How A Unified Messaging Architecture Benefits Any Business
A unified messaging architecture combines different messaging channels into one application. This unifies contact points into one central location. Some of these channels include text messaging and chat. A unified messaging architecture takes those channels and enhances them.
Particularly in a large company, corralling employees and keeping communication flowing efficiently can be difficult to accomplish. Some departments may be using different applications than other departments, which can restrict the flow of communications.
To improve the spread of ideas and collaboration between teams, putting everyone on the same communications application is critical. But so is ensuring whatever application is used offers the right feature set and access. If certain employees are denied access to important conversations, bringing in a unified messaging application won't really provide all the benefits the company is looking for.
When we talk about the architecture of a unified messaging app, we're referring to how it integrates with different messaging channels. This is a matter of utilizing the protocols used by those channels and then providing an interface within the unified messaging app. Working with third parties is crucial as well. If a third party isn't open to working with a company, it's unlikely their app can be integrated into any unified solution.
Many third parties expose what is called an API or application programming interface. An API allows developers of one app to integrate with another app. For example, if Skype exposes an API, developers of a unified messaging app can integrate Skype. Rather than having to use Skype as a different application, customers can simply use the unified messaging app to communicate via Skype.
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 is able to use the features of another application.
How It Works Well With UCaaS platforms?
Even with all of the benefits offered by a unified messaging application, there's another level it can be taken to. This next level occurs with a complete unified communications platform. Unified messaging is part of a unified communications platform. Other features include:
- Billing integration
- Call routing
- Call queueing
Unified communications platforms are offered as a service usually in the form of a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) or CCaaS (Call Center as a Service). The best way to understand these unified platforms is to look at what they offer and how they are used.
Call centers provide a great example since they are more likely to use the largest feature set. Quality communication in a call center environment is one of management's highest priorities. When a call comes into the center, it is routed based on a voice menu that customers interact with. This is called an IVR or interactive voice response. If a customer chooses the tech support option, they are routed to a pool of reps that handle only tech support. The system will look for an available rep. If none are available, the customer goes into a queue and remains on hold until someone answers. Management can see all of this activity in real-time. Their ultimate goal is to reduce hold times (a measure of customer experience quality).
The previous example outlines call routing, call queueing and IVR integrations. Where does messaging fit into all of this? When a rep is on the phone with a customer, they can message a peer for help with any questions. That peer might be off-site. Because the unified communications app also has a mobile app, the message still reaches its target.
Some service providers offer a wide range of third-party integrations. Think Slack, Salesforce, Twitter, Basecamp, LinkedIn to name a few.
To summarize the main points in this article:
- A unified messaging architecture allows all messaging to integrate with one application.
- Cloud service providers offer messaging as a part of a platform of communication applications.
- APIs allow further integration with third-party applications.
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.