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Unified communications solutions are critical to hybrid working needs

Posted by Jeremy Hignell on 26/04 at 10:00 AM Cloud-hosted telephone systems, Unified communications,
Unified communications solutions are critical to meeting continuing hybrid working needs

It is more than two years since we were told to work from home in the face of the pandemic. Several lockdowns later, and thanks to the rollout of a successful vaccination programme, the UK is now living with COVID.

In this article, we will look at the results of our recent hybrid working poll to ascertain how unified communications solutions have helped pave the way for how many of us work today.

Table of contents:

How is unified communications supporting UK businesses in 2022?

Before we get to the technology, it would be helpful to consider just how the pandemic created a sea-change moment. Our recent poll revealed the following:

  • 39% adopted a hybrid remote working model
  • 33% are still working from home
  • 28% are back in the office

People using a hybrid work model will have no doubt adopted a unified comms solution alongside an on-premise VoIP phone system or cloud-hosted solution as older phone systems simply do not have the flexibility to support working from home or working on the go.

If you cannot answer, make, or transfer calls at home in the same way as you would in the office, then your phone system is not up to the remote working task. You should not have to resort to using mobile phones and giving out personal numbers.

What is unified communications as a service (UCaaS)?

Unified communications tools – presence, chat, video, screen and document sharing – used to be delivered as a client hosted on a server. UCaaS delivers all these via the cloud. In Gartner’s words, the “UCaaS infrastructure is owned, operated, maintained and delivered by the provider.” Businesses simply pay a subscription to download an app onto multiple devices, for use as long as staff have access to the internet.

UCaaS integrated within your phone system

Invest in phone systems that have integrated unified communications solutions. We offer businesses a choice of solutions to suit their needs including:

  • Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise on-premise phone systems with the Rainbow app
  • Gamma Horizon cloud-hosted phone system with the Collaborate app
  • Microsoft Teams UCaaS platform including the phone system app
  • Wildix cloud-hosted unified communications solution and mobility app

All these solutions can be used with traditional desk handsets as well as desktop clients or mobile apps connecting to headsets or earphones. It does not matter how geographically spread out a business workforce is, they use the same phone system and all its features and functions.

Benefits of unified communications solutions

There are many benefits of unified communications solutions and we have listed some of them below:

Collaboration and convenience for all staff members

UCaaS enables your staff to be able to communicate in the most collaborative and convenient way possible. With the option to call, video, chat, file share and so much more, the options are endless …although choosing which way to communicate is often determined by their availability.

Choose how you communicate with your colleagues

If they are away from their desk or on holiday, an email will be the best choice. If they are in a meeting or on a call, an instant message may work. If they are available, you could initiate a call or video meeting. Distance should never be a barrier to effective communications between colleagues.

Increase business productivity

Unified communications solutions also boost productivity. Rather than booking a meeting room, or having a bit of chit-chat at the start of a call, you can instant message questions for a quick reply. You can create groups to ask questions of multiple colleagues. Groups can also work on shared documents and they can invite their colleagues into an ongoing video meeting with a single mouse click.

Unified communications as a service – an example

We delivered a UCaaS solution to software company Sorce when they decided to adopt a hybrid remote working model. They replaced their ageing on-premise phone system with Microsoft Teams’ Phone System app to enjoy true flexibility.

Sorce technical director Martin Miles said “When looking for a telephone system that we could use from anywhere, rather than being tied to an office-based landline, we approached a number of suppliers but, in terms of responsiveness, understanding of our business needs and solution choices, swcomms came out on top.”

Do office workers need UCaaS?

If they communicate with remote workers, then yes! I use it to collaborate with my colleagues while I am on-site too. I use it all the time when I am working from home so why break a productive habit when I am in the office?

The question really should be...are office workers not working remotely because they do not have unified comms? While some people want to work in the office or their line of work dictates they must be on site, there are still businesses that have not embraced the benefits of unified communications. It is one of the main reasons we are asked for a phone system upgrade as businesses realise they are using an ageing system and a mix of UC tools from multiple vendors to achieve what should be accessible from a single platform.

Choosing an UCaaS provider

Go for a provider that offers you a choice of UCaaS solutions and does not shoehorn you into the one or two they have available. Your provider should listen to your needs and come up with a solution that meets them. If they offer you testimonials or case studies, then read them. This will give you a real-life insight into how the solve their customers’ challenges with the technology you are considering for your own business.

We would love to help you with your unified communications needs. Do not hesitate to contact us at cloud@swcomms.co.uk.

If you would like more information around this topic, try these articles and case studies below.

Related content

>Need to make a tech change but don’t know where to start?
>Award-winning hardware vendor leads the way for UCaaS solutions
>Case study: South East Employers

Posted by
Jeremy Hignell's avatar
Jeremy Hignell on 26/04/2022

Jeremy completed a sports and exercise science degree in Porstmouth and then spent some time in the car rental industry based in Bicester.

As of 2021, he is new to the telecoms industry and feels that he has joined at an exciting time for business communications technology.

Jeremy enjoys walking his dog Pico with his wife around the stunning Devon scenery.

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Contact: jeremy.hignell@swcomms.co.uk

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