Many business owners have made the switch to VoIP; and more are planning to do so. They will find plenty of options in this booming technology sector. Making the switch requires understanding the technology and weighing a variety of options. One choice you might have to make is to host your own phone system or use a cloud-based service owned by a managed service provider (MSP). The “wave of the future” in corporate telecommunication appears to be the Unified Communication System. Read on to learn more about that concept.
What is a Unified Communications System?
A unified communication system (UCS) is a suite of voice, collaboration, and messaging tools that support a wide range of activities beyond simply making phone calls and accepting voice messages. SThe system may be cloud-based or hosted behind a company firewall. The UCS supports functions you otherwise require specialized software:
- Chat, text and/or video
- Instant messaging with presence
- Fax by email
- Voice mail to email
- Video calling and conferencing
- File sharing
- Call center/contact center functions
- Administrative management portal and dashboard
Zultys is one of several companies making devices and hardware that provide a UCS for businesses of widely varying sizes and communication requirements.
Five Things to Know
A unified communication system built on a cloud-based telecommunications system like MXvirtual offers five benefits that may not be clear until you delve into the technology, so, in jargon-free language, here they are:
1 – Scalability
This is a telecommunications tool made for businesses with anywhere from 10 to 1,000 + phones, so it is a viable option for any SMB or any but the smallest and largest nonprofits. MXvirtual also supports up to 128 locations, so businesses that have contractors and remote offices all around North America can use it. The hardware can also be connected to other MX technology to provide flexibility and fast scaling where needed. Because this is a virtual system, scaling up or down as the business changes would be easier and cheaper than adding hardware that might not be needed in a year or so.
2 – Open Standards
MXvirtual works with VMWare server and cloud management software, one of the most popular lines for enterprise-level computing. Running on VMWare like this makes it easier to integrate a MXvirtual phone system into a company’s existing technology infrastructure. The hardware also uses an open telecommunications standard (SIP for the technically inclined) that makes it even easier to use.
3 – Integration
MXvirtual offers access to a variety of telecommunications capabilities as part of the infrastructure. Businesses gain access to faxing, call center functions, call recording, instant messaging, voice recording, presence (online status indicators), and management functions. The infrastructure includes an IP-PBX, SIP trunking, and an enterprise session border control function. You can integrate your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and email software as well.
4 – Simplicity
As an easy-to-use technology, MXvirtual makes it easy to set up your Unified Communications System and focus on work. The system is easy to administer and easy to monitor as well as being easy to setup and configure, though some technical knowledge of telephones and computer networks would be necessary for a DIY setup.
5 – Quick Disaster Recovery
Backup and automatic failover features prevent network disruptions and natural disasters capability mean that a network or infrastructure problem will not cause a substantial disruption in your operations.
Note that while MXvirtual is cloud-based, there are companion products in the MX line for a business owner who prefers to host their own IP-PBX. Either route is perfectly fine for creating a unified communication system that enables calling, conferences, instant messaging, file sharing, and more.
Create a Unified Communications System
This is all about combining the above with other IP telephone functions and VoIP handsets, of course. The five benefits listed above can be obtained using a wide range of devices or cloud-based services, though there are some details the prospective VoIP user needs to keep in mind. One is the possibility of outgrowing a system for a larger business that is expanding. Data security is a second, and more important, consideration for many businesses. In a regulated industry, your UCS must comply with relevant data protection laws covering financial institutions, nonprofits, and healthcare companies.
In healthcare, any business that handles a broad category of health-related information must comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations. MXvirtual is also HIPAA compliant for those organizations that routinely handle personal health data. The Act lists several pieces of sensitive health information on individuals. It specifies steps that organizations must take to safeguard that information if they store it or transmit it.
The last part is important in telecommunications because if you transmit covered types of information, you are responsible for seeing that information is not intercepted or read in transit. Some software or VoIP phone systems may not encrypt data when sending or receiving it. This is a security risk.
Creating a UCS Offers Numerous Benefits
The MXvirtual phone system provides a complete and cloud-based suite of telecommunication services along with scalability, simplicity, open standards, quick disaster recovery, and open standards for easy integration with other software. If you would like to find out more about unified communications from a Los Angeles area VoIP specialist, contact us today to set up a free consultation.