UC&C: The modern way of working

18 July 2022, 10:09 BST
By Lucy Kaplan

Comms Systems

We supply the latest in VoIP telephone systems, mobile communication and unified communications solutions, allowing your teams to communicate more effectively and improving productivity across your business.

What is Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C)?

UC&C is a collection of Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration solutions which are brought together and made available to use through one User Interface (UI) in order to improve connectivity and productivity. UC&C integrates a diverse range of communication tools, including Voice, IP Telephony Calling, Instant Messaging, Desktop Sharing, Presence and Web Conferencing, Audio Conferencing and Video Conferencing which interact together in a virtually seamless way to provide near real-time collaboration.

As technology continues to evolve, we’ve entered an era where work is no longer refined to a specific desk, phone, or computer screen. Professionals have the freedom to share their skills and pursue new opportunities across the globe, requiring only the right device, and a cloud connection to perform their role.

With so many employees beginning to work remotely, companies need to find a way to serve users who don’t want be tethered by wires and physical locations. The result has been an influx of fantastic communication tools, designed for almost every touch point in the average business. The only problem? We’ve innovated so fast that the sheer number of communication tools available is enough to overwhelm any worker or IT team.

What’s the difference between UC and UC&C?

The term Unified Communication refers to the systems that allow companies to access the tools they need for communication via a single application or service. This means that they can use instant messaging, voice and video calling, meetings and file sharing from the same UI. UC services can also include customer engagement services like Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) and other integrated technologies for communication and collaboration.

Unified Communication and Collaboration, or UC&C, adds collaboration services to the UC mix, such as file sharing tools, screen sharing, scheduling, and calendars.

What are the benefits of UC&C?

Combining communication and collaboration tools into one simple interface provides organisations with an array of benefits, including:

Higher productivity

Employees in different locations using different devices and mediums can work together in a unified environment

Better performance

Employees can both communicate and collaborate in an instant meaning that they can solve customers’ problems faster, improving the reputation of your business

Reduced costs

As UC systems operate on the cloud, they allow companies to move away from a Capex model, to an OpEx strategy which involves fewer initial costs

Ability to access expertise from anywhere

Due to their cloud-based nature, team collaboration tools mean that you can bring together the best talent from anywhere in the world to contribute to the same project at the same time

Easier to track projects

Online collaboration tools come with various capabilities that help team members to see the evolution of their projects over time making it much easier to manage a project and ensure that everyone stays on the same page

Easy document management and reporting

Collaboration tools ensure that the same files are all stored in the same place meaning that information doesn’t get lost and everyone working on the same project can access the same information easily and many make reporting easier

What are the challenges of UC&C?

UC&C can, however, pose challenges to networks with old infrastructure as it has changed the nature of corporate network workloads. In a network with compute and storage separate, these dynamic workloads can cause congestion and latency. As UC&C and other dynamic workloads have increased, there has been an increase in the adoption of hyper-converged networks to deal with the consequent challenges.

Getting communication and collaboration right

Communication and collaboration solutions are key to the digital transformation of a business and building a flexible global working environment so investing in collaboration tools can add great value to your organisation. This cannot be achieved, however, without a good communication strategy.

Communication systems needs to be clear, accessible and user-friendly in order for collaboration to work. Once your employees can successfully share knowledge, you can help them to work together on tasks and projects.

Colleagues and co-workers have long collaborated over projects within an office or work environment. However, as work becomes less of a place, and more about working on mutual goals, the methods we use to collaborate are changing. We’re moving away from the individual and siloed groups within an organisation, to embrace a wider, more connected team.

According to a report from Microsoft, we now operate in twice as many teams today as we did five years ago. Combine that knowledge with the fact that we’re seeing four times as many people working remotely these days, and you can see why so many companies are searching for the right tools to help people work more efficiently together.

Maximising User Adoption

UC&C is all about improving the communications experience of users, boosting internal and external connections, and making workflows smoother. While UC&C can deliver a host of fantastic benefits to modern companies of any size or vertical, it can only accomplish amazing things when the business has the right adoption strategy in place. After all, even the best system can’t do much for your company if your employees refuse to use it.

While some staff members will naturally embrace the potential of UC&C systems, others will be less open to change. This means that companies need an adoption strategy that helps them to roll their solutions out seamlessly throughout the entire organisation.

Uses of UC&C across different settings

Business

Businesses often find that UC&C facilitates effective communication between teams. Tools such as Instant Messaging, File Sharing, and Video Conferencing make collaboration easy, improving operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and productivity.

Education

Teachers can use UC&C to carry out live teaching sessions using online whiteboard software and students can interact via audio or video conferencing. They can share documents in real time and make these available on demand for a cohesive learning experience.

Healthcare

UC&C enables healthcare providers to turn a phone call into a web conference so they can share, view and consult with other medical personnel, review patient information and data and respond quickly. Staff can find out a doctor’s availability via presence awareness and share and collaborate on patient information.

EBC Group can help you assess which Unified Communications and Collaboration system would best suit your organisation’s needs and provide assistance with implementing your new system, from installation and configuration to maintenance and optimisation. Get in touch with us today online, call us on 0121 3680119 or email us at hello@ebcgroup.co.uk.

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