The digital revolution didn't happen overnight. It may seem like just yesterday that businesses worked on the traditional model of a single headquarters, where all mission critical systems lived, but the erosion of those stereotypes has been underway for a couple of decades. Today's enterprises are, by nature, globally dispersed and fragmented. The mobile workforce is growing by leaps and bounds, while companies are tapping into new revenue streams and customer bases by opening remote branch offices in new and exciting places.

Tying it all together is technology. Most of our most prominent modern technologies (like cloud and mobile) are based on connectivity. Without an Internet connection and a savvy network administrator, it's impossible to do business today. That's where UC&C comes in. Finally, all of the businesses' key systems are online, where those systems are readily accessible, truly agile, and incredibly low-cost.

UC&C merges all of the disparate communications and collaborations systems -- telephony, messaging, conferencing, chat, etc. -- into a single, cohesive business solution that is connected via the Internet, placing the network administrator front and center in terms of importance to the business. What are the benefits and advantages of adopting UC&C for the enterprise?

1. UC&C Improves Customer Service & Customer Retention

UC&C empowers your workforce to be immediately and readily available to any customer at any time, no matter how they choose to reach out to you. Whether the preference is emails or personal phone calls, UC&C makes it possible.

How many times have your workers had to change their voicemail message or set up their email inbox to inform customers that they are out of touch for a few days? Have they possibly lost business as a result? When prospects or customers reach out, a standard "I'm out of the office" response is usually their queue to head to one of your competitors. UC&C assures that this never happens again. No matter where workers travel, they can take their phone number, voicemail, email, messaging, and even conferencing tools with them. There's no such thing as "out of the office" or "unavailable". This makes it possible for everyone from the CEO down to customer service reps to provide better customer service, thereby improving customer satisfaction ratings while boosting the business' ability to acquire and retain customers.

2. UC&C Lowers Operational Costs & Consolidates Communications Billing

Depending on the technologies your enterprise is currently using, there could be several different monthly bills for Internet services, telephone services, and other communications and collaborations tools, such as messaging services, video conferencing equipment, etc. UC&C cuts all these different payments and investments down to a single, reasonable monthly charge. In many cases, even though the overall prices for these services are truly lower, the number of features available to the enterprise actually goes up. For example, you may not currently have a secure way to chat with a business partner or customer outside of social media, but with the right UC&C tool, this is somewhat of a standard function.

Yet it doesn't increase the number of connections or amount of equipment the network administrator has to contend with. The amount of traffic accessing the network goes up, of course, but there is no need to add more complexity to the network, because all of the communication and collaboration occurs over the existing Internet connection. All the network administrator needs to know is how many users will be utilizing the UC&C system and what kinds of features they will leverage (for example, video takes up more bandwidth than typical text messaging). From there, the network administrator can do all the planning necessary to prepare for the new system.

3. UC&C Enables Greater Levels of Communication & Collaboration

When numerous disparate systems are used to manage projects, handle customer issues, or get work done, there is no cohesive way to track progress or to audit the correspondence later. For example, say you're collaborating with the network engineer and a third-party vendor to upgrade some networking equipment. Some of your communications are sent via email and other correspondence is handled through phone calls or by voice messages.

What if the email system happens to go down for a couple of hours? Will you resort to sending messages via Twitter? Or perhaps a few key decisions will be made during a chat in the break room. In these instances, it may be impossible to go back and determine what was communicated to whom and how. If someone drops the ball, there can be much finger pointing and many accusations, but no clear way to trace what actually happened and why. In many cases, email and most messaging services simply aren't secure enough to communicate certain information.

All productive departments have similar situations when disparate communication systems are in use in the enterprise. UC&C takes all of the disparity and turns it into unity. It's now possible to keep track of ongoing projects, determine exactly where any given project is in terms of completion, and to hold workers accountable for their part of the assignment.

4. UC&C Lowers the Business' Travel Expenses

Is your board balking over all those travel expenses? UC&C makes it easier to get business done without all the jet setting. It's cheaper, easier, and more efficient.

Without a full complement of powerful communications technologies, it is often necessary to travel long distances to meet a client or vendor. With UC&C, almost all negotiations, presentations, proposals, and discussions can happen through the UC&C solution. Sure, there will still be times that executives or sales representatives want to meet face to face with partners or prospects or customers, but it won't be because your communications tools can't get the job done.

As long as the network administrator is able to keep connections and user experience levels high, any presentation or negotiation can happen just as easily over the Internet as it can in person. And in fact, this savings is often enough to tip the scales in your favor when trying to justify the cost of upgrading the network. It's far cheaper and easier to upgrade bandwidth and spend some on other network improvements than it is to pay for your entire sales team to go jet setting across the country.

5. UC&C Improves Supply Chain Management

Just as UC&C can improve relations with your customers, it can also improve relations with suppliers and other business partners. Your workers can keep in touch with partners and suppliers, which means you can identify what is and isn't working in order to make swift and decisive improvements in the supply chain. Managers can learn immediately when a shipment is going to be delayed and find an alternate supplier quickly before there is any disruption in production or delivery to your own customers

UC&C is a true win-win for the network administrator and the business; the network administrator gets to be the hero who supplies the tools and the business can capitalize on technology investments like never before.

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