Today’s blog will give a quick definition of unified communications and then explain reasons why this concept can lead to improved productivity in the workplace. So what is unified communications? First of all, it is more of a broad concept than any specific, concrete product or service that comes in a box.
There are many different vendors that offer some form of unified communications technology and there are many flavors of it. In general, however, unified communications can be understood as the effort to unify the communications channels that we use singularly and/or in parallel and pull them together.
For example, a unified communication system might create a unified mailbox whereby a user could access email, v-mail, voice, text and video using only one number. It works to eliminate the parallel structure of our communications channels. Unified communications may also be applied to begin to integrate our social media, where we normally have to maintain different accounts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
So why is this useful? Let’s look first at productivity.
Businesses are becoming more virtual; Real estate, whether owned or leased, is not free. Increasingly, firms are fostering more full-time work-from-home initiatives.
As a result, collaboration has to rely heavily on technological communication channels. In a cyclical pattern, as these technology channels improve and expand, our capacity to eliminate the constraints of physical workplace locations. Virtual offices can be more successful with integration.
Improve the usefulness of our communication channels – Just as five separate trips to the restaurant wasted time and energy, not using integrated collaboration and communication channels is inefficient and limits our capacity to effectively communicate together. This lack of integration hinders productivity. Multiple channels lacking integration can be clumsy, and at the very least, not optimized for efficiency.
In our next blog we will continue the discussion of how unified communications can help improve productivity in additional ways.