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Unified Communications & Contact Center Options – Making the Changeover

Imagine a customer calling for detailed, technical information about your services and products. These calls could be cumbersome for customer support employees who don’t possess the technical knowledge about a specific service or product. Now imagine those same customer service employees having a thorough menu on the computer screens describing the exact technical knowledge about that specific product or service, along with other detailed information the inquiring customer can use to make the best decision right away.

In the wonderful world of UC (Unified Communications), technical customer support calls are handled and processed very much differently than these were just a decade ago.

Transitioning to a UC system boosts communications both internally and externally by arming staff members with better technology equipment that add value to the entire communication process. This article contains helpful understanding and insights to assist you in the changeover to a unified communications program.

UC is actually a unified program for communications in every its forms. Agentie PR Potentially, this can include land-lines and cellular phones, e-mail, quick messaging (IM), VoIP, IP-PBX, fax, voice mail, conference calls, videos conferencing, whiteboard and unified messaging. Your employees could have presence inside your business communications – whether they are physically in the office or not.

The concept of presence is simple to comprehend within instant messaging in which a “buddy status” is available at a glance. UC takes this a step more by grouping these “buddies” mutually by specialized skills and attaching them to particular knowledge areas. All of this would be offered by a glance.

UC allows for real-time delivery of all these forms of communication inside a single environment that customers can access within a simple interface. For example, customer support staff could have a listing of employees knowledgeable about a product, along with the most practical method for immediately contacting that person who has the correct answers about the information on the product.

By clicking on a contact icon, a call up can be made, or perhaps a page or a whiteboard session accessed to bridge key home elevators the merchandise, customer and employee contacts simultaneously. If your business doesn’t curently have it, Unified Messaging (UM) can provide communications integration, albeit on a smaller scale than UC.

Unified Messaging is with the capacity of grouping together communications from distinct sources, such as for example e-mail, faxes and tone of voice mail, but will not allow (in every instances) real-time shipping. Unified Messaging techniques store these multi-program communications for an individual to access information at their discretion.

Still, currently, UM does provide improved interaction synchronization to an extent that has been not available just a decade ago. You should understand that while UM possesses efficiencies by grouping communications jointly; it is not a similar thing as UC. Oftentimes, these terminology are interchanged and interpreted to really have the same meaning.

Again, they are not similar. Tying communications collectively in a UC platform might have a tremendous positive effect on productivity at your organization. Businesses with offices across the globe have an excellent opportunity to synchronize communications because they occur around the clock instantly. Additional functionality allows calls to be routed in accordance with preset rules.

For example, if an employee is functioning at a remote location beyond your office, the UC program can route a call with their cell phone and then a voice message into their voice mail. In the centre of UC is the Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems that allows analog telephone conversations to be transmitted online. UC basically expands that operation by allowing various other communications through exactly the same protocol. Transitioning to UC does not have to be an overwhelming process.

First, think about what usable technology your business currently has and how those property could be integrated into the new platform. Consider what communications already are transmitted utilizing the Internet Protocol (IP). It could be that your business is only a few steps from integrating these right into a truly unified format that dramatically increases productivity.

Another benefit of introducing UC to your organization is enhanced security inside your company’s communications that was never current before. Without UC, communications appear over numerous data formats using multiple protocols, and you may not need control over certain information. Integrating these data forms using UC gives your company the ability to better manage the entire communications process.

The necessary equipment for developing a UC infrastructure includes various applications and hardware equipment. The Microsoft type of the UC solution is built around the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and the Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 for the interface. Microsoft, needless to say, is geared toward the software UC solution. Its server software is designed to be deployed on a dedicated communications server.

Cisco, the IT hardware products manufacturer most widely known because of its routers and switches and its own reputation because the “backbone of the Internet,” offers software UC solutions, along with the necessary hardware products. Cisco is more well known as a hardware company; hence naturally, the company’s UC solution is even more hardware-based.

The two big players in the world of IT are suffering from UC solutions. Which one is best for you is really a function of your specific requirements as well as your company’s monetary resources to support and maintain the technology. Remember that there are tailored solutions obtainable from both Microsoft and Cisco personalized for the size of your business.

Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 2007 will come in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. The Standard Edition is supposed for SMBs which have one server platform using one machine. Together with the accompanying Standard Client Access Permit (CAL) it allows for messaging, peer-to-peer video and voice, and file transfers all to occur in a integrated and familiar Microsoft Work place.