Unified Communications (UC) implementations are on the rise. According to Gartner, UCaaS adoption increased across all market segments in 2018 as a growing number of businesses are realizing the positive impact of UC in their organizations, in the form of flexibility, consistency, advanced capabilities and cost-savings. If your business is looking to add or expand their UC features, review this checklist to ensure you are getting the most out of your UC solution.
For customer contact and interaction, sales needs and daily business functions, voice capabilities are still an active function in today’s enterprises. Inbound and outbound contact centers are commonly-used functions of hosted voice services as well. Many customers and vendors still prefer contact with a live human who can sympathize with their concerns and answer questions with a personal touch.
West’s suite of hosted voice products like VoiceMaxx CE and West Cloud Contact CE are customized solutions for this key UC feature. VoiceMaxx CE is a hosted enterprise voice platform that provides flexibility and features on an industry-leading Cisco infrastructure. This solution integrates with other solutions and is very customizable. West Cloud Contact CE takes hosted contact centers to the next level, using Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) for Contact Center in tandem with VoiceMaxx CE for voice and CRM integration.
Unified Messaging and Presence plus Collaboration
Current Unified Messaging (UM) and Presence programs are often found as bundled collaboration tools. UM is a UC solution that pulls messages from various sources like email, fax, texting and voicemail, so users can access them from a single or unified location. Presence refers to the ability of a user to know which colleagues are online and available for communication interaction. If further collaboration is required beyond traditional voice conversations, products like Cisco Jabber can fit the mold. Cisco Jabber gives co-workers the ability to use VoiceMaxx CE with the additional functionality of instant messaging, presence, voice and video. This kind of functionality makes contacts more accessible and consequently can improve levels of productivity.
Mobile Connectivity and Apps
Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find enterprise employees without a smartphone. The smartphone has become our mobile connection to the world at large, allowing us to communicate in a myriad of ways virtually anytime, anywhere. Thus, there is a demand for enterprise connectivity to the office no matter where users may roam. Mobile connectivity with UC functionality is provided through apps like Cisco Hybrid Spark for mobile messaging, collaboration and file sharing. Also, voice and video communications can be accomplished through Cisco Spark Calling’s mobile client app, and IM, presence, voice and video communications achieved with Cisco Jabber’s mobile integration.
Video and Web Conferencing
Today there is a growing prevalence of video and web conferencing deployments in companies of all sizes. According to a survey conducted by technology market research company IHS Markit, around 86 percent of businesses surveyed planned to use video conferencing as part of their UC environment by the early part of last year. With various video and web conferencing solutions at the ready, they will continue to be important UC facets.
Video and web conferencing products continue to prove their value time and again. They provide efficient ways to conduct business meetings, saving on time and travel expenses. Depending on needs and requirements, InterCall Unified Meeting 5, Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms and BlueJeans offer a combination of audio, video and web content and collaboration tools to meet your organization’s video and web conferencing needs.
Today’s office employees want to check off their daily task items using apps that work together for seamless and efficient work-handling. Using apps that integrate with other UC tools makes it easier to complete functions without wasting time switching between applications. West has developed several options for UC app integration. Merging apps makes for powerful and time-saving employee tools.
One example is Microsoft Office 365, delivering the power of MS Office tools with cloud-based collaboration tools like email, shared calendars, IM, video conferencing and file sharing. One more example: West Cloud Contact Salesforce Integration. This app integration solution provides powerful enterprise contact center tools with integrated Salesforce features like screen pop-ups, click-to-dial and automated call logging.
The ability to communicate across a mobile device such as a smartphone or laptop with wireless capabilities comprises the mobility part of UC. Mobility consists of several facets: single number access, find-me-follow-me and mobile app continuity. In 2019, users want to have a single number as a point of contact, whether in their corporate office, home office or on the go. They also want to continue to possess the functionality of their office productivity apps while mobile.
West mobile apps like Mobile Connect give your mobile workforce the ability to have a single number, one-touch directory access and voicemail management, all through a simple user interface. InterCall MobileMeet gives users the power to conduct conference calls and online meetings from their smartphones. And the mobile version of Microsoft Office 365 gives the workforce access to the productivity tools they use day in and day out.
Secure Managed Networks
Threats to corporate networks are continual. Companies looking to secure their UC infrastructure might consider a managed network solution to keep the integrity of the network intact. MaxxSecure Network Security Solutions offer complete and unified threat management products to safeguard against any harm that could come to an enterprise network. The complete package includes a managed firewall, spam filtering, virus/spyware protection, web content filtering and ongoing monitoring, plus VPN. And comprehensive analytics and reporting can be obtained through the MaxxSecure Analyzer.
Consulting and System Integration
As this checklist demonstrates, there are many customizable options available for implementing UC solutions in your organization. To ensure you have a solution that meets your enterprise’s specific needs, try partnering with UC experts in system integration. West offers a professional services team that can find the appropriate UC solutions for your environment. Services include anything from general consulting and suggestions to individualized implementations.
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