embrace these developments as modern necessities or risk losing their top talent to businesses that do.


Aug 14

Why Cloud Technology is an Asset for Small Businesses

"BuellerLife moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

While Ferris Bueller may have used this line to justify skipping out on school, his idea can be related to nearly anything, including the world of business. As any small business owner will tell you, keeping up with the larger companies in their industry can be difficult and now more than ever, staying up-to-date on the most recent technological advancements key to staying competitive.

Communications, specifically, are where enterprise technology is presently making the biggest impact. There are some smaller companies that feel they can't justify a use for a cloud-based business phone solution, but they more than likely fail to see the consequences of not utilizing this technology.

"In the world of small business, it can be difficult for many leaders to warrant making capital investments, especially if their budgets are tight," writes Brian Walsh, a Marlin Finance contributor. "However, a number of potential purchases can do more than just make their daily lives easier by helping develop new forms of revenue."

The modern capabilities of consumer technology plus the potential benefits to seeking out cloud phone services are what make the exploration of new communications networks a worthwhile investment. Small businesses should seek out these types of solutions, even if they aren't ready to make a purchasing decision just yet.

Cloud telephony changing enterprise telecom
Part of what makes the cloud an asset for small business phone systems lies in the walls it takes down. Setting up effective networks on national and global scales has long been a challenge for many small businesses hoping to grow within their industry. But by leveraging the cloud, companies that operate with fewer resources can gain some footing when competing with larger entities. The wide availability of these tools and the lack of boundaries involved with accessing them make cloud telephony a valuable and obvious asset to organizations of any size. No matter where offices are located or employees may travel, they can all be able to work on the same lines as if they were sharing a workspace.

According to Mischa Communications, it is this - the distance that the cloud can travel - that showcases some of its greatest advantages.

"Whether your business is virtual, your team is global or you just want to provide more flexibility to your staff, a cloud infrastructure will change the way you think about doing business," the company wrote on their website.

Improving customer experiences
But it's not just about making things easier on your staff. The introduction of cloud telephony can also be crucial to improving relationships with a small business client base. Customers want to feel as though they're in the best hands. Sometimes, lacking modern technological advantages can drive consumers away, as they feel their business is better spent at organizations that are more up-to-date with the latest technological trends. In short, if you're not able to offer your clients the level of service they expect to receive, someone else will.


Aug 14

Cultural shift toward VoIP must be embraced through SIP trunking


For as long as it has been around, VoIP has never been looked to the way it is today. As a growing number of people are finding that voice calls can be easily - and more cost-effectively - made over the Internet, there's an increasing migration away from traditional telecom. For businesses still operating legacy circuits, this might feel a little unsettling. Now that a larger segment of the general population is expecting VoIP-level connectivity, there's some pressure being felt by the companies that haven't adapted.

But contrary to what some might think, there's no need to totally up-end existing systems in order to engage the modern consumer and present-day workforce. If legacy circuits are failing, then it is definitely time to turn to a hosted provider of unified communications services. But for those organizations that have a way to go before reaching the desired ROI on their still-functioning systems, there is a solution in SIP trunking.

What is SIP trunking?
There's a growing divide between companies that embrace VoIP and those that do not. There are significant savings and customer satisfaction to be obtained through VoIP. Calls made between two VoIP-enabled endpoints, for example, are cheap - if not free. The ability to effortlessly make international calls can help expand businesses that are trying to grow by extending their reach and even establishing remote offices. Additionally, employees and consumers alike find themselves in need of the seamless experiences that only unified communications can provide.

This can be a daunting concept for those organizations still running their legacy systems as is. Faced with a lack of information, these companies may feel somewhat helpless against their competition that can afford these new networks.

Enter SIP trunking. A SIP trunk takes existing circuits and enables them with IP capabilities. This allows the power of VoIP to be unlocked, not to mention readies systems for a move to the cloud. With a workforce that has grown accustomed to conducting business outside of the office when it sees fit, this is an incredibly important concept to consider.

Mobility defines modern success
The way in which employees view their jobs is changing. "Work" has become less of a place that one goes every day and in some professions is increasingly associated with daily chores around the house. Smartphone and tablet technology, when coupled with the cloud, fosters the freedom to complete tasks from wherever there is an Internet connection. People see that it is possible and they seek it out in order to better balance their personal and professional lives.

This is one of the major reasons why companies need to invest in VoIP capabilities. The world has fundamentally changed with the evolution of smartphone technology, and this is something that enterprises - regardless of their size or function - need to accept and embrace.

The time is now
Given how many different avenues there are to travel down when looking to obtain cloud communications, not to mention the level of flexibility that is indicative of the process in general, VoIP is something that can no longer be ignored. Whether existing digital phone solutions are replaced or updated with SIP phone service, modern companies need to get serious about converging channels in the cloud.