The days of communicating strictly by fax or deskphone are long gone. The instantaneous needs of this fast paced digital world have made way for businesses to embrace new means of communication: sending client emails on the go, quick texts to coworkers, and of course, video calls from anywhere – to anyone.
The pandemic sped up digital transformation, the adoption of new technologies, and the concept of Unified Communications – all for the better! In fact, 81% of employees feel that collaboration apps improve the overall productivity of the company.
Has your business already begun implementing new means of instant communication? Or are you in the process of evaluating the best Unified Communications solution for your workplace? Do you know what type of UCaaS your in-office, remote, and hybrid employees would benefit from the most?
Wherever your SMB is in this process, it’s important to make sure you’ve chosen the most reliable, secure UCaaS technology possible to support distributed teams!
You may be wondering, “What does Unified Communication entail? How will my business benefit from this service? Is the software easy for my team to learn quickly?” The Computers Nationwide team is eager to guide your SMB into this exciting modern world! Let’s start with the basics of UCaaS…
“It helps to have a definition of unified communications that gives us a starting point in our understanding of how it can benefit a business. Wikipedia defines them as: “…a business and marketing concept describing the integration of enterprise communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice (including IP telephony), mobility features (including extension mobility and single number reach), audio, web & video conferencing, fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), desktop sharing, data sharing (including web-connected electronic interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax).
Achieving unified communications may mean different things for different business types. For some, it may mean optimizing communications between different teams or departments. For others, it may extend to how they communicate with their customers. Remote team engagement is more important now than ever before. And knowing what you want to achieve can be the first step to implementation.” Business 2 Community
Making sure your teams have speedy internet, secure connections, and seamless communication methods are all vital criteria for supporting remote and hybrid teams! Let us help you identify the best tools for your business, such as b-hive Communicator, 8×8 XCaaS, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, and DropBox. Whether you’re located in Illinois or Wisconsin, we will ensure everyone stays on the same page.
Fun Fact: The global unified communications market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8% from 2019 to 2025 to reach USD 167.05 billion by 2025!
Learn the many benefits of embracing Unified Communications as a Service and a few NEW innovative solutions available from our trusted network affiliates…
Benefits of UCaaS for SMBs
UC Today shares: “For small businesses and large enterprises alike, a unified communication strategy is critical to successful growth. Businesses everywhere need a flexible and reliable environment where they can combine all of their communication needs into one accessible space.
Unified communications helps to streamline and enhance the workforce, encouraging better performance and productivity levels. Some studies indicate that employees using a UC solution can save up to 191 hours of company-wide productivity each day.
UC also unlocks a host of other benefits, such as:
Reduced costs: When you can combine everything you need for communication and collaboration on the same platform, there’s less need for extra bills and maintenance fees. You can keep costs low, and even access pay-as-you-go functionality
Stronger experiences: Unified communication delivers better experiences to both your employees and your customers. Your employees can access the tools and information that they need faster, which means that customer problems are solved quicker.
Improved mobility: With access to the cloud through a UCaaS solution, businesses can tap into a more mobile and flexible workforce. You can even create hybrid environments that give you some benefits from the cloud, and some advantages of an on-premise solution.
Better IT support: When all of your communication tools are combined, it’s much easier for your IT team to track everything.
Endless extensibility: As the UC environment continues to grow and evolve, there will continue to be new opportunities for businesses who are willing to stand on the cutting edge of the industry.”
“Employee experience and customer experience. Both have changed dramatically over the past year and will continue to evolve at a rapid pace, more dependent on digital interactions and digital communications — and more connected to one another than ever before. As the number of communication channels grows, it’s imperative that these experiences become or remain as efficient and effortless as possible. That’s why we’re introducing Experience Communications as a Service — or XCaaS.
With the introduction of XCaaS and the 8×8 XCaaS offering, we are responding to the new needs of businesses today and uniquely delivering on a single platform which includes fully integrated, cloud native contact center, voice, team chat, meetings and Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) capabilities. With XCaaS, we’re delivering on the innovation that will advance our customers’ increasingly connected EX and CX-focused communications, collaboration and engagement needs.
Experience Communications as a Service (XCaaS) is a cloud communications deployment model that erases the boundary between Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). With XCaaS solutions, organizations can support the communications requirements of all employees as they work together to deliver differentiated customer experiences.
Winning with XCaaS
With the move to hybrid workplaces, having a 360 degree view of both employees and customers is now critical for overall organizational effectiveness and creating a competitive edge. According to Metrigy Research, companies that utilize integrated unified communications (UC) and contact center (CC) solutions from a single vendor reported a nearly 100% revenue increase, a 14% cost decrease, a 57% customer ratings improvement, and a 37% agent efficiency improvement.”
“We’re proud to announce a major update to our b-hive Communicator app, with a redesigned interface, an all-new video experience and more. With the explosion of remote work and the need for collaboration tools, we set out to develop the best experience possible for our customers with a large-scale update to Communicator.
We researched, surveyed customers, and evaluated trends in the industry, and now we are proud to announce the new and improved b-hive Communicator app. Communicator’s all-new interface, brand-new video experience, and deeper integration with b-hive, gives you everything you need to empower your team to communicate and collaborate more effectively.
All-In-One Collaboration Solution
It’s easy to feel like your business is drowning in collaboration tools. Many teams have one tool for their phone system, one for video conferencing, and sometimes an additional tool for SMS texting. We were determined not to add more one-off apps to your stack, so instead we designed one tool for all your team’s collaboration needs.
The new Communicator allows teammates to call, text, chat, and video conference with each other and customers all within the same app. The entire platform has been streamlined so your team can handle all their tasks from a single window that’s integrated with your business phone number.
What’s even better—you don’t have to be a phone expert to leverage the system. We’ll take care of training your new hires and we will continue to be available for ongoing support throughout the entire process. You focus on your business; we’ll focus on the rest.
Seamless Team Collaboration
We understand conversations are constantly evolving—sometimes a quick text needs to turn into a full-blown video call or a chat needs to move to a phone call. With the new Communicator app, your team has the flexibility to collaborate however works best for them.
Team members can start a text, call, or video conference all from the same window, and they can chat one-on-one or in groups depending on whatever serves them best. They also have access to your full company directory with numbers, extensions, and email addresses, so they can easily start a chat or message with anyone at the company with a single click.”
The best way to ensure business continuity and growth is by leveling up technology to stay up to speed with the world around you. Don’t let fear of change hold your business back from success! Deploying a communications platform that best supports your teams is necessary in this next phase of the workplace.
Computers Nationwide has been transforming business of all sizes in Chicago and Milwaukee since 2010. Allow us to help your company thrive for many years to come!
Adopting new communication methods, software, and protocols requires the investment of time and money upfront; however we can assure you your business will enjoy the return on investment and witness benefits for many years to come! Once you take action and make the switch, you’ll be happy you did. You may be wondering, “What does the implementation process look like?”
Business 2 Community shares a brief overview of what is involved when adopting UCaaS:
1. Understand Your Needs: Before you go and choose a UC package, it is essential to know what the needs of your business, and your employees, are in relation to UC. There can be several steps to this part of the process.
- Look at all employees who need or will use UC. Ask what their needs are and identify which communication channels/platforms need improving or replacing.
Examine your existing architecture/structure and decide if it needs strengthening or replacing.
- Look at your existing network capacity to see if it can handle the proposed UC and ensure that bandwidth and quality will not be affected.
- Audit your equipment needs. Will you need to buy extra equipment such as devices, webcams, VoIP phones, etc.?
What transition challenges will you face if changing from traditional phones to unified contacts? If there are any training needs, put them in place as soon as
2. Devices: Will all your employees be using company-provided devices or do you operate a BYOD (bring your own device) policy that allows them to use their own phone/tablet/laptop/etc.? If all company devices then the implementation should be fairly easy. If BYOD, then you need to consider two main factors:
- Security. If you are dealing with sensitive customer or company data, then you need to ensure that all employee devices have adequate protection.
- Integration. If using their own devices, you must ensure that those devices integrate easily with all existing or planned apps and platforms.
3. Security: Security is important to any business, and if you are switching to UC, you want to be sure that security remains at previous levels if not improved upon. This is especially relevant when it comes to virtual meetings and videoconferencing. How to protect your UC system against cybersecurity threats should be a major consideration.
- Ask your video systems provider what level of security they offer.
- Ensure they encrypt any password information stored on their database.
- Make sure that both platform and network hosting video meetings have high levels of security.
4. Training: It will often be the case that implementing a new system involves employees learning new skills or acquiring fresh knowledge. This is especially true if you are installing new video conferencing software as part of your UC package.
Look at how you and your staff will use any new components to your communications setup. You can then design training sessions, either in person or online, that cover all needs, such as sharing relevant files, images, graphs, etc., as well as how to avoid common mistakes such as distracting backgrounds or filters.
There’s no need to fear this exciting process, our team is ready (and eager) to guide your company in making this change! We promise to make the transition as seamless and simple as possible for everyone involved.
“Large enterprises have witnessed rapid adoption of Unified Communication-as-a-Service (UCaaS) platform, a cloud delivery model that combines multiple channels of communication such as voice, text, chat, and e-mail, thereby offering a bundled solution. UCaaS bundles have proven to be cost-effective as compared to deploying a single UC solution. This has encouraged enterprises to opt for bundled services. The increasing need to reduce enterprise overhead costs” Grand View Research
Are you ready to modernize your communication? Let CN transform your business!
We’ve been proudly servicing SMBs and enterprises alike throughout Illinois and Wisconsin since 2010.
Schedule a meeting with the experts at Computers Nationwide to find the best communication and collaboration solutions for your distributed teams: (847) 419-9900