Lead Your Business More Effectively by Implementing Unified Communications
Unified communications are a go-to solution for business owners looking to streamline their businesses and increase employee productivity in the long term. See how it benefits your business.
Providing high-quality communication channels is crucial for any company. After all, it promotes cross-department collaboration and faster exchange of ideas.
Since phones often don’t suffice for this, many business owners turn to unified communications.
But what exactly is unified communication?
This article explains just that. Read on to discover the main concepts of this approach and how you can use it to help your business achieve success.
What Is Unified Communications?
Unified communications is an all-in-one platform that unifies phone, video, screen sharing, chat, and file management into a single space. It’s a ready-to-use system that allows for seamless communication in numerous ways.
The system operates as a cloud, making it easily accessible to all team members with access to the internet.
But why should anyone consider switching to unified communications?
There are several reasons, but this is the most crucial:
Business leaders who adopt it would be able to impact their business every day and make it seamless for employees to interact with each other.
That said, we’ll list 5 of the key features of this concept to help you better understand how it can help you scale your business.
The 5 Features
Feature #1. Mobility
When connected to unified communications, all employees can stay connected at all times and from all locations. It doesn’t matter whether they’re working from home, vacationing on a remote island, or sitting in the office. They’ll still be able to chat, receive calls, and more.
Feature #2. Unified Messaging
This allows employees to handle different message types using a single tool. They can easily switch communication modes, depending on their needs.
Feature #3. Conferencing
Whenever you need conferencing tools, you’ll have them in the palm of your hand. You can allow a group of teammates or customers from outside your organization to connect and speak via video or audio from different locations.
Feature #4. Fax Support
Faxes received through unified communications appear as email attachments. This way, users can also receive faxes on their desktops and smartphones.
Feature #5. Presence
This feature lets other users know each other’s status. That means you’ll be able to see when someone is online (Active), busy (Do Not Disturb), or away (Out of the Office).
How Unified Communications Help Business Leaders
So, what are the benefits of using unified communications in your business?
Let’s explore 6 of them below.
Benefit #1. Higher Team Productivity
It’s important for a business owner to boost their team’s workflow and eliminate bottlenecks. Because once they get to do so, productivity will drastically improve.
This can be done thanks to unified communications.
This type of communication makes it easier for team members to save time on various tasks, including:
- Faster file sharing that gets rid of email threads for teamwork
- Ability to receive calls from any location
- Ability to receive voicemails and faxes directly in the email
- Single-click video meetings for emergencies
Teams with access to such technologies can be more effective and get more tasks done in a single day. It also helps get rid of communication challenges.
Benefit #2. Lower Communication Costs
Legacy phones and on-site communication tools often cost more than your IT budget should allow.
On the other hand, unified communication relies on the internet for all its activities. This means your phone system turns to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and integrates with the rest of the tools. This approach eliminates the need for server and hardware infrastructure creation.
Unified communications also make it super easy to add new users. You can simply do so via an easy-to-use dashboard without having to make service calls.
Finally, the cost of unified communications is the same every month. There won’t be any surprises to your budget.
Benefit #3. Enhanced Customer Service
Whether or not a company is successful greatly depends on the quality of its customer service.
With unified communications, your employees can provide great customer service easier. After all, they can respond to client queries regardless of their location. It’s because all chats, incoming calls, and emails are visible from any device.
You can also integrate all your CRM software on the platform for added benefits.
For example, when a person contacts your business, the person in charge can see all the necessary information and notes related to that client. In the end, they can help them solve issues faster.
Benefit #4. Empowering a Remote Workforce
Thousands of companies have switched to remote work over the past few years. There are plenty of benefits to this approach after all.
However, a constant concern here is ensuring that remote workers have all the tools they need for work.
Thanks to unified communications, all communication aspects are included in a single platform. This means that all your remote worker needs is a stable internet connection to get access to your network and all the features, just like the rest of the team.
Benefit #5. Increasing Organizational Agility
When you increase your team’s productivity, the same follows for the entire organization. The organizational agility reflects the strategic value of unified communications. And the results you achieve impact your business as a whole.
So, to see how this approach benefits your work, you must view unified communications from the management side as well.
Sure, communication has a utilitarian role for management. But when that communication drives productivity, streamlines workflow, and leads to enhanced business outcomes, it’s where you really get to see its value.
Benefit #6. Enhanced Security
The security aspect is crucial for every business. And unified communications enhance the security of a business by integrating all applications into a single platform.
As a result, it becomes straightforward for the IT team to apply specific security policies across all apps. It’s also easier for them to manage security patches and compliance updates since all applications share the same protocols.
Realizing the Power of Unified Communications
Streamlining the processes inside an organization is extremely important in improving the overall performance of its employees. And unified communications allow you to do just that.
With it, you can boost your customer experience and make your team more efficient by integrating your whole communications system into a single platform.
Unified communications will let you and your team make calls, host conferences, send emails, receive faxes, and chat from a single, unified space to make your job (and life) easier.
If you’d like to learn more about implementing unified communications in your business, we’d be happy to help. Reach out to us and we can have a 10-15-minute chat to discuss this topic further.
Featured Image Credit
This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.
What Is an MSP (And How to Choose the Right One for Your Business)
Managing data and IT solutions in-house can be challenging and expensive. That’s why many organizations turn to MSPs.
Digitalization has forced businesses to alter their operations and make IT a huge part of their day-to-day affairs. Still, some owners can’t cope with the change effectively, so they hire a managed service provider, or MSP, to take care of the work.
But what exactly is an MSP?
Simply put, this is a third-party company you can collaborate with to help manage parts of your business, such as your IT or cloud needs. It provides technology and expertise to boost your organization’s scalability.
Working with MSPs can have tremendous benefits for your enterprise.
For instance, their profound understanding of cutting-edge technology can help you improve performance, operations, and security while reducing overheads. In addition, they can offer several creative solutions to help you navigate the evolving landscape of the big data world.
But the strongest suit of any MSP is usually their ability to deliver tailor-made solutions that fit your company perfectly.
Their expertise allows them to analyze your business thoroughly and render their services according to your strengths and weaknesses. Plus, they consider the regulatory environment and compliance to safeguard against legal issues.
Another great thing about MSPs is that they can support your business even after hours.
They offer support measures and staff to maintain and protect your organization 24/7. MSPs can even tap into your system to resolve issues and deploy updates without going to your office using remote technology.
Overall, MSPs can help take your company to the next level. However, you can’t work with just any service provider. You need to select the right team for your enterprise, and this article will show you how.
Choosing an MSP – What to Look For
Hiring an MSP shouldn’t be a hasty decision. Instead, you want to take a variety of factors into account.
Here are the six important factors to keep in mind:
Factor #1. The MSP’s Track Record
Prospective MSPs should provide case studies and success stories to demonstrate they’re suitable for your business. You can also look for testimonials, references, and endorsements. These will help you determine if the team has been operating for a while and if their reputation is solid.
Working with a reputable MSP can give you peace of mind with the knowledge that your system will be appropriately managed. Moreover, you’ll feel confident that the MSP will do all in its power to preserve its name.
The MSP’s success hinges on yours in some respect, which is why they’ll view you as a valuable partner.
Factor #2. The Range of Services It Provides
MSPs offer a wide array of services. Some teams are full-service companies, meaning they address your cloud and IT needs comprehensively. In contrast, others may help you with different pieces of your tech puzzle.
Therefore, consider your needs carefully and ensure your MSP can meet them.
Regardless of your service package, the MSP needs to keep up with the latest technology trends. Otherwise, numerous security issues may compromise your company and allow the competition to prevail over you.
Factor #3. Support
As previously indicated, MSPs can work round the clock to ensure your business is compliant and maintained adequately. However, they should also increase their support quickly and adjust staff schedules as your company grows.
That’s why you should consider an MSP that offers training for your employees.
It lets them understand the necessary changes and encourages them to train other team members as they join your business. But if your employees are too busy, you can instruct the MSP to carry out all the training.
Factor #4. Response Time
Your network can go down for any number of reasons, preventing your employees from working and your clients from reaching you. This situation can even cripple your reputation, customer base, and revenue. In the worst-case scenario, it can even make you shut down your business.
Fortunately, a high-quality MSP can help you avoid this scenario. They can identify threats to your system and neutralize them before hurting your company.
Moreover, if an incident takes place, they should respond immediately. They need to mitigate the risks as soon as possible to keep your organization from crumbling.
Factor #5. Security and Backup
One of the most important duties your MSP should perform is to shield your data from cyberattacks. This is critical to protecting your company and customers. Besides, safe data storage might be mandatory in your industry, which is why your IT department could use all the help they can get.
Once you work with an MSP, they should recommend robust security solutions and endpoint protection to combat harmful software. And throughout their engagement, they should consider compliance to help prevent legal issues.
Another major part of their mission should be the implementation of backup software. It enables you to retrieve your data in case of a breach. Such implementation may involve automation, a restoration plan, and a no-downtime policy.
With a failproof backup and security strategy in place, you should be able to run your company more confidently. The risk of downtime will be drastically lower, allowing you to operate smoothly, maintain high sales, retain customers, and preserve your brand.
Factor #6. Guidance on Workflow Options
Your MSP shouldn’t just deal with cybersecurity – they should also suggest adopting the best practices across the entire tech landscape.
For example, they should advise you on various CRM solutions and project management applications. They should also help you revamp your approach to workflow and data to create efficiency in all departments.
The fact is, you can yield tremendous results from their guidance. Your team can work faster, collaborate in real-time, and be more tech-savvy.
Recruit Your MSP Carefully
While price is important when selecting an MSP, it pales in comparison to all the factors listed above. Be sure they’re a perfect fit for your enterprise, even if you need to pay more.
With high expertise, customized services, and an understanding of threats, a reputable team can help you stay ahead of your competitors.
If you need more assistance choosing your MSP, get in touch with our experienced team. Let’s schedule a quick 15-minute chat and figure out the ideal MSP for your company.
Give us a call at 731.422.3090! Tailored Networks is locally owned in Jackson TN, and trusted by businesses that have been part of the West Tennessee Community for over 75 years!
Featured Image Credit
This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.
Finding the Right IT Provider: Avoid These 8 Mistakes
Your business can benefit a lot from working with an IT provider. However, you need to avoid several key mistakes when choosing your team.
Time spent on trying to figure out the technology you use in your business can be costly. While doing that, you can’t focus on your business needs, which can then result in poor customer satisfaction.
This is where IT providers come into play.
They enable you to outsource hardware and computing-related services, such as managed IT security and cloud computing. IT providers can also provide a robust IT infrastructure so that you can direct your attention to revenue-generating activities.
While there are numerous IT providers to choose from, not all of them may accommodate your business’s specific needs. And integrating with the wrong team can raise your spending due to irrelevant services, recurring security issues, data backup problems, and downtime.
Therefore, you need to be extra careful when selecting your team. The only way to avoid disappointment is to avoid these eight common mistakes when looking for the right IT provider.
The Eight Mistakes
Mistake #1 – Insisting on the Newest Technology
Many advertisers want to trick you into believing that the latest technology will resolve all your issues. While the newest virtualization or cloud offerings can boost operations in many enterprises, they might not suit your business.
Hence, don’t let the hype surrounding new products dazzle you.
Carefully consider the results your IT provider will help you achieve and determine if the investment enables you to fulfill them. Your provider shouldn’t confuse you with state-of-the-art features – they should guide you and allow for seamless integration.
Mistake #2 – Failure To Consider the Response Times
Determining the response times of your prospective IT providers is essential. You need to ask them how long they usually take to reply to queries and resolve problems. Be sure to gauge their onsite support efficiency, too.
Not inquiring about their availability is another grave error. Your IT team should provide round-the-clock services, including specialists that will monitor your system.
Constant monitoring and availability can help ensure you can detect IT issues early. With this, the provider can immediately administer patches and updates to safeguard against disasters.
Furthermore, your IT provider should offer simple access to their desk support. You should be able to contact them via email, phone, and chat for instant guidance.
Mistake #3 – Neglecting the Security Aspect
Disregarding the security features of your IT provider might be the most severe mistake. Teams with improper defense mechanisms can’t shield your system from cyberattackers, increasing the risk of losing data and access to resources.
To avoid this, look for IT providers that can protect you from malware and other threats. They also need to prioritize protecting your business’s confidential data, like trade secrets and customer information.
When it comes to specific security measures, your IT provider should have features that prevent data intrusions instantly upon detection. The list includes phishing attacks simulations, web content filtering, DNS security, endpoint protection, mobile device management, and dark web protection.
In addition, responsible teams should eliminate point-of-sale and network intrusions before they compromise your system. Making sure they abide by security compliance and government regulations is also paramount.
Mistake #4 – Forgetting the Budget
Many IT companies operate under pay-as-you-go pricing schemes. Although this helps you minimize upfront investment, adopting a large number of technologies simultaneously without considering the recurring costs can cripple your finances.
Thus, think twice before signing on the dotted line.
Research your providers thoroughly and draft your budget with professional assistance. These steps can prevent considerable frustration down the line.
Mistake #5 – Not Determining Scalability
One of the biggest impediments to growing your company is choosing an IT provider with poor scalability.
By contrast, scalable IT teams allow your business to evolve and grow. They can continually extend their services to accommodate your company’s goals, even if these goals change.
Mistake #6 – Opting for a Non-Responsive Service Level Agreement
Service level agreements (SLAs) hold IT providers accountable for their services. It establishes standards for responsibilities, quality, scope, and delivery time in writing. Without it, you’ll have no way of ensuring transparent collaboration.
When selecting your IT provider, find one with a responsive agreement. It can help guarantee the SLA scales with their services while rendering continual improvement.
Mistake #7 – Lack of Team Training and Feedback
The story doesn’t end once you’ve found and partnered with a trustworthy IT provider. New technologies won’t magically increase your bottom line and decrease outputs.
To accomplish your goal, your employees will still need to understand how to use your new tech solutions. But bear in mind that not every team member may be able to grasp new tools easily. Some may even prefer the existing platforms.
Fortunately, you can hire IT experts to train them. These professionals should simplify any complex steps and advise your staff on making the most of your new investment.
Also, some enterprises set up regular training but fail to monitor their team’s performance. This is a huge mistake, as it keeps you from assessing your employee’s response to new technologies.
So, conduct questionnaires and other forms of feedback collection to determine and address any weaknesses.
Mistake #8 – Ignoring Experiences With Previous Clients
Choosing an IT provider is similar to buying standard products and services. Failure to check user reviews can lead to disappointment.
To get a clear picture of your IT team’s capabilities, analyze their current and previous clients from similar industries. Look for reviews, testimonials, and ask the provider for a list of projects and references.
After doing your due diligence, you should be able to tell whether an IT provider is an ideal match for your company.
However, keep in mind that every IT team is different. For instance, they might be well-versed in the healthcare industry but have no experience working with retailers. That’s why as mentioned, stick to IT providers servicing your industry to get the best results.
Find the Right Fit
Nobody wants to end up with a poor IT provider that can’t deliver great results, leaves your company open to cyberattacks, and causes other vulnerabilities. Your investment goes down the drain, and your operations suffer.
Luckily, we can show you a way out.
Let’s arrange a quick, 10-15-minute obligation-free chat. We can discuss more ways on how to find the right IT provider for you and ensure you get your money’s worth.
We’re located in Jackson TN! We provide services to clients all over West Tennessee! Give us a call at 731.422.3090
Featured Image Credit
This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.