ITBusinessEdge contributor David Martin recently highlighted the advantages associated with unified communications and how the solution is considered the next evolution of the information technology industry. This level of impact is expected to take place because of the success of UC applications, such as video conferencing, which has become essential for many companies.
"As business telephony and video conferencing move to internet protocol networks, this convergence holds the promise of increased productivity and reduced costs for the enterprise, but only if it operates reliably and is easy to manage," Martin explained.
The writer noted, however, that despite the immense possibilities of unified communications, some organizations simply do not have the proper IT infrastructure to realize its potential. Given that more workers are turning to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, not being able to support these devices can harm overall UC success.
Martin also explained that quality of service, security and inteoperability are other challenges facing some organizations regarding their unified communications delployments. But there are answers to these issues.
"Proper configuration of existing routers, firewalls and switches as well as deploying special purpose devices such as enterprise session border controllers can preserve the investment and improve the overall result of deploying UC applications," Martin suggested.
Unified communications critical for productivity
More companies worldwide are adopting unified communications to update their IT infrastructure and compete with rivals. A U.K. conference call vendor recently conducted a survey of almost 1,100 businesses and found that nearly 60 percent of respondents believe UC deployments are beneficial in helping them improve overall productivity and remain cost-effective.
But these advantages trickle down even further, according to the results. In fact, 54 percent of companies said the cost-savings and productivity from unified communications also help channel partners, customers and suppliers leverage these benefits.
The service provider's CEO, Simon Curry, asserted that the current IT landscape is shifting and companies have to keep up to remain competitive and serve customers effectively. Unified communications, in particular, is becoming more essential for businesses in these areas, with many respondents stating they are already using advanced technology.
The survey found that 69 percent of participants said they currently allow employees to work remotely or keep flexible schedules. As a result, workers and businesses themselves can be reached at all times.