Examples of Best Unified Communications Platforms for your Organization
The goal of any unified communications platform is to unify the software that supports both synchronous and asynchronous communications to enable the end-user to easily access all the tools, from whatever device is in use, in one place. This, in turn, enhances business communication, collaboration, and productivity.
Every communication tool comes with some unique capabilities. There are tools which are great in voice, video or in messaging. There are times you need asynchronous communications like emails and there are times when you only need real-time communication tools. Asynchronous communication tools are good at communicating with people at their convenient time. Real-time communication tools come in handy when you want instant response.
Therefore, while choosing a unified communication platform, it’s important that you choose a platform that retains the unique features of individual communication tools while integrating them into one service.
Typical Unified Communications Platform Features
A typical unified communications platform should perform the following functions:
- Voice and telephony
It should include fixed, mobile and softphone enterprise telephony, with PBX functionality.
- Meeting solutions
A good unified communications platform should have multiple voice-conferencing, video-conferencing and web-conferencing capabilities, including screen sharing.
A reputable platform should include voicemail and unified messaging.
- Presence and instant messaging (IM)
A good platform should enable individuals to send text and other information to others or to groups in real time. It should also be able to notify users when their colleagues are online or when they have read their messages.
The platform should enable users to access multiple communications functions from a consistent interface using different forms, from their desktop and browser clients, clients for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, to specialized clients embedded within business applications.
The unified communication platform should be able to integrate with other critical work and business applications such as contact centers, workgroup applications, plug-in integrations for common business applications and browsers, communications platform as a service (cPaaS) for digital business application integrations, and linkage with business analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
Examples of the Best Unified Communications Platforms
- Cloud-based unified communications (UCaaS)
In this platform, your company’s software and data are hosted on the cloud. You can access the platform via the Internet. The biggest advantage of UCaaS is the power it gives enterprises to be flexible with their IT resources. With a cloud-based solution, spending becomes more focused and result oriented. However, since it’s treated as an operating expense, this platform is most suitable for organizations that have a large workforce and distributed offices.
Most businesses are moving their unified communication to the cloud. According to the MarketsAndMarkets, the cloud communication platform market is projected to increase from $1.36 billion by 2016 to $4.45 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.8% from 2016 to 2021.
- Mobile unified communications applications
This platform focuses on integrating mobile telephony with the unified communication platform. This is important if your team works from the field more often. It redefines the way team members communicate with each other.
- On-premise communications
Using this platform will require that you setup infrastructure and acquire relevant licenses to host the unified communications on your premises. You only need to incur a one-off cost to set up the platform. While it allows you to customize the platform as you wish, choosing this option might expose you to security threats unless you have a highly-qualified IT team. Also, with this platform, it is expensive to integrate other key business and work systems such as the CRM and help desk ticketing software.
- Hybrid Unified Communications
This platform comes with all the great capabilities of the above platforms. Hybrid unified communications such as 8x8’s Unified Communications empower every team member in your business, regardless of their geographical locations, remote, mobile or home-based—by providing them with all the same powerful communications tools.
Hybrid unified communications not only helps your business save money, but they also improve business productivity. They also enable your team to enjoy similar rewarding user experience across all communication features and devices. Team members can effortlessly access phone, conferencing and call center services, plus your favorite CRM tools, from your browser.
Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Team Messaging System 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.