How to gain value from unified communications

Friday 1 March 2013

An increasing number of businesses - large, small and medium-sized - are recognising the potential benefits of unifying their communications. Giving employees the opportunity to converse across a range of different channels, from various locations and devices, can not only help increase employee productivity but also boost customer service levels.

Your workers need to have a full range of options when it comes to communication, and the flexibility to choose the most appropriate channel at any particular time. Microsoft Lync 2013 allows users to utilise email, instant messaging, video conferencing, audio, presence, online meetings and more - all while running other applications and work processes on their PC or mobile device.

Choosing an appropriate platform

Lync 2013 provides a consistent, single client experience across a variety of channels channels, taking advantage of 'touch first' capabilities for fast and natural communications, The familiarity of Microsoft communication tools is also likely to be advantageous to companies, particularly if solutions such as Office are currently used as default.

Unified communications are designed to help boost productivity, but as such, employees must understand how to use them. Tapping into their existing knowledge and understanding of Microsoft solutions can help ensure a seamless implementation, and limit the amount of training and support required. This helps ensure Lync offers value to your company from day one.

How to benefit from Microsoft Lync 2013

Lync 2013 offers a number of potential benefits to business users. Firstly, it enables users to communicate securely anywhere they have network connectivity. The solution automatically adapts to network conditions, ensuring employees have maximum flexibility but without jeopardising the security of data.

Users can select which device they want to access Microsoft unified communications on - whether a laptop, media tablet or smartphone. Increasingly employees are looking to utilise tablet computers - and should they wish to use a touch-screen device such as Surface, they can download the new Lync app for Windows 8 & Windows RT.

In terms of business meetings, Lync 2013 enables participants to see up to five other people involved in the meeting simultaneously. This is achievable using multi-party HD video support. Users have the option of choosing who to see at any point in the meeting, or alternatively Lync can make an automatic selection.

How to choose the most appropriate channel

The Quick Lync option helps users quickly and intuitively find the best way to communicate. This is a menu that appears over an individual in the Lync contact list and shows the available communication modes. Use of this tool increases the likelihood of establishing contact with another party through their preferred channel.

At certain points it may be advantageous to switch from one communication channel to another, even mid-conversation. By unifying various solutions into one easy-to-use client, Lync makes it easy to use meetings, presence, email and chat interchangeably.

Posted by Sarah Parish