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What is unified communications?

Alex McCrudden our consultant managing the role
Published on 21 August 2020
In 2018, the unified communications (UC) market reached a value of $56.33 billion - and if that wasn’t impressive enough, the growth is projected to hit $167.1 billion by 2025. Though the internet was first used as a database for scientists and academics to share information, once companies saw the potential of online communication this elevated it to a new level. Now fast-forward several decades and many businesses solely rely on the digital space to support their communications with customers and within the business itself. But what does this have to do with UC? First, let’s look at how UC has become essential in the workplace. 

Understanding UC

Unified communications (UC) is a way of bringing people together through the integration of collaboration tools. The most common examples of UC are messaging, video and voice calling and file sharing. It’s hard to image any workforce that doesn’t use UC each day, particularly in the current climate where remote working has become the norm.

Studio Graphene surveyed 900 UK senior leaders after the outbreak of Covid-19 and found that approximately 6 in 10 did not have the correct technology they needed to ensure remote collaboration within their team. UC is helping to keep the world connected at a time where operations can so easily become disjointed so it’s no surprise that market value is booming.

The benefits of UC

It boosts productivity in remote teams

No longer do employees need to be in one room together to collaborate. When UC integrates tools such as IP telephony, video conferencing and desktop sharing, the team can all be on the same page – or more accurately, the same screen. Combining the tech stack all in one place supports the move to a flexible working model and the use of AI has even enabled virtual assistants who can take meeting minutes.

It improves customer service

Just as UC ensures seamless information sharing within a team it also facilitates better communication with customers. When integrated with CRM software or a help desk system, UC makes sure that all information needed to handle customer queries is in one place and easily accessible.

It’s a hub for team collaboration

While email was once seen as the hub for team collaboration, the rising popularity of cloud technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) has seen this communication method move aside to make space for other systems which support file sharing and video conferencing. Microsoft Teams is just one example of such software that supports real-time collaboration on a platform that is both user-friendly and sociable. This is great news for companies, but it doesn’t come without its challenges for ICT teams.

Career options within UC
No matter the role, whether it’s UC administrator, UC engineer, solution architect or product manager, any employee in UC takes on the responsibility of helping businesses through their technology transformation. However, as the integration of UC becomes more complex so does the job of ICT team and for this reason, more specialised job roles are springing up.

Solution architects are putting their coding skills to the test, designing and developing a range of technologies, including Skype for Business. UC product managers, meanwhile, are involved in every stage of the product roadmap and play an important role in defining the feasibility of new products.

Experience you might need to work in UC

- Support, maintain and optimise the deployed Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business infrastructure
- Implement and manage Microsoft Teams (or a similar platform)
- Troubleshooting and implementing solutions
- Knowledge of IP, VoIP and SBCs
- Deploy Unified Messaging solutions

Take the next step with Quanta

Whether you’re interested in finding a unified communications job or want to build your ICT career we can help. ICT recruitment is where it all began at Quanta and our experienced consultants know just how important it is to provide support at every stage of the process. We recruit for UK-based and international roles, placing candidates in permanent, contract and remote jobs. Search our ICT jobs here or learn more about how we’ve developed our ICT specialism over the past decade.