Unified Communications

3 Ways Unified Communications Maximizes Your Control

With so many phone system options to pick from, it’s difficult to know which one will fully support your business. But you do know one thing: your current phone system no longer meets your company’s changing needs. So you do what any smart business person does – you conduct a thorough assessment of your options. You quickly learn that what you need is a unified communications system that will integrate with your current business applications at a reasonable cost. Most importantly, you want to control how you use, manage and pay for the phone system over the long term while building for the future and enabling an easy migration to the cloud as your business evolves.
If this scenario applies to you, it’s time to consider a unified communications system that gives you total control in three critical ways: 
1. Control Over Custody
Is ownership your preference? If you have a certain comfort level when the assets you buy are sitting under your roof, an onsite phone system will give you complete custody of the equipment. Simply put, you own it. This type of investment creates a future benefit for your business by reducing long-term system costs while increasing the book value of your company. The financial decision of leasing, renting or buying is up to you. A Mitel Connect ONSITE system gives you investment protection while laying the foundation for a later migration to the cloud. You decide how you spend …

How to Train Your Employees for UC Success

Unified communications can benefit your business operations and move you closer to achieving your goals – which is why so many organizations are investing in better communication and collaboration tools. But without adequate training, your new unified communications tools can turn from a solution to a problem. If you’re thinking about implementing a UC platform in your business, how do you make sure that your employees get the most out of it? The answer is a focus on training.

Here are five things you can do to get your employees up to speed on new communication technology:

 
1. Get employee input
If you really want your employees to utilize new UC tools to their fullest extent, you’ll need to start before you even begin shopping. In one survey, 77% of employees reported that they weren’t consulted about UC tools before implementation, and 58% weren’t even consulted about the usefulness of the new tools after implementation. But when new communication technology affects the day-to-day lives of everyone in the organization, how do you know if you’re achieving your goals for implementation if you don’t ask?

Depending on the industry that you’re in, your employees may hate making calls, or don’t even know how to send a fax. If people aren’t going to use it, is it worth the investment to implement that tool in the first place? By talking to your employees before and after you implement your UC platform and tools, you can get people on …

Should You Price Shop for Communication Solutions?

Everyone loves a good deal. When you can get great value out of a relatively small purchase, you tend to enjoy that purchase just a little more. But price shopping doesn’t always have a great outcome. Focusing on finding a steal can mean you’re getting a subpar product or service. Here’s the thing: most unified communications platforms pride themselves on their affordability, but affordability is relative. So how do you find a system that fits both your needs and your budget? Here are four questions to ask yourself when you’re searching for communication solutions.
1. How do you use your phone system?
One good place to start when shopping for communication solutions is your phone. Your phone system should be a foundational part of your unified communications system, and it’s a piece of the puzzle that most businesses already have and use, so it’s a good indicator of whether or not any given solution will work for you.

Start by analyzing how you use your phones. While going through old phone bills isn’t exactly thrilling, it will give you a clearer picture of how people in your organization are making calls. Are they mostly local, or long distance? Do a large portion of your calls go to a single area outside of your city or state? Do you have a toll free number? Different VoIP providers offer different billing structures with regards to distance, phone numbers, and call duration, so you can …

Is Unified Communications Worth It for Small Businesses?

Every business has budget items that are higher priority than others, but for small businesses, that priority list is usually adhered to a little more strictly. After all, it makes sense to make only the most strategic investments when so many things demand your attention. But even if a better communications solution is somewhere on your budget, it may not be at the top of your list. Should it be? Investing in a small business unified communications system could bring significant benefits to your company.
Do More with Fewer Employees
Hiring and retaining employees is a huge expenditure for a small business, and in some industries, wages and benefits may take up a significant portion of the yearly budget. And while expansion is a success milestone for many small businesses, hiring is not a decision to be taken lightly.

As a result, employees of small businesses often wear more than one hat. Sometimes, a salesperson may also take on customer service duties, or an accountant may handle some aspects of HR compliance. These employees are usually up to their ears in work, and in combination with their highly important roles, maintaining easy and productive contact is both vital to operations and difficult to achieve.

For those on-the-fly meetings or out-of-office calls, small business unified communications makes hectic work schedules easier to manage. VoIP phone systems enable employees to take and make business calls wherever they are – so that salesperson can handle current …

How to Choose Communication Solutions for Your Business

Today’s society may be built on technology, but human society has always relied on communication. According to a study published by SIS International Research, businesses lose 17.5 hours of productivity per employee every week due to poor communication, and whether your business has eight or 800 employees, those hours add up to serious revenue loss. Upgrading your communication solutions could help you reclaim your company’s much needed time, but with the number of options on the market, it’s difficult to even get started.
Phone Systems
If your phone system is prone to downtime, unclear call quality, or routing difficulties, it’s probably doing more harm than good. Not only does an unreliable phone system give a poor impression to customers calling in, it also reduces the effectiveness of company communications.

Solution: A VoIP upgrade, whether hosted, premise, or hybrid, can help your employees get the information they need whenever and wherever they need it. Features like find me/follow me call routing ensure that calls can reach the right person even when they’re not at their desk, reducing downtime — and panic — when a timely answer is needed.
Messaging Tools
Email has been a mainstay in business communications for almost two decades, but by today’s standards, it can be slow and bulky. Wading through the spam, reply-all chains, and forwards to find the email you need takes time, and opens you up to a plethora of distractions.

Solution: As a part of unified communication solutions, instant messaging (IM) and chat tools can be a company’s internal communications …

How Small Business Unified Communications Can Change Collaboration

As most small business owners will boast, the best asset of a small business is a compact but competent team with the drive to face any challenge. Yet with the multitasking inherent in running a small business, even a small team can have problems with communication and collaboration. Small business unified communications tools can help maximize the potential of your team by making collaboration easy.
1. Many Tools for Many Hats
Small business budgets can often mean settling for good enough rather than using better tools available to larger enterprises. Whether that means inferior “free” versions of independent collaboration tools, chaining as many trials together as possible, or simply going with a software or application that meets most but not all of your needs, the fact is that the fat trimming needed in small businesses makes it hard for your tools to match the level of work you and your employees are capable of.

With unified communications as a service, your business gets a variety of quality collaboration tools, managed by a provider, bundled together. And when every employee of a small business is responsible for more than one thing, having the tools to support efficient and excellent performance is critical.

 
2. Collaboration, Anywhere
Collaboration can be difficult whether the person you’re working with is at the next desk or across the country. Coordinating schedules for meetings and deadlines is like herding cats when everyone is keeping track of many different tasks. That’s why the mobility and …

UC Implementation Mistakes to Avoid

Picture this: your employees aren’t being as productive as you know they could be, but you can’t figure out why. It could simply be that they are not getting the data and information they need at the right time. Unified Communications (UC) can have a huge impact on your employees’ collaboration, and as a result, their productivity. However, it’s almost impossible to implement a UC system and expect it to work overnight! Some companies that attempt to make the switch to a UC system suffer from a few common pitfalls that could be avoided.

Read below for some tips for UC implementation:

 
Pitfall #1: Lack of Employee Training
Since UC systems are designed to be used by you and your employees, your employees are your best asset in getting your UC system in place. Make sure they know what is happening, how it can improve their work experience, and what they can do to help. When in doubt, opt for a slow integration process. While it may be frustrating to you, knowing what exciting new features are going to be available in the future, adding only a few tools at a time gives your employees the time they need to get used to them.

 
Pitfall #2: Unnecessary Features
Speaking of exciting new features, sometimes tools included in your UC system may bog down your employees with redundant information. The best way to prevent a backslide in productivity is to know your company and its technological needs. Training …

5 Tips for Unified Communications Implementation

The majority of organizations face the challenge of delays caused by lack of adequate communication. Such a scenario often, has adverse impacts on the performance of the team, the efficiency of the company, and the competitiveness of any business. Unified Communications (UC) describes the integration of devices and applications to enhance the efficiency and mode of communication for the purpose of increasing productivity, enhancing team collaboration, and streamline business processes. The lack of UC compromises major operations in an organization.

Does your organization have poor performance, inadequate team collaboration, or does it suffer from reduced productivity due to increased delays and ineffective communication?-having Unified Communications will help you sort all the communications challenges and problems that you experience in your organization. How then do you have your communications unified?

Here are a few tips that you can follow to ensure successful implementation of UC in your organization or business.

Review the existing infrastructure

Before adopting UC, you need to be aware of the specific aspects within your organization that require such advancement based on the needs of your organization. What communication models and channels are already in place-emails? Then, assess approaches to ensure that your email systems, protocols, and practices are refined prior to implementing unified communications.

Have a robust foundation

You need to ensure that you are not building on sand! Having your Unified Communications on an aging network infrastructure will definitely not give you the results that you want. Ensure that your available …

Don’t Stay Stuck at Your Desk

Modern society has been engineered to keep you sitting down. You sit while you work at the office, you sit when you drive, you sit when you watch TV, and through so many of your day’s activities. We all know and acknowledge that exercise is good for our health, but are you aware that sitting down might be actually killing you?

Sitting has been linked to obesity, heart disease, and even premature death. Thankfully, many workplaces have begun to recognize these negative effects and the value of allowing their team to move around for both health and productivity. Unified communications have significantly simplified the ability of people to communicate “on the go” so that they are never forced to remain sedentary.

Here are some of the ways you can work outside of your cubicle:

 

1. Take a break to walk around after you finish a task

Every time you get something done at the office, make it a point to stand and move around for a while. Get up, stretch those tight muscles, or even take a lap around the building. If you’re worried about your boss giving you a hard time for taking a break, make use of the instant messaging capabilities of your unified communications 2017 system.

Instant messaging will allow you to keep your projects moving without the need for calling meetings and writing lengthy emails. This is “work while you move and move while you work” in the truest sense.

2. Go out for lunch

You …

Mitel & ShoreTel

As many of you have been made aware, Mitel announced last week that they’ve entered into a definitive agreement to purchase ShoreTel.  This transaction is projected to finalize in the 3rd quarter of 2017.

We’ve had several customers reach out with questions as to how this affects them with their current ShoreTel system along with prospects curious about how this may affect a future or eminent purchase, all great questions.

We’re providing a document from Mitel concerning several of these questions for you to read through. You can access it here.

In short, we feel this is very positive and exciting news.  Between the two companies they will create the 2nd largest Premise/Cloud Manufacturer/Provider in the US giving us a much more robust product set for our customers.  And from everything that’s been disclosed so far, all existing ShoreTel products will remain on the same trajectory.  Any future changes will allow for the best of both products to be merged together in order to create the best possible products for our customers.

As always, we are happy to address any questions you may have so feel free to reach out to us directly at sales@mtvoip.com.