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Siemens Explains Why Unified Communications Matters

In addition to insights from Siemens exec Shayna Kaneshiro, also presents some revealing stats on how small and midsize companies communicate.I was struck by these numbers in the blog post earlier this week:

The average small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) uses 6.4 types of communication devices and 4.8 communications applications, according to a 2006 study by Sage Research.


The study also reported that more than 50% of employees use multiple methods to contact someone.

Ideally, a UC solution would:

Help put an end to communications impediments such as phone tag, unheard voicemails or struggling to determine who will take the next urgent customer call.

Provide "built-in" functionality for extended value such as drag and drop conferencing and dynamic voicemail use with message changes based on your calendar. Built-in functions also exclude or limit the need to purchase additional hardware.

The piece goes on to recommend five basic keys to UC for smaller companies:

1. Built-in Presence, showing who is available and accessible.
2. Drag and Drop Conferencing, letting users create meetings by dragging and dropping contacts into the conference screen.
3. Built-in Fax Message Box, which lets you receive and respond to faxes quickly, just like emails.
4. Built-in Info Status Pop-Ups, to keep you informed when new calls come in, for example.
5. Microsoft Outlook Integration means users can handle all their communications in one applications that they already know.

Along with my recent story on 8 Essential Questions On Unified Communications, this post makes a great introduction to world of UC.