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Unified Communications Moves to the Cloud, Helps Businesses Deliver Better Customer Service

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Running a successful business today is quite different than it was just five or ten years ago. Changes in business dynamics require keeping pace with technological changes. And, although in this economic climate many companies are reluctant to do anything that seems like making capital investments, the truth is that new communications technology can no longer be ignored.

In a recently published whitepaper, Fonality argues that two technology trends in particular are vital for businesses to understand: unified communications and cloud services.

There are many definitions for what “unified communications” is, exactly. Perhaps the best way to think of it is a set of integrated products that create a unified user interface across multiple media categories and multiple devices.

Flexibility is key to the concept of UC; messages can be sent in one context (such as leaving a voicemail message) and retrieved elsewhere (such as voice messages accessed via a visual interface on a mobile phone).

UC has been around for a while, and its benefits are typically fairly well understood. But there’s a new trend afoot: UC is moving to the cloud.

“While Unified Communications can be delivered as a premise based proprietary system, its full potential can be achieved through open software based systems running on the cloud,” Fonality says in its whitepaper.

To put it most simply, cloud services are a type of remote computing. Cloud computing is a delivery method not just of messages, but of full applications and communications tools, accessed over the internet with behind-the-scenes management handled centrally by someone other than the user.

So what does all this have to do with changes in business dynamics? In its whitepaper, Fonality stresses that companies must become more customer-focused, become more flexible to remain competitive, and become better at managing their operating costs.

Companies need to understand, Fonality says, that carefully choosing where to invest profits is the key to success. A good strategy in this area today is not that same as in years past.

“Just because you owned your phone system in the past, doesn’t it make more sense to put your capital into customer service enhancing investments?” Fonality asks in its whitepaper. “The reality of a cloud-based, Software as a Service model for business communications brings speed and simplicity to a decades old technology model – reducing overhead while increasing customer satisfaction and employee productivity.”

At the heart of all this is building customer loyalty, and that comes with trust. Trust, ultimately, leads to increased profits.

“Loyal customers are proven to pay a ten percent premium or more to companies they trust,” Fonality points out in its whitepaper. 

For more discussion on this topic, including a comparison of past and current business dynamics using the analogy of a game of Monopoly versus an episode of Survivor, read the full whitepaper.

Originally posted at: http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/cloud-telephony/articles/144011-unified-communications-moves-the-cloud-helps-businesses-deliver.htm

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