For a good number of years now, people have been talking about the advantages of IP Telephony for organizations. Indeed, when compared to traditional telephony systems, IP Telephony solutions bring several exciting business functions that traditional telephony systems cannot offer. Now, more and more, people are discussing the advantages of unified communications ad the next wave of things to come. Of course, we like to think of unified communications as the current wave – not just the next one. OK, but what are the differences between IP Telephony and Unified Communications Solutions (UC)?
A quick recap of what IP telephony
Simply put, IP telephony or VoIP, for voice over Internet protocol, carries voice signals over the Internet via the IP protocol instead of over copper wires as developed by Alexander Graham Bell.
Initially, IP telephony’s value proposition was all about bypassing long-distance rates. However, as with any business model solely based on price, it was unable to sustain that proposition. However, over the years, IP telephony found its way with some interesting advantages such as the ease of unifying multiple scattered locations and points of presence of a single organization. In this way, IP telephony was able to accomplish what was either impossible, arduous or expensive using traditional connectivity.
Other benefits of IP telephony are its flexibility when the time comes to quickly add or reduce the number of subscribers as well as quickly moving locations all through a simple self-service web portal.
Finally, some of the most powerful features of IP telephony bring increased productivity to business organizations. For example, the ability to automatically forward calls to a mobile phone in case of outages, or the ability to forward voice mail messages directly into one’s email inbox or also the ability to have “sim ring” enabling simultaneously ringing of a desk phone with a cell phone.
What Are Unified Communications in 101 Words
Unified Communications solutions allow organizations to collaborate with their customers and reach out to colleagues and collaborators more efficiently. UC applications help make a powerful difference by empowering companies like yours to provide exceptional customer experience, to reduce costs and to increase productivity.
With unified communications, you can take and make voice and video calls from your desk phone, your smartphone, your computer or your tablet based on the device most suited for the moment or the location.
Unified communications empower stronger collaboration among colleagues and associates with business functions like instant messaging (also known as chat) and presence. This later provides visibility on whether colleagues are on the phone, in a meeting or away from their desk.
We invite you to view this short video to get a feeling of what unified communications solutions can do for your business.
How are unified communications solutions different from IP telephony solutions?
A (very) simple image would be to say that UC solutions are IP telephony solutions on steroids. Instead of going deep into technical differences, let us propose a more business-oriented comparison with benefits.
Unified communications solutions empower your organization to increase productivity by helping you accomplish more tasks faster. For example, the use of instant messaging is key in this role as well as remote meetings enabling greater collaboration.
These solutions contribute to lowering operational costs by allowing your organization to free up key resources allowing them to concentrate on strategic initiatives.
Unified communications solutions improve customer experience by offering powerful tools, empowering your colleagues to better serve your clientele by promptly addressing their needs and thus differentiating yourself with an exceptional customer experience
unified communications solutions also help reduce operational risks by leveraging the IP4B robust and redundant telco-grade platform and with private Internet connections and backup LTE connections, rest confident of a strong business continuity plan.
Lastly, UC augments employee retention, particularly the millennials who represent the future of your organization. By offering modern (and cool!) communication tools that work as they are accustomed to, organizations heighten their enjoyment of working with you.
Assuredly, IP telephony and unified communications solutions look alike, yet they are very different. Unified communications solutions are a new way to do and communicate in the modern business world. And the advantages are plentiful. Think of increased productivity, lowered operational costs, improved customer experience, reduced operational risks, augmented employee retention. All the more reasons to start today planning migration towards unified communications solutions.
What about your organization? Have you explored the gains that this might provide? Engage a conversation with one of your senior advisors and find out!