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What is mobile UC

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Benefits of VoIP | Business VoIP Solutions | VoIP Technology

Communication is an essential organizational resource and it is just as vital to a business’s success as finance, HR or IT.  Communication is the glue that binds your company together from the CEO down to front-line employees interacting with customers. Over the last century, however, communication channels have increased with every new generation of technology. 

It’s gotten to the point where employees waste precious hours each week searching for the right tool to use at any given time. Should you send a memo or an email to the project team? Is your manager on the company messenger app or should you text them the contract information? Is your colleague available for a video conference call or is it too late in their time zone?

Unified Communication

It should come as no surprise to anyone that unified communication is quickly becoming a priority for organizations, regardless of size or industry. Whether you are a small business looking to compete with larger competitors or a mid-size company interested in cutting communication costs, unified communication is probably the solution for you. The aim of unified communication (UC) is to pull various tools into a cohesive environment. 

Most UC suites integrate a variety of channels including but not limited to voice, video, text, voicemail, email, and other forms of both real-time and asynchronous communication. It allows an organization to streamline workflows, improve productivity, and also help staff perform better. 

Mobile UC

Where does mobile unified communication (MUC) come in? As mobility becomes crucial to organizations, MUC has begun to take center stage. Any decent UC suite will integrate mobile devices but MUC pushes the envelope further. The key difference between a UC vendor that integrates mobile and a MUC provider is the role of mobility. For the former, mobile devices are just another device/service to consolidate into the overall UC environment. 

But for the MUC vendor, mobility is the central core of their service portfolio. A typical MUC portfolio will integrate voice, email, text, file sharing, and collaboration tools as well as management services like analytics. With the ongoing pandemic forcing businesses to rethink traditional workspaces and roles, MUC is set to transform the way companies communicate. 

MUC components

Mobile network operators use various components to exchange organizational security, efficiency, and productivity. It’s basically an all in one telephony service analogous to unified communication but extending it to the mobile landscape.

Voice

Voice is the heart of any MUC platform no doubt. It often comes in the form of VoIP which is the voice standard for the future. This voice service is very different from traditional analog voice calls though as it includes conferencing abilities. MUC solutions also allow for format conversions between various channels such as transcribed voicemails delivered to your inbox. 

Email

The next essential component of MUC is email. Even as pundits pronounce that email is dead, it continues to be a primary communication channel, especially for internal use. However, teams are moving away from email as their main collaboration tool. Most companies are opting for specialized collaboration services or apps for their needs. 

Messaging

Messaging is where the field becomes much more diverse. It can include typical carrier options such as SMS as well as OTT services like Facebook Messenger. Larger organizations may also include their own custom implementations.

Collaboration 

UC typically emphasizes collaboration and content sharing across channels and MUC is no different. But with the latter, the emphasis is on making them accessible through mobile hardware and software. So mobile users don’t have to contend with desktop-first applications any longer. In an enterprise context, it also means MUC vendors have to adhere to industry standards for security compliance, backup, and archiving capabilities. 

As with any modern IT-based solution, MUC suites come with a plethora of management tools for deployment, monitoring, and analytics. MUC vendors offer everything from identity management to usage analytics for offices. These offerings have matured to the point where providers offer highly customizable services that can cater to your every need.

Who needs mobile UC?

It might be simpler to ask who does not need mobile UC at this point. Almost every organization needs some form of mobile UC. A small business with field staff can use MUC to improve efficiency. A mid-size organization can benefit from MUC if it has staff that is on the road or at client sites regularly. A larger corporation can easily use MUC to foster a sense of shared identity across globally diverse teams. Any business with remote workers or telecommuting employees will benefit from mobile UC in some form or the other. 

Benefits of MUC

Cohesive environment

Mobile UC allows companies to move away from legacy services that were traditionally wired or connected physically to all devices. Most organizations have a jumbled mess of a communications system. It often includes a mix of carrier apps, organizational services, consumer apps, and third-party integration tools. With mobile UC, you have one vendor who manages the entire platform.

Reduce costs

This is something every organization wants whether or not they are currently in financial trouble. Who doesn’t want better services that cost less? Mobile UC providers are able to offer competitive prices due to consolidation and integration. They pass on these savings to their customers.

Easy management and accountability

One vendor and one solution make things easier to manage for your business. When – not if – something goes wrong, you don’t have to call a dozen different numbers trying to get an answer. You don’t have to bounce between several vendors each denying that they caused the problem or blaming someone else for delays. With a single bill to pay at the end of the month, your accounts department will love it too!

Security 

No modern IT-based solution can exist in a corporate environment without essential security features. Just as your email can be hacked, mobile UC services are vulnerable to security exploits too. Rather than worry about security for a dozen disparate services, mobile UC allows you to focus on one system. Any good vendor should be able to secure your system – and theirs – via effective security protocols. 

Enable remote working

This is perhaps the most crucial benefit of mobile UC that will get the most attention over the next few years. Experts predict that remote working will become the new normal for thousands of businesses over the next decade. From a business perspective, remote working has multiple benefits but you cannot offer it to employees without having the necessary infrastructure in place. Mobile UC is one part of the puzzle allowing your workers to perform their duties from anywhere in the world, including the comfort of their home.

Mobile UC concerns

Everyone knows that there is no such thing as a free lunch, so what are the downsides of mobile UC if any? Cloud and mobile technology have advanced to the point where mobile UC offerings rarely have any cons but you do need to be prepared before implementation. Mobile UC may not fit within your company budget. Or you may not have the necessary infrastructure to deploy mobile UC. Some businesses may also have compliance or legislative issues that prevent them from using mobile UC in any form. 

Preparing for mobile UC

So what do you need to know or do before implementing mobile UC in your business? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Select the right vendor

The importance of selecting the right vendor cannot be overstated when it comes to mobile UC. A good provider will be your partner as the business grows and changes. They will offer guidance on the best tools and deployment parameters to suit your business requirements. You should be able to rely on them when the going gets tough or when you run into issues.

Assess existing network

How is your existing data network? Do you have enough bandwidth or fast internet to make use of mobile UC? If you have out of date equipment, it may not be able to handle the additional workload or new standards. Make sure to update all hardware and software with the latest security and firmware patches. You may also need new equipment if your employees do not already have mobile devices or headsets as well. 

Set a budget

It’s easy to get carried away when deploying mobile UC or any new technology system. Providers will break down their prices into ‘price per employee’ or ‘cost per minute’ etc. to persuade you into upgrading to a pricier plan or service. Managers sometimes feel the need to include every possible feature ‘just in case’ you need it in the future. 

But as mobile UC allows room to grow and add resources when you need it, there is no need to buy anything in advance. Just make sure you are paying for what you use, instead of committing to an upfront usage/monthly service cost. You can always upgrade or purchase more resources later on. 

Mobile UC can sound like a luxury reserved for big companies but even a small business can benefit immensely from such a solution. Do your research and you may just be surprised at how affordable and useful it can be!

For more information about MUC, please contact us on voipstudio.com

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