While instant messaging is a great internal tool for employees to communicate with one another, there are also now a number of superior alternative technology tools in the marketplace that companies of all sizes may want to consider.

Among the instant messaging alternatives, perhaps the best platform out there is unified communication or unified messaging. While instant messaging affords users the ability to chat in real time, unified messaging is a bit more complex. Essentially, it's a combination of several technologies built into one simplified application.

Instead of having separate email, voicemail and other communication channels, everything is in one place. Unified messaging offers several benefits to SMBs like yours, but before we dive into the benefits, let's take a look at what unified messaging really means.

What is Unified Messaging?

An alternative to instant messaging exists in the form of unified communications solutions. Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a powerful application that allows you to collaborate at any time from virtually anywhere in the world.

More specifically, unified communications via contact center solutions is a cloud-based service that allows companies to connect their employees using a secure, reliable application that provides a space for internal and external communications.

Unified communications providers deliver world-class business phone services, virtual meetings and collaboration spaces.

The Benefits of Unified Communications

1. Cost-Savings

By switching to a UCaaS provider, you can cut your phone costs by up to 50 percent or more. Certain UCaaS solutions can also help you eliminate expensive operating and capital expenses of outdated technology. With a UCaaS solution, you can get everything you need from one vendor through one, inexpensive monthly bill.

You'll also save on equipment, as you won't need to purchase anything upfront or worry about it taking up needed space. With UCaaS, you also benefit from reduced operating costs and more benefits from utilizing company resources. Another plus is you can pay as you go with flat-fee pricing.

2. Easier Collaboration

As mentioned above, unified communications allow for easier team collaboration no matter where your team members are located. You could have employees in Chicago, New York and Atlanta all working together in real time using unified communications services. And they can use any device and any group messaging application to connect with your team quickly and easily. UCaaS also makes it easier for remote employees to access the same communication tools.

3. Additional Features

Instant messaging doesn't come with all the bells and whistles that a unified communications suite might offer. For example, UCaaS solutions come with virtual meetings, business phone services and video conferencing.

Other features might include mobile apps, presence awareness and visual voicemail. Plus, your team will be equipped with the tools they need to deliver exceptional customer service with a multi-channel contact center solution.

4. Improved IT Security

Unified messaging is a better alternative than instant messaging due to improved security. Instant messaging provides very little (if any) security for an SMB. By implementing UCaaS solutions, you get a provider that puts strict security measures in place to help you keep an eye on networks for potential threats and weaknesses. With instant messaging, you get the bare minimum when it comes to security. Your company won't be nearly as protected if you're using a simple instant messaging application.

5. Improved Productivity

By using a unified communications solution, your team can cut down on wasted time due to the instant benefits they will receive using such a platform.

Additionally, your team can remain productive at all times since they will be able to access the application from any device and from anywhere, meaning they can be just as productive at home as they could be in the office or even while traveling.

As long as they have a secure internet connection, your team can work from virtually anywhere. Technology like this can also help improve overall team organization.

Instant messaging is officially no longer as beneficial for business as it once was, and unified messaging solutions have stepped in and taken its place. That's why providing your employees with powerful collaboration tools that facilitate a positive and productive work environment — and cultivate strong, working relationships — is crucial to your growing company's success. Doing so can only help your company's overall productivity, and subsequently, lead to a boost in sales.

Collaboration is key to the success of any business. Whether you are using the Virtual Office Mobile app or the 8x8 Virtual Office desktop app, 8x8 makes collaboration quick and simple. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

Related Topics

Team Messaging

Group Messaging

Text Messaging