Unified communications (or UC) have grown from desktop phones and email, to encompassing all facets of how a company communicates and collaborates both internally and externally (see our post about how UC has evolved here). In order to stay up to date in the UC space, most businesses have had to upgrade their UC framework to include newer solutions, such as video conferencing, cloud-based collaboration, VoIP, and more. But you might be wondering if you need to make those upgrades within your business. If you have systems that you’ve relied on for years, or even decades, then the thought of changing all of that might seem like an unnecessary expense and a big hassle for your business. However, there are some key signs that you need to update your UC systems:
Older phone and voicemail systems are usually running outdated software, which many manufacturers stop supporting and patching. This presents a significant security risk, as well as a compliance issue. Many voicemail systems are running on outdated software systems, such as Windows XP and Unix, which aren’t supported. With these outdated systems, you are opening yourself to hackers and cybercriminals who will exploit this outdated software and install malware on your network.
- Cost savings
With older systems and hardware, many of the current technology that UC relies on can’t be installed. As a result, you’ll be stuck paying for outdated systems and hardware, which can typically be much more expensive that upgrading your UC systems. By transitioning to VoIP, cloud-based collaboration, video conferencing, and messaging applications, you will find yourself saving money in the long run. You won’t be paying for bulky hardware and you’ll be making life easier for yourself and your employees.
- Remote working
In addition to cost savings, updating your UC systems will allow your employees to work remotely without any loss in productivity. Remote working and the work from home environment has grown exponentially, and businesses need to ensure that employees can work together without physically being together. Applications like Microsoft Teams offer significant communication and collaboration solutions for your employees. They can communicate in real-time and collaborate on projects instantaneously. Additionally, these applications are portable, meaning they can be installed on mobile devices as well, which increases productivity for remote workers.
Another key reason to update your UC systems is that older hardware is becoming harder to maintain and repair. Desktop phones and other outdated hardware will need replacement parts at some point, and the older these things are, the more difficult it will be to find replacement parts and someone skilled in repairing these old systems. You will end up spending more time and money to keep these older systems running, and during any downtime due to a failure of an older system creates a loss of productivity and revenue for your employees and your company.
We talked a little bit about this with remote working, but even if your employees are in the office, an updated UC system will allow them to be more productive. Instead of working on something, sending it in an email, waiting for a reply, and repeating that cycle is time-consuming and reliant on other people reading your email and taking the time to reply (if they’re even available to reply at that moment). Many UC systems come with the ability to use messaging, video conferencing, and cloud-based storage, among other features. This allows your business to dramatically increase productivity, which will benefit your employees and your customers.
Updating your unified communications systems might seem like a headache and something that you don’t need to do, but the fact is that companies who want to stay competitive need to make sure they’re able to communicate and collaborate in the current tech space. If you’re seeing signs that your business needs to upgrade its UC systems, reach out to the UC experts at TAG Solutions. We will help you determine the best options for your business and goals.