Industry talking to customers What's this? Taking UC to the next level Published: December 15th, 2016 By: IT World Canada Staff We live in a world of instant communication, where winning business means serving customers when and where they want to be served. Instant, mobile communications that support collaboration in the workplace is no longer a nice-to-have — it’s an imperative.While a growing number of businesses may have some form of unified communications (UC) – integrated voice, video, data and web apps – many aren’t aware of the newer collaboration capabilities, applications and services that can give them a competitive edge.UC offers much more than remote desktop access and a variety of integrated phone system options. For businesses that want to empower mobile, assist remote workers and ramp up the efforts of office workers to better engage with customers, suppliers and colleagues, a modern UC platform allows them to deliver more – and to deliver it faster.Competitive differentiatorBusinesses looking to turn UC from a business enabler to a competitive differentiator may want to harness the new capabilities of Avaya IP Office 10, an award-winning UC platform that provides security, redundancy and intuitive communications.Advantages in the latest release include:Enhanced security and resiliencyA richer user experienceEasier management and deployment with a cloud, on-premises or hybrid approachIncreased capacity and performance (now supporting five to 3,000 users)For new companies interested in exploring the benefits of moving operations to the cloud, Avaya IP Office 10 offers a chance for firms of any size to “test the waters.” The new platform is easy to use and addresses concerns around security and resiliency that are often the roadblocks to adoption.To boost security, for example, Avaya added built-in media encryption between endpoints to preserve data privacy and integrity, which is key for cloud deployments. On the user experience side, it has added support for two desktop devices: the productivity-enhancing H175 Video Collaboration Station and the cost-effective Avaya J129 IP Phone.Anywhere, anytime collaborationIn addition to increased security, an enhanced user experience and a variety of cloud options, migrating to a modern communications platform allows companies to connect any employee, anywhere, from just about any device. Now a sales representative can easily join into a video conference call between flights at the airport, a project manager can share documents with colleagues while sitting on the sidelines at her child’s soccer game or the quiet guy at the back of the room can effortlessly take over the screen during a wireless corporate presentation to showcase a special projectA great UC platform brings together all forms of communication – phone, email, messaging, IM and mobile – and integrates them into the office workflows. With workers better positioned to collaborate across many platforms, they can work more productively and offer better customer service. Greater productivity and better customer service can translate into increases in sales revenue and healthier profits.Companies can also cut travel expenses using web-based collaboration tools, and reduce monthly calling costs through SIP trunking and routing international cellular calls. They can eliminate service provider fees – and reduce power – with built-in audio conferencing.IP Office also offers APIs that make it easier for developers to create WebRTC-based clients and to simplify configuration and deployment for partners. Virtual meeting functions have been streamlined and strengthened with WebRTC audio and richer collaboration capabilities.Making the changeMany businesses, however, don’t want to rip-and-replace the infrastructure they’ve already invested in. So, the Avaya Software Investment Protection Policy (aka ASIPP) offers reduced pricing if you make the move from your older Nortel equipment to IP Office.Companies looking to upgrade your end-of-life Nortel equipment or want to empower digital workers (or find their monthly spend to support a legacy solution is greater than a monthly cloud subscription), now may be a good time to consider making the move to the next level of unified communications. It’s not just about improving business processes and workflows, but setting yourself apart from the competition.To learn more, check out this Avaya podcast.