Unified communications have become commonplace in many traditional offices. Large corporations and small and medium-sized businesses are obvious candidates for business communication systems such as VoIP, audio conferencing and video conferencing. After all, unified communications did evolve over the years mainly in response to the needs of corporate users, according to UCStrategies' brief history of unified communications.
However, UC has achieved profound relevance in work environments that don't necessarily fit the corporate mold. Below are three examples of workplaces other than the office that benefit from UC.
1) Call and contact centers
In the standard office environment, communication technology is one component among several that helps employees do their jobs. But in contact centers, business communication systems are everything. This is because communication is at the core of a contact center worker's daily operation. The basic function of unified communications is to interconnect the many portals of digital communication that exist. What better application is there for this technology than in an environment that relies on multiple vessels of communication in order to generate revenue?
For this reason, the concept of a VoIP call center just makes sense. This is especially true as the cloud contact center, which allows call and contact center employees to work from anywhere using mobile VoIP solutions delivered via the cloud. Likewise, customers want to be assisted in any and all digital formats, which means that contact centers have to accommodate communication via email, phone, Web chat, text, social media and even video conferencing if need be.
2) Retail stores
"Retail chains have many moving parts in many locations; UC brings them all together."
Brick-and-mortar retailers benefit from UC on multiple levels. For starters, employees in larger stores need a way to communicate with one another on any given day. Workers may often need to transfer calls between departments, or contact co-workers using portable handsets, for example, to check in with stock room employees to get product and shipment updates.
Using a shared inventory database, a customer service representative can determine if an out-of-stock product is being sold at a nearby location, or if there are any in stock at the warehouse that can be ordered to the store. Management teams may need to reach out to corporate headquarters on a regular basis, necessitating audio conferencing solutions. District manager that travel between locations can be reached via a wireless VoIP phone as they conduct a routine visit to one of the company's outlets. Retail chains have many moving parts in many locations; UC brings them all together.
3) Health care providers
Doctors technically work in offices; however, their office space is by no means traditional. This is especially true for large medical facilities such as hospitals and emergency health clinics. Like retail workers, nurses, doctors and medical technicians need a way to instantaneously share information, as well as a system to communicate wirelessly throughout the day. Medical professionals can also rely on UC technology to remotely monitor medical technology in patients' homes.
Furthermore, telehealth continues to gain steam, and the global market be worth an estimated $6.5 billion according to an August report from Market Reports Hub. As this shift to remote health care takes place, doctors and other clinicians will need reliable, consolidated portals for communicating with patients, and with other medical professionals; reliable UC solutions makes all of this possible.
UC will undoubtedly remain an integral component of enterprise communications for many years to come. And while it's at it, UC will also be making work easier for contact centers, retailers, health care providers and more.