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Unleashing Enterprise Agility with Unified Communications and Contact Centres

Any organization that wants to prosper must enable its most valuable resource, its people, to communicate quickly, effectively, and efficiently. And, as technology advances, it is facilitating a new world of digital transformation that is giving people the freedom to share their skills and pursue new opportunities with nothing more than the right communication tools. While Unified Communications (UC) is powering the business transformation by streamlining the modern workplace, Generative AI or AI techniques and models that generate new and original content is revolutionizing how UC services are being envisioned for consumption.

Unlike other AI approaches that focus on identifying patterns or making predictions based on existing data, generative AI models generate new data samples based on training data to improve communication quality.

Consequently, while UC combines multiple communication tools and channels into a single interface, generative AI enables networks to be more intelligent, enhancing real-time UC performance insights and meeting productivity. It allows enterprises to optimise their communication operations by merging services such as phone calling, video conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, and more.

However, although UC sounds like contact centres and shares some technological building blocks, they are vastly different in terms of usage and applications.

Contact centre primarily handle incoming and outgoing client interactions by phone, email, web chat, social media, and other channels, with the goal of providing efficient customer service and support. UC solutions, in contrast, focus on integrating and streamlining communication tools for internal and external communication across an organization.

Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex applications are good examples of UC while the help desk is a perfect example of contact centres.

Technology wise though, both rely on real-time communication and information sharing, and interact with each other to allow communication between internal teams and contact centre agents. For example, in a help desk of a bank where a contact centre’s loan agent may need to access the internal operations of the bank, UC can be integrated with contact centre to complete the communication cycle.

Clearly, UC is more than just a communication tool, and here are a few reasons why an enterprise needs it:

Streamlined Communication: UC integrates voice, video, instant messaging, email, and presence information into a single interface allowing people to effortlessly interact and collaborate across channels, enhancing efficiency and lowering communication obstacles.

Enhanced Collaboration: File, screen, and real-time document collaboration are common UC tools that let employees collaborate, share information, and make choices faster.

Mobility and Flexibility: UC solutions are designed to support mobile and remote work scenarios that enable employees to use smartphones, tablets, and laptops to access communication tools and information. This flexibility allows teams to work remotely and be productive.

Presence and Availability: UC systems’ display real-time presence information for co-workers. This tool lets employees instantly see who is online, busy, or accessible for contact, improving teamwork.

Integration with Cloud-based Services: UC platforms integrate with cloud-based CRM, project management, and document sharing services that facilitate access of essential data and other resources to a user straight from the UC interface.

Cost Savings: Finally, by consolidating communication UC streamlines administration and reduces costs of separate systems for voice conversations, video conferencing, messaging, and the likes.

Nevertheless, past are the days when contact centres could be set up using the simple chat-box technology, which although restrictive in nature, could address most contact centre queries through scripted answers.

Today’s enterprises manage hundreds or thousands of users, making UC strategy planning difficult. Thus, the best UC strategies assess communication demands and discover UC opportunities. It is important to bear in mind that while an organization’s network, software, and hardware should be evaluated for UC traffic and capacity, UC tool selection should also involve security. Finally, IT, HR, and operations run UC systems.

Resistance to change, technological complications, interoperability issues, budget limits, and ensuring a smooth transition from old systems are all potential challenges though, in developing a UC strategy. To overcome these obstacles, good communication, stakeholder participation, and a well-executed change management plan are essential.

Besides, given that UC implementation is a complex process, before commencing a business should evaluate some other critical factors as well. For instance, it is important to ensure that the organization’s workplace communication process is robust and is connected strongly with the enterprise.

The organisation should also possess robust migration capabilities supported by internal intellectual property and solutions for seamless workplace modernization.

To conclude, UC goes beyond being a simple communications tool by combining many channels and services, improving collaboration, promoting mobility, and providing employees with a unified and agile work experience.

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