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How unified communications can transform your business

When you think of unified communication, you probably don’t think of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Amazing CGI? Sure. Brilliant storytelling? Of course. But cutting-edge communication? Not so much.

That’s a shame because the LOTR movies represent some impressive examples of the power of communications technology. We’ll share just two of them.

Hope is kindled

In The Return of the King, Gandalf travels to Minas Tirith. He’s there to convince Denethor, the steward of Gondor, to ask for help from Théoden, the king of Rohan. Denethor is less than receptive.

Knowing that Denethor needs Théoden’s help (even if he’s too proud to ask for it), Gandalf instructs Pippin to light the first of seven warning beacons. The beacons are a brilliant old-world solution to long-distance communication.

They were a series of fires. Positioned over a mountain range, when one was lit the flame burned bright enough to be seen at the next beacon, which would then be lit, as well. The cumulative domino effect meant the final beacon was visible to Théoden—who then knew Gondor was in trouble.

As an aside, it’s a great scene in the movie. The music is stirring, the cinematography is breathtaking, and it closes with a close-up of Gandalf, who says, “Hope is kindled.”

Three in one

If you’re not into LOTR trivia, you may not know that director Peter Jackson shot all three films at the same time over the span of about nine months. How in the world did he manage that?

With some impressive new-world communications tools.

“Jackson was able to direct in three places concurrently using video communications extensively to review daily rushes and direct multiple film crews in New Zealand,” an article from Business Wire explains. “Video conferencing also played a key role in the post-production process.”

Without unified communications, there’s no way Jackson could have shot the beloved trilogy all at once. Had he been forced to shoot the films one at a time, who knows how that might have negatively affected production—or the budget!

Your unified communications

Now let’s talk about you and your business.

You’re not shooting blockbuster films. You’re certainly not bouncing between 150 locations in 274 days. Running a business can be challenging, but it’s nothing like the project Jackson and crew tackled. Do you really need the same kinds of tools?

Yes. You really do.

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“Having kicked off a project with an in-person session, teams can use collaborative tools to communicate throughout the project.”

CIO

What unified communications can do for you

It wasn’t that long ago that the best business tools were out of reach for SMBs. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Today, you can harness the same kind of power Fortune 500 companies (and world-class film productions) use in your own day-to-day operations.

Unified communications is more than a phone system. It’s a completely new approach to business communications. Yes, it includes your phone system—plus so much more. We’re talking about voice services, instant messaging, mobile communications, video conferencing, desktop sharing and data sharing (like interactive electronic whiteboards).

Here’s how those options can transform your business.

96%

“96% of business leaders believe video conferencing translates directly to greater productivity.”

Polycom

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Keep conversations going

You’re no longer leashed to your desktop work phone. Unified communications systems include options for forwarding and even transferring calls to your mobile phone so you can remain available even if you’re out of the office.

We know what you’re thinking. Call forwarding has been around for a while. This is way more than that.

Smartphone apps make it possible to replicate the functionality of your office phone from a mobile device. You can make and receive calls from your office number, even when you’re not in. Plus, there are smart options for scheduling forwarding times and quiet times.

If you work from home every Thursday, set up mobile access for that day every week. If you don’t want to mess with work calls after 6:00 pm, you can set that up, too.

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Boost collaboration

Video conferencing is a core component of unified communications, and it isn’t just a novelty.

As much as 80-90% of communication is nonverbal. That means the majority of your message is in your facial expression, tone of voice, gestures and posture. Video conferencing makes more complete communication possible.

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“As much as 80-90% of communication is nonverbal.”

The Huffington Post 

Perhaps that’s why 96% of business leaders believe video conferencing translates directly to greater productivity. And that’s just one example of how unified communications tools can take your collaboration to a whole new level.

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Get into growth mode

Because unified communications rely on a virtual platform, they unlock tremendous flexibility and scalability for small to medium-sized businesses.

To see what we mean, let’s rewind a few years. Older communications platforms made it difficult and costly to add new employees. Remember when it took days or even weeks to get a new phone line set up? Now it takes minutes.

If your company is gearing up for growth (and who isn’t?), a unified communications system gives you the ability to gracefully add new users, change locations, reorganize your in-office layout, and facilitate remote work with ease.

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Level the playing field

When going head-to-head with big business competition, your potential customers will be on the lookout for differences. Your smaller organization may be more personable and responsive, but do you have the same high-caliber tools industry leaders rely on?

A unified communications system gives you the same communication tools used by your top competitors, big or small. That means you can reap the same benefits they reap. It also means you can tout your tech-savvy ways with prospects.

There’s no reason to shortchange your staff or your customers. Unified communications options put you on par with (or ahead of) your competition.

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“Companies with minimalist travel budgets can leverage UC to foster collaboration and it can greatly improve customer contact and support, especially in today’s “always on” business environment where 24x7x365 operations are a common standard.”

TechRepublic 

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Pocket some savings

First, the disclaimer. Just because others experience massive savings in utilizing a unified communications system doesn’t mean your company will. We can’t promise lower costs across the board.

However, it is worth pointing out that VoIP phone systems, like those included in a unified communications setup, typically result in significant savings. Estimates of the amount saved vary widely, from as little as 30% to substantially higher.

Don’t bank on bottom-line-changing savings, but do look for opportunities to lower expenses as you make the move to a unified communications system.

KME is your unified communications expert

A unified communications system can be a real advantage for your company . . . if it’s configured and implemented correctly. To make sure that happens, we highly recommend that you call in the pros.

The KME team will be happy to help you find the best hardware and features to meet your needs. We’ll take the time to fully understand your communication challenges, and we won’t try to talk you into anything you don’t need.

We’re all about giving you the exact tools you need for success.

If you’d like to visit with us about unified communications, just give us a call. A friendly member of our team will be happy to give you the full scoop.

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