How often have you left a voice message for someone who later told you ‘Oh, I never check my voicemail’?
What’s with that?
Sure, Millennials and other hyper-connected workers have largely untethered themselves from their office phones, in turn using their mobile devices to do business while commuting, bouncing between customer sites, or enjoying a mocha-latte-cappuccino at the local Trembling Cup. These days the focus is on instant communication, causing busy breadwinners to use their phones differently from just a few years ago.
Fewer Phone Calls, More Texts
Actual phone calls are fewer and shorter, but text messaging and emails on mobile devices have snowballed. In fact, since 2008, text messaging has eclipsed voice calls in the United States, according to Neisen Mobile.  Texts may lack the warmth of a personal call, but it’s difficult to dispute that they are a faster, more efficient way to communicate. Who truly regrets ditching those tortuous corporate voicemail systems that require you to “press zero for a company directory”?
As communication becomes more instant, it also can get less manageable. Did that critical message arrive last night by text, IM, email… or was it a voicemail? Finding and organizing communications spread among various tools wastes a lot of time and cuts into productivity. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to get a single, simple view into all communications about a customer, project or topic?
Moving to a Single Platform for All Communications
Unified communications— a cloud service that integrates tools like voicemail, video conferencing, file sharing, presence status, texts, instant messaging and email— makes it easier to connect with people and keep track of all those pesky texts, messages, emails that are never there when you need them. By combining these familiar telephone tools with business data on the same network, unified communications allows workers to accomplish more in less time.
For connectivity, employees keep both their personal mobile number as well as a single business phone number, which they can assign on the fly to whichever device they prefer— their office, home or mobile phone. This simplifies the mobile phone ecosystem since road warriors and ordinary humans can keep their business and personal communication separate, from their contact lists to their texts, voicemails, and emails.
With a simple, consistent user interface, unified communications features are easy to learn and use. Workers become more productive with features like Visual Voicemail, which transcribes audio messages and delivers them by email or SMS. And because all features are integrated, employees can read their messages from any device.
Simplified Communications Among Everyone’s Devices
The ability to support a range of employees’ personal devices and seamlessly integrate them with your corporate office is a big bonus. Small companies can convey the polish and professionalism of large firms by channeling the flood of communications onto a single platform, making it easy to launch an impromptu video conference or share documents.
The ability to see a colleague’s presence status— the device they are using, their availability at that moment, and the best options to contact them— supports collaboration both in the office and on the road.
As a cloud service, unified communications is simple to manage and scale to add new employees, locations, and features. Cloud providers take care of rolling out updates and applying patches seamlessly, while built-in redundancy and backup capability deliver enhanced business continuity without stressing your company’s IT pros.
The ultimate benefit of unified communications is that it gives workers the tools they need to communicate efficiently on a single easy-to-manage, cost-effective platform. And even if you are a devoted voicemail fan, you can rest assured that if your messages were ignored, it wasn’t because they got lost in the system.