Unified messaging architecture is a software structure that combines different messaging channels into a single application. Team members working in different messengers can communicate with each other without leaving their preferred platforms or switching between apps.

Here’s how unified messaging architecture can improve your business communications.

How Unified Messaging Architecture Benefits Any Business

Communication is essential for any organization. Yet keeping conversations flowing efficiently can be tough. Each department or team may use its own applications and messaging systems, which can restrict cross-departmental communications. Adding unified messaging increases collaboration and boosts productivity.

Benefits of unified messaging architecture for any business include:

  • Mobility: All you need is a high-speed internet connection and your favorite device. You don’t have to stay in your office waiting for an important call or hang around the fax machine all day. You can communicate with your team members and clients from anywhere in the world.
  • Presence: Unified messaging lets team members decide when they’re available. If someone is (virtually) present, others know that person is available to talk.
  • Global directory: Team members can instantly connect with each other. There’s no need to waste time adding team members or sending project invites.
  • Convenience: You have just one communications portal. Don’t waste time switching between platforms.
  • Short learning curve: With an intuitive interface and only one system to learn, get up and running quickly.
  • Enhanced productivity: Better organization means better productivity. It also minimizes the risk of mistakes.
  • Better customer service: Unified communications make it easy to keep clients informed and make them feel important. This leads to higher customer satisfaction.
  • Cost savings: With unified communications, you don’t need to invest in lots of different communication systems. With fewer systems, there are fewer breakdowns. You don’t need to spend as much money on systems administrators. Communication is faster, so fewer labor hours are wasted and productivity is improved.
  • Customization and scaling: Unified communications technology is highly customizable. You can set it up to meet your needs now, and then easily scale it as your business grows.
  • Tracking and analytics: Tracking and analyzing your data lets you see how things are working. It’s easy to make changes whenever you want.

How Unified Messaging Architecture Integrates With Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

Not all unified messaging apps are the same. Many of their differences are due to their architecture, which determines how the app integrates with various messaging channels.

Successful integration is based on application programming interfaces (APIs). An API is a set of protocols, tools and routines that determines how an app works. To integrate one app with another app, its API must be “exposed” or made available for other developers to use.

For example, if Skype exposes an API, developers can integrate Skype. Rather than having to use Skype as a different application, customers can simply use the unified messaging app.

APIs are the foundation of many different types of integrations. Applications that are bundled into a suite of apps and work well together all use APIs. Developers of these applications have worked closely together to ensure a rich feature set and cross-communication between their apps.

In this way, each app is enhanced because it’s able to use the features of another application. For best results, then, it’s always helpful to choose a unified messaging app that is part of your unified communications suite.

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud-based solution. It solves all your communications integration needs. Rather than using traditional copper wire phone lines, your phone service comes through the internet. This is known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

Other software is then integrated with your phone service. This ties all your communications to a single platform. Email, voicemail, texts and even faxes are all available in one inbox. You can even conduct video conferences and web chats from the same system.

Features included with UCaaS are:

  • Sending and receiving faxes over IP: Send and receive faxes from wherever you are. Then print them out at your convenience. Forward faxes and consult your fax logs at any time.
  • Email support: Check your email without leaving your UCaaS platform. Have messages read aloud if desired. Compose and send emails at your leisure. Add audio attachments without switching to a different app.
  • Voicemail support: There’s no need to log in to a separate system to check your voicemail messages. You can even have them transcribed and sent by email. Your voicemail is highly customizable with hold music, personalized greetings and after-hours messages.
  • Single-number reach: If you’re like many busy people today, you’re rarely completely off work. You might find yourself giving out your home number and cell phone number to important clients and team members. With UCaaS, you only need to give out a single number. You can have it connect to different phones at different times of the day. You can even block all calls during your off time.

Unified messaging overlays onto these features to provide real-time, cross-platform communications. Your team members can use a global directory to connect with anyone else in your system. They don’t have to waste time sending invites or adding people to teams.

They can stay in their preferred platforms and apps while messaging, as well as share documents and information with teammates working in different platforms.

How Unified Messaging Architecture Integrates With Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Contact center as a service (CCaaS) works the same way. It moves your contact center into the cloud. It provides a great deal of customization for organizations of all sizes. Many businesses rely on their contact centers to provide quality service to customers. But it can be tough to keep up. Unified communications with CCaaS can dramatically improve the customer experience.

In a CCaaS environment, incoming calls are answered by an interactive voice response (IVR) system. This system uses the customer’s voice responses to route a call to the right department. If a rep is available, the call connects. Otherwise, the customer goes to a hold queue and waits for the next available representative.

Without unified communications, representatives are on their own. They are responsible for their customers. If the representative needs more information, the only option is to put the customer on hold. Then they go looking for answers. If the person who knows the answer is off-site, the rep’s only option may be to transfer the customer to that person’s voicemail.

With unified communications, the rep has access to far more information. Examples include billing history and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Even the tech help desk is often integrated into the system. Unified messaging is an important part of this. Representatives can send messages to supervisors, other departments and even off-site peers. There's no need to place the customer on an extended hold.

When hold times drop and more information is available from a single point of contact, customer satisfaction increases. And as reps feel more empowered to provide help, employee satisfaction grows.

Integration With Third-Party Applications

Unified messaging architecture lets these apps integrate with many third-party applications. This is possible as long as the third-party app has exposed its API.

Popular third-party apps that can be integrated include:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Basecamp

Organizations are becoming more complex and more global. This puts communications at risk of becoming backlogged. Different departments and different teams often prefer different apps. Remote teams may be working on opposite sides of the world. Some people like to rely on email, others on phone conversations, and still others on web chats.

The complexities of modern communications can lead to wasted time. Missed messages and mixed signals can slow production rates. They can also cause dissatisfaction in clients and employees.

Unified messaging architecture solves many of these problems. Team members and clients can connect with each other in real time. They don't need to leave their favorite apps. They can access communication logs and share information without switching programs. Productivity goes up. Team morale gets a boost and customers are happier.

Why Choose 8x8 for Unified Messaging Architecture

8x8's web-based unified messaging system makes it easy to set up and customize communications. The system works across various devices and geographic locations.

Here are some reasons to choose the unified communications suite from 8x8:

  • Team chats for improved cohesion and workflow management
  • A single system for all types of communications
  • Mobile integration software for remote workers
  • Public and private chat settings

Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Unified Communications platform, your business gets the unified messaging it needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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