There have always been good reasons to invest in unified communications, but now the time is right. Cisco has launched the Unified Communications Manager Business Edition which is ideal for the social housing market. Coinciding with our 10th anniversary, we are celebrating by providing free consultancy, design, installation and training for the first 10 orders received before the end of 2008.
Social networking websites, multimedia mobiles and instant messaging are becoming part of our daily lives, and in our working lives we want to use these to make everything easier. We want to have video calls, emails, SMS and phone calls wherever and whenever we want. What we don’t want is to have the annoyance of needing to have multiple devices and systems to pick up different types of messages. To be effective, it all needs to be simple.
Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager does exactly that. It makes communications simple, easy and effective. With the ability to support 500 users across 20 sites, it is the ideal solution for growing businesses and it brings business communications right up-to-date with the communications technologies we use in our personal lives.
For the IT department, this is one server that will make a big difference. It is a single-server solution and because of this, it integrates across all communications media. Many new solutions go largely unnoticed by users, but unified communications makes such a difference that everyone in the organisation will benefit from it. A measurable increase in performance will be noticed by everyone and as familiarity with the tools grows and users understand that they can work in the same way as they communicate with their friends and family, productivity will increase. The ultimate goal with all solutions is to make a difference to customer service and with tenants being the ultimate judges, they too should benefit from the improved performance of tenant-facing departments.
For the finance department, the Business Edition will reduce the TCO and bring measurable increases in business output. It also provides a platform on which new applications and technologies can be deployed easily and cost-effectively.
Where unified communications comes into its own is when it is integrated with Microsoft’s desktop solutions to provide the ultimate communications suite for each user. Of course, user requirements for communications tools will vary greatly, but with the Business Edition blending all media in a single server, users can be encouraged to incorporate more communications modes into their day-to-day tasks.
Ian Vickers is managing director of MET (Managed Enterprise Technology Ltd).