In the rush to support hybrid working, businesses were under pressure to quickly install productivity tools to enable employees to work effectively no matter where they were working from. Some businesses did this by implementing several different platforms for a different use, such as Zoom for video conferencing, Slack for messaging and Microsoft 365 for office applications.
Whilst this approach works, it can be costly and complex to manage. Ideally, businesses can have a single unified communications platform that encompasses communication, collaboration and productivity. In this article, we discuss the benefits of unified communications, and how Microsoft Teams can work as such a platform.
What is Unified Communications?
The term unified communications refers to equipment, software and services that can be integrated into a single platform to provide voice, video, instant messaging, file sharing and office applications. It also includes the management and control of these channels. The overall goal of unified communications is to have a single platform that houses all the collaboration, communication and productivity required for an employee to work effectively.
Benefits of Unified Communications
- Increase Productivity
Businesses are constantly looking for ways to increase productivity. With unified communications, employees can be more productive as everything they need to do their job is housed within a single platform. This decreases the amount of time spent switching between applications and allows employees to take calls from anywhere.
- Reduce Spend on Communications
Businesses that rely on traditional telephony solutions are used to the high costs of installation and line rental. Moving to a unified communications platform also means moving telephony to the cloud with VoIP. This reduces communications spending, whilst giving employees access to new VoIP features.
- Improve Customer Service
With a unified communications platform, employees have everything they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences only a few clicks away. This also allows them to see any incoming calls, chat, or emails on any device, ensuring customers never have to wait long before being assisted.
- Enable Hybrid Work
It is essential that employees are able to work from any location, including at home, in the office, or on the road. With a unified communications platform, as long as an employee has an internet connection, they can meet, chat and work from anywhere.
How Microsoft Teams excels as a unified communications platform
Microsoft Teams integrates many Microsoft applications and provides a place for employees to have video calls, voice calls, instant messaging, share files, and much more. There are also many telephony devices that can be integrated with Teams, therefore businesses that have already invested in physical telephone systems can still reap the benefits of unified communications.
For businesses that have already made the move to a hybrid work model, Teams has many features specifically designed to facilitate effective hybrid work and meetings. Some of these features include a digital whiteboard, automatic transcription and different UI views to engage remote and physical attendees. There are also meeting room technologies that integrate with Microsoft Teams to deliver even better meeting experiences.
Microsoft 365 has always been geared towards increasing workplace collaboration. Within Teams, an employee can start a meeting with internal or external users, then create a document that can be worked on in real-time, with multiple collaborators. There are also tools for sending documents for review within Teams with automatic approval processes.
As Microsoft Teams is a cloud solution, it can be accessed from any device, from anywhere with an internet connection. This fully-featured unified communication platform is included in all Microsoft 365 subscriptions from Business Basic to Business Premium, removing the need for additional investment.
How we can help you
As a Microsoft Gold Partner with extensive expertise across the technology stack, we can help guide you through Teams implementation and getting the most out of the features included within your M365 licensing. To learn more, contact us today, or begin optimising your environment, register for a free M365 health check.