Comprehensive Unified Communications solutions to enhance your team’s collaboration and productivity
At Valto, we offer cutting-edge Unified Communications (UC) solutions that are designed to transform your communication systems and take your business to new heights. Our UC products and services are tailored to provide a seamless user experience, and we use the latest unified communications technology to deliver the best results.
We understand that your business needs effective communication and collaboration tools to stay ahead of the competition. That’s why we offer a comprehensive range of UC systems, including private branch exchange (PBX), instant messaging (IM), voice calling, video conferencing, and unified messaging. Our UC solutions are cloud-based, making them easily accessible from anywhere, at any time.
Our UC systems are designed to integrate with your existing business applications, such as Microsoft Teams, to provide real-time communications and collaboration.
Our team are dedicated to helping your business grow by providing unified communications solutions that meet your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can transform your communication systems and take your business to the next level.
What do we mean by Unified Communications
Unified Communications (UC) is an all-encompassing term that refers to the integration of various enterprise communication tools into a single, user-friendly interface with the primary aim of enhancing user experience and productivity. UC technology allows users to seamlessly switch from one mode of communication to another within a single session, whether on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. This integration of software that supports both real-time communication (RTC) such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and asynchronous communication such as persistent chat enables users to have immediate and easy access to all relevant tools in a consistent environment from any location and digital device.
UC systems typically include voice calling, video conferencing, instant messaging (IM), presence, content sharing and more, and many integrate with third-party business applications such as project management software, to centralize information and resources, and facilitate more efficient workflows. Additionally, many UC offerings feature team collaboration tools with messaging-centric workflows, real-time file sharing, and annotating, known as Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC).
The rise in the popularity of UC is part of a broader trend towards digital transformation and cloud migration within modern enterprises. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift, with many organizations relying heavily on UCC technologies to enable remote work.
The Three Main UC Components
A Unified Communications (UC) suite generally consists of three key components: Voice Calling, Messaging, and Web Conferencing, regardless of the underlying technology.
- Voice Calling involves business phone systems that provide standard features such as voicemail, call transferring, three-way calling, and call holding. VoIP has replaced the traditional, hard-wired telephone networks since the mid-1990s. VoIP systems are less expensive than traditional phone services and provide employees with access to the same features. An on-premise ethernet connection may be used, or a cloud-based solution called “Cloud Calling” may be used. Cloud Calling provides employees with a virtual phone number that they can access remotely from their cell phone, tablet, or computer, turning any device with internet access into a potential telephone.
- Messaging includes business email and direct messaging systems that have been used for years, but when bundled with a UC platform, employees can access their company email more easily from any location with internet service. Messaging and chat applications promote more efficient communication when employees are unable to speak live but need specific information or opinions on a subject. Direct messaging may also be used by employees to check their co-worker’s online status. Although only 8% of employees prefer direct messaging, 43% use it regularly for work applications, and its usage is expected to increase as businesses continue to expand their remote or hybrid workforce.
- Web Conferencing is the third component of a UC system and is critical for group meetings, whether small or large. While teleconferencing has been in use for decades, video conferencing provides participants with visibility of charts, diagrams, or other visual information being presented. It also allows presenters to share their computer screen with the group. Additionally, most web conferencing platforms such as Cisco Webex have a sidebar chat feature that enables participants to submit questions to the group or send private messages to individuals during the conference.
Benefits of Unified Communications
Unified communications (UC) is often recognized for its ability to increase employee productivity and support better communication and collaboration than legacy phone systems. Specific technologies such as video conferencing can lead to reduced travel costs, improved efficiency, greater flexibility, and enhanced engagement. UC technologies enable employees to work from the office, home, or while on the go using various devices, including desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
UC can also benefit an organization’s customer base. Integrating UCaaS solutions with social media, customer-facing apps, or call center platforms enables direct engagement with customers, students, or patients in education and healthcare sectors, respectively. This allows for real-time feedback and improved service, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction.
Unified Communications Vs Collaboration
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are important differences between business communications and collaboration. Communication refers to the exchange of information between two or more parties, while collaboration involves working together interactively towards a shared goal or outcome. While communication can exist without collaboration, collaboration requires communication.
For example, if a group of sales professionals use a video conferencing platform to discuss an upcoming client presentation, they are communicating. But, if they also collaborate on a single shared document in the cloud, where each user can make changes visible to the entire group, then they are collaborating.
It’s important to understand the difference between communication and collaboration because vendors may inaccurately describe communication features as collaborative in their UC offerings. Understanding the distinction can help customers choose a platform or tool that aligns with their specific needs for connectivity and productivity.
Microsoft Teams is a popular unified communications and collaboration platform that has gained widespread adoption in the business world. It is a part of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications and integrates various communication and collaboration features into one platform, including chats, meetings, calls, files and more. With Microsoft Teams, users can easily access and manage all their communication and collaboration tools in one place, making it a go-to platform for many organizations.
One of the benefits of Microsoft Teams is its flexibility and customization options. Users can customize their Teams platform by adding third-party add-ins and applications or by building their own applications using the Microsoft 365 Developer Program. This allows organizations to tailor the platform to their specific needs and integrate with other business applications they use regularly. Additionally, Microsoft Teams integrates with other Microsoft applications, such as SharePoint and OneDrive, making it even more powerful and versatile.
Another advantage of Microsoft Teams is its ability to support remote work and distributed teams. With the ongoing shift towards remote work, Teams provides a platform that enables collaboration and communication no matter where team members are located. This is especially important as more organizations adopt hybrid work models, where employees work both in-office and remotely.
Overall, Microsoft Teams is a versatile and robust platform that provides a comprehensive solution for communication and collaboration needs. Its customization options and integration with other Microsoft applications make it a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.
What to look out for when choosing your UC platform
When considering a unified communications solution, organizations should evaluate various criteria to make an informed decision. Some factors to consider include the range of services the vendor offers, their specialization, the deployment model, interoperability, and user experience (UX).
Different vendors offer different levels of service, with some offering a small range of foundational UC applications like telephony, instant messaging (IM), and basic conferencing, while others provide comprehensive services that include call recording, video, screen sharing, and file sharing. It is essential to choose a vendor that offers services that align with the organization’s needs and enables customers to start with the basics as needed.
Specialization is another crucial factor to consider. Vendors can have different areas of specialization, with some focusing on telephony-based communications, while others specialize mainly in mobility and collaboration. An organization should evaluate its use cases for a unified communications solution and choose a vendor that best applies to its requirements.
Deployment models also vary, and organizations can choose between implementing on-premises UC platforms, cloud-based platforms, or a hybrid solution that combines both models. Organizations with an apt IT department may consider operating on-premises solutions, while smaller businesses may opt for a hybrid or hosted option in which aspects of the platform are managed by a third-party provider. Many vendors are making the transition to cloud-based services, which can offer flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.
Interoperability is also an important consideration if an organization is utilizing multiple vendors or a hybrid infrastructure. It is crucial to ensure that all provided platforms can function together efficiently to avoid communication breakdowns and inefficiencies.
Finally, as organizations continue to adopt bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and mobility initiatives, it is essential to have an intuitive, adaptable, and unified user experience (UX) to streamline the use of UC platforms on those devices. Poor UX will render an organization’s UC architecture useless, regardless of how well-integrated its back-end services are. Thus, vendors that prioritize UX and offer a seamless and unified experience across different devices and platforms should be preferred.
Unified Communications from Valto
Valto is a technology solutions provider that offers a range of unified communication solutions designed to help businesses enhance their productivity and collaboration. Some of the key solutions offered by Valto include:
Microsoft Teams: Valto is a Microsoft Gold Partner and offers expert deployment and adoption services for Microsoft Teams. Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that brings together chat, meetings, files, and apps in one place. Valto’s Teams solutions include customization, governance, adoption, and training services.
Cloud Telephony: Valto’s cloud telephony solutions allow businesses to move their phone system to the cloud, enabling users to make and receive calls from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. With features like call recording, voicemail transcription, and auto-attendant, Valto’s cloud telephony solutions can help businesses enhance their customer service and communication.
Video Conferencing: Valto offers video conferencing solutions that enable businesses to conduct face-to-face meetings from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. With features like screen sharing, virtual whiteboarding, and recording, Valto’s video conferencing solutions can help businesses enhance their collaboration and productivity.
Contact Center: Valto’s contact center solutions enable businesses to manage their customer interactions across multiple channels, including voice, email, chat, and social media. With features like intelligent routing, real-time monitoring, and analytics, Valto’s contact center solutions can help businesses enhance their customer service and engagement.
Collaboration Tools: Valto offers a range of collaboration tools, including document management, task management, and project management solutions. These tools are designed to help businesses streamline their workflows and enhance their productivity.
Overall, Valto’s unified communication solutions are designed to help businesses of all sizes enhance their communication, collaboration, and productivity. With expert deployment and adoption services, Valto can help businesses achieve a seamless transition to modern communication and collaboration tools.