Network Convergence and Unified Communications: How Are They Connected?
As the number of communication channels grew in numbers, scaling towards internet-based communication, we saw network providers trying to meld everything into a single package. This was the beginning of a process called network convergence. Basically, network convergence is the facilitation of various communication channels like telephony, video, audio and data on a single network.
Comparing it with the nonlinear system, the difference is like night and day. For nonlinear communication setup, you need a network provider for each communication channel. This equates to spending money on individual services that come with individual hardware or software, and a billing structure where you will have to pay the bills for every single communication channel separately.
This brings in a ton of complexity to the working of a company. This is why network convergence is a necessity for modern business. Thankfully, we see more and more communication providers embracing the idea of network convergence. The complete set of advantages on network convergence are:
- More options less baggage: With network convergence, a single network will be able to handle telephony and internet communications, hence, there is no need to approach multiple vendors or have a ton of hardware sitting at your office to manage everything. In essence, the customer is getting more options within a single system.
- Flexible and scalable: In internet-based communication setup, if you need more horsepower to meet the communication needs, you can just ask your service provider to offer you more bandwidth. You don’t have to buy any hardware yourself or multiple connection nodes. You can get more features or opt out of certain options that you don’t require.
- Billing: Network convergence also has a major impact on billing as most network providers now use a “Pay as you use” billing structure. This helps a lot in scaling, as well as saves the customer from unnecessary expenses. For a long time, customers were not given the choice over the add-on features that came with many communication channels; they have to pay for it nonetheless. However, with network convergence, customers get the flexibility to pay only for the services they actually use!
Less power draw, more space: One of the best aspects of not having to bother about any hardware is that you will be saving on space as well as the energy bill! Since you don’t have to host any hardware, it will bring down the energy cost, reduce the space requirement and can even help with the cooling. Electrical devices tend to heat up when they are under load, so it’s up to your air-conditioning to cool everything down. If there are fewer things to cool, there is no need for the air-condition to step up its cooling power, saving energy in the process!
In the years to come, communication will be done using several different platforms. We already know this by just looking at the amount of instant messaging applications that are available today. Also, we send several different types of data on a daily basis like images, audio files, video files etc. This calls for a communication system that is powerful enough to transfer more than just voice or text data. Multimedia is and will be the future of communications. The faster you adapt for your business, the more useful it will become in the future.
There is also the factor of advancement. Your communication needs are going to change with time and communication channels themselves will undergo changes. So, buying a new type of service and its associated hardware every single time a new advancement comes in is not a profitable idea. With network convergence, the service provider will adopt the changes and if the customer wants to integrate it into their business, they can purchase it and the service will be available through the same network almost instantly.
UCaaS: Network Convergence at its best!
The most popular example of network convergence is UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service. UCaaS combines legacy communication channels like telephony with Internet-based communication channels. This enables UCaaS to provide advanced communication features like:
- Contact center: An advanced version of a customer call center where a company can use multimedia chat options and robust tracking and workforce optimization capabilities.
- Team messaging: A feature-rich collaboration tools where the employees can communicate with each other over the internet from anywhere, on any device. Team messaging also provides multimedia support for its users.
- Video conferencing: Businesses can take advantage of video conferencing software to facilitate long-distance collaboration between teams as well as between other businesses.
If you haven’t used UCaaS for your business, then its high time that you think otherwise!
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.