Unified communications from Crystaline

In today’s fast-paced business world, effective communication is the key to success. Unified communications (UC) is a one-stop business phone system solution for streamlining and enhancing your business’ communication and collaboration. All that’s needed is an internet connection.

What is unified communications?

A unified communications solution integrates various communication tools and technologies into a single, cohesive platform. A unified communications platform provides a seamless and consistent user experience across different communication channels, devices and locations, enabling employees to communicate more efficiently and effectively.

Traditional communication systems often involve separate and disconnected channels, such as a traditional phone solution, email services, video conferencing tools, real-time messaging applications, and more. UC aims to bridge these gaps and bring all these channels together under one comprehensive solution.

What do UC platforms include?

  • Voice communication: It allows users to make and receive phone calls over the internet (VoIP) using a cloud phone system, incorporating features like call forwarding, call recording, voicemail and call routing.

  • Video conferencing: Integrated video conferencing tools enable face-to-face virtual meetings, collaboration, and screen sharing among team members, regardless of their physical locations.

  • Instant messaging: Real-time messaging allows users to send text, images, and files instantly, while presence indicators show the availability and status of colleagues for efficient communication.

      • Email integration: This can involve integration with all email systems, enabling users to access their emails from within the platform and seamlessly transition between different communication modes.

      • Collaboration and file sharing: UC facilitates teamwork by offering shared workspaces, document collaboration, and file-sharing capabilities, allowing multiple users to collaborate on projects simultaneously.

    How could unified communications benefit my business?

    • Enhanced collaboration — UC brings together various communication tools and platforms into a single interface, making it easier for employees to collaborate seamlessly. Real-time messaging, video conferencing and file sharing foster teamwork and collaboration.

    • Increased productivity — Employees can access all their communication tools from one platform. This streamlines workflows, reduces time spent switching between applications, and allows for more efficient multitasking.

    • Cost savings — By consolidating communication tools and plat-forms, organisations can reduce the expenses associated with multiple subscriptions, hardware and maintenance. Additionally, unified communications can lower travel costs by enabling virtual meetings and remote collaboration.

      Flexibility — UC empowers employees to work from anywhere, whether in the office, at home, or while traveling. Mobile applications and remote access to communication tools enable a more flexible work environment, contributing to better work-life balance and higher job satisfaction.

          • Improved customer service — UC can integrate with contact centre systems, enabling businesses to deliver more responsive and personalised customer interactions. Faster access to information and streamlined communication within the organisation leads to better customer support.

          • Scalability — Solutions are designed to scale with the organisation’s growth. As a business expands, the UC platform can accommodate new users and additional features without significant disruptions.

          • Business continuity — During unforeseen events or disruptions, unified communications enables employees to stay connected and maintain business operations. This continuity contributes to reduced downtime and minimises the impact on productivity.

        The impact of the PSTN switch off

        There’s another reason to switch to a UC platform. The PSTN will be switched off completely on 31 January 2027, and will see the retirement of the UK’s copper network, which forms part of the system that enables any traditional phone system.

        With all landline phones becoming obsolete after this date, switching to a UC system that includes a cloud phone system will be essential. You can learn more about the PSTN switch off and its implications for businesses over on our content hub.

        UC Solutions from Crystaline

        Crystaline offers the Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral platform to UK businesses.  Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral is a cloud-based unified communications (UC) solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It combines the power of Vodafone’s global network and services with RingCentral’s industry-leading cloud communications platform to deliver a complete suite of communication and collaboration tools.

        All of our products and services are protected by our service level agreement, the Crystaline Service Promise, which provides evidence for how our customers can expect to work with us.

        Learn more here or contact our team below for more information or to discuss your individual requirements in more detail.

        On-site vs. cloud-based unified communications

        What is on-site unified communications?

        With an on-site approach, the entire UC system is managed on the premises. This includes the installation of the hardware required, such as servers and cooling racks. It also includes the ongoing maintenance and upgrades required to keep the service up-to-date and operating smoothly.

         

        Benefits

        • By taking full responsibility of the network, the business has greater control with the ability to build bespoke systems to fit its specific needs.
        • An on-site system also allows for increased security, as there is no sharing of resources with external and third parties. This is particularly beneficial when it comes to ensuring regulatory compliance, and in keeping with laws such as GDPR.
        • Having business data available on-site also reduces the reliance on an internet connection. This offers a faster, more optimised performance to employees, and prevents drops in productivity caused by disruption.

         

        Challenges

        • The main challenge with on-site UC is the upfront cost. Purchasing physical hardware and its installation can be costly, and for larger networks, there may be a need to hire internal IT professionals to manage the infrastructure.
        • It relies on physical equipment — which takes time to source and install — means that this solution offers low scalability, making it less than ideal for fast-growing businesses.

         

        What is hosted UC?

        An alternative is to host UC software and services in the cloud. In a hosted UC setup, business data and applications are stored on external servers rather than onsite.

         

        Benefits

        • The lack of physical hardware and installation onsite makes hosted UC a much more scalable solution. It’s possible to add new phone lines in minutes and at the click of a button, rather than having to wait for someone to manually install the cables and setup required.
        • This flexibility means that it’s possible to purchase services on a per-user basis, which can offer significant cost savings for many SMEs. It’s also much more accommodating of business growth and changes in demand throughout the year.
        • The digital nature of cloud-based systems means that they can be accessed remotely and from multiple devices, allowing employees to work from home or on-the-go with no compromise to customer service.

         

        Concerns

        • Third-party services can be an area of concern when it comes to cybersecurity, so choosing a reputable UC provider is crucial. It’s important to look for providers that offer enhanced cybersecurity measures, such as data encryption and firewalls, as well as compliancy with data regulations, such as those offered by Crystaline.

        UC Solutions from Crystaline

        Crystaline offers the Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral platform to UK businesses.  Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral is a cloud-based unified communications (UC) solution designed for large and small business requirements . It combines the power of Vodafone’s global network and services with RingCentral’s industry-leading cloud communications platform to deliver a complete suite of communication and collaboration tools.

         

        All of our products and services are protected by our service level agreement, the Crystaline Service Promise, which provides evidence for how our customers can expect to work with us.

         

        Contact our team below for more information or to discuss your individual requirements in more detail.

         

        Unified communications combines several tools in one

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