The past century has seen incredible advancements in the way we communicate with each other. From the inception of telegraphs and radios to the introduction of phones and mobile technology (and nowadays, unified communications), it is remarkable to see how far communication systems have come.
Not so long ago, landlines and fax machines were the staples of corporate communications. Needless to say, times have changed, and these former staples are now firmly entrenched in the memories of decades past. This is why it is surprising to consider that there are still organizations that are still operating with these outdated systems.
Regardless of which industry you are in, keeping with up the times is critical to operational performance, and the long foreseeable future includes unified communications systems.
What is the Difference Between Unified Communications and UCaaS?
A unified communications system (UC) is a comprehensive suite of business communication tools and services designed to provide users with an effortless communication experience. This system consolidates various business communications methods – like text, voice, video, instant messaging, social media, and email – into one seamless platform. It integrates the different user interfaces and can efficiently manage a range of data networks while ensuring secure communications among employees.
The business case for moving to a unified communications system is strong:
- Allows organizations and employees to collaborate more quickly and effectively
- Increases efficiencies by eliminating organizational silos
- Saves time by eliminating the need for manual management of different communication tools
- Supports the growing remote work movement
- Allows businesses to better track employee performance
UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is a cloud-based delivery model for unified communications. It allows organizations to outsource their telecommunications infrastructure to a third-party provider. With UCaaS, businesses can benefit from the scalability, reliability and cost-efficiencies of the cloud while still enjoying all the collaboration capabilities that come with unified communications.
Find Your Best Match: Industry-Specific Unified Communications Solutions
Organizations of all sectors need the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders. Organizations that have superior communications systems in place will have a significant competitive advantage over those that don’t. Communications requirements vary from industry to industry – for some, unified communications is a better fit, and for some, the features and functionality affiliated with UCaaS make more sense for their operations. Here, we identify the fundamental unified communications considerations for key Michigan and Ohio industries.
BSB has decades of experience providing communications solutions to a wide variety of industries. Let’s discuss which system is best for your organization.
Unified Communications for the Healthcare Industry
The integration of unified communications has been a critical development in the modern healthcare industry. By connecting multiple systems and departments, it allows for faster response times and accurate data tracking. This can range from patient vital statistics to financial records, both of which are essential components in providing quality care.
Unified communications can also help organizations meet HIPAA security requirements. Additionally, with hospitals already strapped for financial resources, unified communications ensure cost savings by eliminating the need to build out or maintain multiple networks and telecom systems. The scalability of unified communications helps ensure long-term growth of a hospital’s business as efficient use of time and resources allows patient volumes to increase.
The bottom line is that unified communications eliminate previously existing barriers between health personnel and patient information, making a measurable difference in quality and efficiency of care.
UC and UCaaS-Specific Benefits for Healthcare
- UC provides a unified system of control making communication and collaboration easier
- Utilization of a UCaaS contact center can enhance the customer service experience
- UC brings increased reliability with east and west data centers that reduce latency
- UCaaS brings enhanced features, such as plug-in collaboration tools that help streamline operations
Unified Communications for the Professional Services Industry
Unified communications have been widely adopted in the professional services industry due to its ability to streamline communication, collaboration and organization across teams. By integrating various communication mediums into a single interface, team members can work together seamlessly no matter their location. This type of technology is also beneficial for time-sensitive conversations and decisions that need to take place between clients and professionals, allowing for greater workflow efficiency.
UC and UCaaS-Specific Benefits for Professional Services
- UC delivers simplified scaling and management
- UCaaS allows for quick onboarding of new users
- UC solutions provide greater control over technology maintenance and overhead costs
- Businesses using UCaaS benefit from improved security due to reliable global networks
Unified Communications for the Hospitality Sector
The impact of unified communications in the hospitality industry is revolutionary; it has created a better overall customer experience and improved operational efficiency. By utilizing this technology, teams can easily access important documents and data no matter where they are located and streamline internal communication in real-time. As flexible work schedules become more popular in the industry, unified communications have enabled hospitality organizations to have an agile workforce without breaking their budgets.
UC and UCaaS-Specific Benefits for Hospitality
- With UC, voice, chat, and email queues combine into a single omni-channel experience
- UCaaS provides an improved user experience, including in-house Wi-Fi for customer use
- UC brings increased reliability with east and west data centers that reduce latency
- UCaaS allows employees to switch seamlessly from their desktop to their mobile device, and vice versa, with integrated mobile and desktop apps
Unified Communications for the Public Sector
The public sector is responsible for many diverse and complicated processes – from providing quality regulatory oversight to managing intergovernmental operations. For the public sector to be effective, its focus must remain on operational excellence while at the same time reducing its reliance on resources, especially time.
Unified communications solutions help to save precious time when compared to traditional methods of communication. Unified communications also provide more secure and centralized data networks, which can reduce organizational risk by helping ensure all confidential information remains protected from security breaches, both internal and external.
UC and UCaaS-Specific Benefits for the Public Sector
- UC allows access to relevant customer data to deliver a more personalized experience
- UCaaS provides an added layer of reliability
- UC gives greater control over system management, deployment cycle times, and integration with existing applications
- UCaaS leverages cloud infrastructure to provide public sector entities with on-demand access to enterprise-grade communication tools
Unified Communications for the Manufacturing Industry
Timely communication is of paramount importance in the manufacturing sector, due to the complexities associated with production. One of the primary benefits that unified communications brings to the manufacturing table is the ability to reduce operational inefficiencies by making it easier for team members and external stakeholders to collaboratively work on projects in real time.
Unified communications also eliminates manual processes – such as waiting for updated emails, files or spreadsheets. Furthermore, unified communications offers advanced security features, allowing manufacturers to protect sensitive intellectual property from cyberthreats and ensure data integrity across the enterprise.
UC and UCaaS-Specific Benefits for Manufacturing
- With UC, companies can integrate audio, video and web conferencing solutions into their existing network infrastructure to enhance team collaboration and productivity
- UCaaS provides cost savings due to its pay-as-you-go model and also eliminates operational overhead allowing IT resources to be used elsewhere
- UC better provides for localized customization
- UCaaS creates an externally managed communications platform easily accessible by any device
Unified Communications for Education
The integration of various communication channels in the education sector allows for smoother operation among educational staff and maximizes productivity. Unified communication systems also benefit schools through faster decision-making processes via enhanced collaboration tools and offer a variety of economic advantages such as better scalability, lower operating costs, and energy savings, given that there are fewer physical assets to manage and maintain.
For students, unified communications offers an enhanced learning experience through improved access to resources while promoting social interaction and engagement between peers.
UC and UCaaS-Specific Benefits for Education
- UC allows users to access additional services such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and cloud storage, which can be an invaluable asset to educational providers and enhance student engagement
- UCaaS provides high levels of service and scalability offered at economical prices
- UC provides better connectivity, which comes with improved data security and compliance — an essential aspect for educational providers
- UCaaS makes it easier than ever for educators to customize functions that meet their specific needs and make sure they’re up-to-date with rapidly changing trends in technology
Let BSB Help You Find the Best UC or UCaaS Solution for Your Needs.
It’s Time to Upgrade Your Organizational Communication
The choice between UC and UCaaS is yours. Whichever option makes the most sense for the unique needs of your organization, BSB is here to be your trusted advisor and guide you through a seamless migration. With over 30 years of experience in serving the Michigan and Ohio markets, we have repeatedly earned our partners’ trust by going the extra mile, adhering to strict standards around the products we offer, and providing exceptional customer service.
Ready to upgrade? Schedule a time to chat with us about your communication needs.