Irish organisations not using UC&C solutions are losing out, says Datapac’s Kirwan

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Owen Kirwan, techncial architect, Datapac

23 September 2015

When organisations are looking to upgrade their existing voice network, a unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) system is not always front of mind, even though it is the best-fit answer for the majority. UC&C allows multiple methods of communication including voice, presence, instant messaging (IM) and video conferencing, all under the one platform. It is easier, faster and enables increased productivity.

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Traditional private branch exchange (PBX) systems, which are still used by most organisations in Ireland, are limited in what they can do — at most you can expect multiple lines, extensions, call pick-up and an auto attendant. On a global scale, large organisations are becoming au fait with the features associated with UC&C and have integrated them into their operations, meaning Irish organisations are being left behind.

UC&C empowers organisations with new collaboration experience that connects your employees with the information they need at the right time. For example, it allows you to use a presence solution, which shows whether colleagues are available to speak, or if they are in a meeting, on another call or logged out. This can be set manually, but also changes automatically when, for example, on a call.

From there, you can use IM, which works in tandem with email, reducing inbox clutter arising from unnecessary emails sent between colleagues in the same office.

The time-consuming administration and organisation and high costs associated with company-wide meetings can disappear, or at least be made less frequent through the use of webinars. Host your meeting virtually for the convenience of all parties — not having to make a trip will increase the chances that they can attend. The virtual meeting can also be recorded for anyone who cannot.

This mix of features, all working collaboratively and at the touch of a finger, saves time and resources, allowing staff to focus on the job at hand and not have to worry about communications.

“UC&C’s mix of features, all working collaboratively and at the touch of a finger, saves time and resources, allowing staff to focus on the job at hand and not have to worry about communications”

Traditionally available on-premises, UC&C solutions are gaining popularity thanks to a cloud hosted option which offers organisations the benefits of a converged IP communications telephony platform without having to invest, manage, or maintain their own communications system.

In most cases, UC&C also provides a direct return on investment. This is relevant for both larger companies, which often have multiple PBX systems in place, multiple lines, extra landline charges, etc. as well as companies operating on smaller scale.

A major drawback of PBX systems is that they are counterintuitive to the growing trend in and demand for mobile working. UC&C gives staff on the road full access to their organisation’s system, and integrates the presence solution, IM, etc. meaning they are as accessible, virtually, to colleagues as if they were in the office.

Of course, this means staff can access the system from home too, which can enhance productivity and improve work/life balance. It is important to realise that people are now actively seeking workplaces that offer this level of flexibility.

Small and medium-sized companies often dismiss the need for UC&C because of their size. However, UC&C enables scalability and can be a very useful resource as your business grows. While an on premise solution usually comes with a higher initial expense, UCC as a service offers high availability and greater scalability at a smaller cost.

More staff can be added easily and the need for an efficient conference call system, unified messaging etc. can be accommodated straight away. Modern UC&C solutions grow as your business does, unlike a PBX system.

Datapac, as a Cisco Premier partner, provides UC&C solutions fully customisable to suit business needs. We have a deep understanding of both the solutions and the needs of Irish organisations across many sectors. Our policy is always to make our customers’ lives easier so they can concentrate on adding value to their own organisations.

 

Owen Kirwan is techncial architect with Datapac

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