Unified Communications

Unified Communications: Technology jargon buster

Unified communications: Technology jargon buster

Unified Communications (UC), by its very definition, is a combination of multiple different systems working together to create a holistic communications environment that allows all people to connect via whichever medium suits their situation best.

Here we delve into each area and pick out the common jargon hurdles allowing anyone to get up to speed on some of the more technical details.

Instant messaging & presence

The world has come a long way from the days of SMS (Short Message Service) and pagers (coined by Motorolla in 1959) IM (instant messaging) has grown exponentially in popularity in the workplace, with applications such as Google Hangouts and Skype now considered essential for productivity and collaboration.

A key aspect of instant messaging is “presence” - which refers to users allowing others to see their current status which indicates their receptiveness to receiving or sending communication at that time.

Presence enables employees to speed up communications with their coworkers as they are able to see when the best time is to message them to get the quickest response.

Phone systems

Placing the user at the centre of all company phone systems have evolved over the years to align with changing business demands. Today, phone systems vary from the very basic to sophisticated cutting-edge systems.

PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is the term given to a telephone system which allows calls to be routed around an internal network to a number of end-users, enabling multiple users to share phone lines.

An alternative delivery model for a PBX system is a cloud-based PBX. This functions in a similar way, except all the internal networking operates outside of the organisation. This eradicates the need for servers on site, freeing up valuable space. A cloud hosted PBX is also easy to scale up or down, add new users to and it is a more cost effective system.

For companies who have heavily invested in on-premise hardware, adopting a hybrid approach may be a favourable alternative. Hybrid PBX enables companies to integrate cloud applications with their existing hardware, e.g. dial into a Skype for Business call from a conference phone.

A hybrid solution enables enterprises to enjoy the greater flexibility and immediacy that cloud PBX offers without losing the investment of their hardware, whilst also preparing them for a full cloud move in the future.

Finally, there is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This term is used to encompass a vast array of scenarios but in essence, refers to voice communication that is passed via the internet instead of traditional phone lines. VoIP is a long-standing technology that delivers voice to the majority of PBX systems that are around ten years’ old.

Skype for Business hosted by Arkadin utilises VoIP to enable users to place a phone call in just one click, carry out video and voice conferencing, and drag and drop participants into conversations.

Cloud Phone System empowers users to work flexibly, be available wherever they are and scale up or down with ease. Single Number Reach is an extension which allows users to answer calls to their extension on their desktop IP phone, or on their mobile remotely, allowing for greater flexibility.

Contact centre

Call routing allows customers to dial in on one line and be connected to another phone user within the network who can assist them with their query. There are a number of different tools and applications which can aid businesses with this process.

ACD (Automatic Call Distribution)is a tool that answers incoming calls and diverts callers to the appropriate handler. Often ACDs provide the caller with a number of different options to help map the call and identify what their call is concerned with.

Time-based routing allows calls to be treated differently depending on the time of day, or day of the week. This enables companies to direct calls to the business lines during work hours and to other lines of employees’ mobile devices during out of work hours to ensure that no call is missed.

Skills-based routing is a system which directs calls to agents depending on who is the most appropriate, capable and suitable agent to deal with that specific enquiry, rather than simply redirecting the call to whoever is available.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is a technology that allows customers to interact with a host system via speech recognition or keypad instead of speaking to an agent directly. The IVR system is used to deal with customer queries, determine what they are calling about and then provide the caller with the most useful solution.

IVR is just one of the features available as part of Arkadin’s Cloud Phone System..

Worldwide audio conferencing

Web conferencing is a term for any meeting that is held via the internet with multiple remote users communicating simultaneously.

Video conferencing is a fantastic alternative to physical face-to-face meetings as it enables participants to hold meetings in HD via a video application such as Skype for Business. Skype for Business enhanced by Arkadin enables you to seamlessly add participants in a couple of clicks, and can be deployed across multiple locations.

Audio conferencing refers to small meetings, or larger events that are conducted via the phone using a PSTN or VoIP connection. This allows employees to collaborate and communicate wherever they are, at any time with excellent sound quality, meaning they never have to miss a meeting.

A key feature of Arkadin’s audio conferencing solution is Hybrid Audiowhich enables participants to join the same video conference via VoIP audio as participants using a standard PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network)connection.

ArkadinTotalConnect Enterprise allows for Universal Interoperability, which is the ability to connect multiple technologies together seamlessly in a single meeting.

Screen & file sharing

Screen-sharing enables you to share your desktop view with your coworkers of clients in real time from wherever you are, as if you were sitting side by side.

Web collaboration refers to sharing content, video, files and text in real time with multiple users across the internet. Arkadin enables you to share your files with multiple users so you can collaborate on a large scale in real-time.

Organisational Change Management

Organisational Change Management is the process of managing the changes involved with implementing a new communications system to increase user adoption rates, boost benefit recognition and achieve a good ROI.

With Arkadin, each organisation is assigned a specialist Organisational Change Manager who works closely with business, providing the tools to facilitate a positive culture change throughout, creating a clear strategy for educating employees and stakeholders on the benefits of Unified Communications and putting measures in place to ensure a smooth implementation period.

Arkadin have a team of expert consultants who can be on hand to help you navigate the Unified Communications jargon and provide clarity on areas you’re unsure of. Enjoy 24/7 support for seamless end-to-end delivery of your Unified Communications solution.