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Integrated communications becoming key to UC success

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Finding the right unified communications system can be a major challenge for businesses, as the combination of cloud systems, premise-based technologies and mobile-focused programs makes it difficult to find a single option that can meet all of an organization's needs. However, companies that integrate multiple UC solutions, such as a cloud PBX system for business phone services along with video and a mobile collaboration platform to handle smartphone and tablet users, can leverage considerable gains, according to a recent Aberdeen Group report.

Essentially, integrating multiple unified communications platforms into a single solution allows businesses to combine best-of-breed technologies with other systems that cater to specific operational needs. According to the Aberdeen Group, this level of integration can unlock the full capabilities of unified communications technology while optimizing the program's cost effectiveness.

Hyoun Park, research analyst for the Aberdeen Group, explained that enterprise telephony environments are changing from premise-based models to telephony solutions that are capable of supporting social, cloud and mobile capabilities.

"As this shift [to more diverse collaboration] occurs, companies seeking to optimize productivity and reduce the total cost of ownership associated with their communications environments are focused on integrating both mobility and cloud-based infrastructure. By doing so, they are better positioned to align technological functionality with business processes," said Park.

The Aberdeen Group found that this principle of integrated communications does not just work in theory. After analyzing the UC setup of a diverse range of organizations, analysts found that the most successful unified communications systems were those that integrated components of cloud telephony, social media and mobile collaboration technologies into a cohesive platform.

Integrated communications is not alone in its ability to revolutionize the UC landscape. According to a recent UC Strategies report, many businesses are changing the way they align their telephony systems, focusing on applications and business processes instead of person-to-person collaboration in the call center. While this shifts the emphasis away from the customer a bit for operational purposes, it introduces cloud communications capabilities, advanced applications and sophisticated interface systems that give contact center workers more control over calls, allowing them to improve service in line with business process goals. This pays major dividends as the improved communications helps companies get the most out of business processes, driving improved operational efficiency and revenue gains.