What is unified communications and collaboration (UCC)? And why are more organisations adopting this combined approach? This blog talks about why these two once separate solutions areas are increasingly integrated, and how UCC can add value to your business.

We are living in a digital world, and this doesn’t stop when it comes to the workplace. Remote, hybrid, mobile, and flexible working – whichever you prefer – one thing that remains the same is the fact that how, where and when people work has changed. With this change, unified communications and collaboration technologies have become increasingly interlinked. So, what exactly does this mean? Let’s start by looking at unified communications and collaboration in their own right.

Unified communications (UC)

Unified communications, or UC, is not a singular product or service. Instead, it is a collection of elements that enable effective business communication. It can be described as the devices, equipment, software, and services that provide and connect communication types, channels and features. This includes things like voice, video, chat, voicemail, availability and email. It will also typically include the control, management, and underpinning connectivity of these. Essentially, it’s a connected system of communication types and tools.

Unified communications has traditionally been a standalone solutions area looked after by the telecoms, whereas collaboration tools have sat underneath the broader IT umbrella.

Collaboration technologies

Collaboration technologies are all the different things that enable teamwork in a digital world. They are all of your tools, platforms and apps that help you create documents, manage tasks and share information. There are thousands of different cloud tools that connect remote and hybrid teams, and ensure they stay productive. This includes software and apps for creating, editing and sharing content, brainstorming and idea generation, project management and more. Cloud collaboration platforms provide users with access to knowledge and data from a single point of truth and ensure they can work together in real time across locations.

Poor communication is often the downfall of a team. Teams are only successful when they can quickly and easily connect and communicate. Therefore, communication and collaboration go hand in hand, and the convergence of unified communications and collaboration is a logical step. When team members ensure effective communication, decision making is slicker, change is more seamless, and challenges can be overcome more easily.

Defining unified communications and collaboration (UCC)

Unified communications and collaboration – or ‘UCC’ – is simply the combination of unified comms products and services, and collaboration platforms, apps, or tools. Historically, these two areas in the IT and comms arenas were relatively separate. Vendors who offered collaboration platforms were distinct from those operating in the business communications space, and the solutions operated in a siloed manner.

However, the evolution of the workplace has seen the gap between unified communications and collaboration rapidly close. The lines between voice, telephony and collaboration technologies have been blurred. Gartner describes how leading innovators that traditionally offered IT and collaboration technologies have extended into voice and phone systems. Microsoft is a prime example of this, with Microsoft 365 now extendable into a fully functioning communication solution. Conversely, unified comms and connectivity vendors such as Cisco now have dedicated solutions for collaboration.

Now, organisations are beginning to harness the power a combined approach. As the overlap between unified communications and collaboration has become evident, many are choosing solutions providers to bring the best of collaboration tools and communications together. This integrated approach has clear benefits for the modern workplace, unlocking a wealth of added value for businesses globally.

The benefits of unified communications and collaboration (UCC)

A truly integrated approach to unified communications and collaboration enables teams and businesses to become more agile. Lower costs, better teamwork and faster decision making are just a few benefits. Let’s look at some in a bit more detail.

Simplified IT management

Adopting unified communications and collaboration together means less of a headache for your IT and procurement teams. You can fulfil all communication and collaboration needs with one, unified solution. This means just one solution to implement, manage and support. Rather than worrying about maintaining and integrating different platforms and apps, you have a centralised platform to look after and secure.

Seamless experiences

When users can access everything they need to connect and collaborate in one place, the user experience is more seamless. With a unified communications and collaboration approach, your employees have one secure workspace to share information, chat, meet and more across all devices. This means less time switching between apps, and more time spent on meaningful work and interactions.

Reduced IT costs

One solution will help you streamline and consolidate your key communications and IT services into one centralised solution. Cloud-based options are more affordable and enable easy scalability, while an effective unified communications and collaboration platform can reduce the need for travel and face-to-face meetings, heling to reduce operational costs.

Stronger teams

When employees work in silos, communication issues arise. Unified communications and collaboration make it easier for your teams to meet, chat and work together, which supports the creation of stronger teams. Teams can work together on projects and documents in real time across different locations and devices, making it easier to keep even remote teams connected and collaborative.

Greater productivity and flexibility

Your teams can choose the device and communication channels that work best for them and their productivity. A mobile-first approach to unified communications and collaboration enables people to connect and collaborate from virtually anywhere.

Better decisions, faster

With the combined approach of unified communications and collaboration, your teams have the tools that facilitate effective decision making. Teams can ideate together in real-time on brainstorming documents, leave comments and get instant feedback, then jump straight on to a video call to discuss.

Enhance your modern workplace

At 848, we adopt the approach that unified communications and collaboration solutions are most effective when they work in harmony. Our specialist team design, build and deploy truly integrated solutions for communication, collaboration, and connectivity. This enables us to provide your business with greater value and your end-users with friction-free communication experiences. Unify your modern workplace with our simple approach to unified communications and collaboration. Get in touch with a member of the team today.