Unified Communications: image of man on cell phone with  tabletToday’s small business owners wear more hats than ever – sales and marketing, IT and finance, and more – as they seek to streamline processes and cut costs in an increasingly mobile environment. Fortunately, they’re discovering that Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) can help them meet these broad challenges without the need for onsite IT staff to manage on premise systems.

Small businesses are faced with three big challenges when it comes to communications technology: One is always being accessible to the customer. The second is having technical resources available in order to help implement and maintain a system. And third is tying their communications system into other aspects of their business such as accounting. Making all those things work together is where the real magic of unified communications becomes a reality for the small business.

(1) Always-on Accessibility

Small business owners are now engaged with a rapidly evolving workplace, 45 percent of whom are millennials. In fact, that number that is expected to skyrocket to 75 percent by 2021. This increasingly mobile and distributed workforce expects their “office” to be wherever they are located – whether that is at home, in the car, visiting a customer or even at a local coffee shop. Therefore, it’s no surprise that, according to the SMB Group, a growing majority of small businesses now regard mobility as an essential business enabler, with 60 percent saying mobile solutions are critical to their business.

Mobility is a key benefit to communications in the cloud. Mobile apps can fully integrate with the phone system, enabling employees to make and receive business calls and text messages when they’re on the go, maintaining a consistent business presence, and accessing the same robust voice, video and messaging features they enjoy in the office. Additionally, with bring your own device (BYOD) on the rise – 59 percent of small businesses with 10 to 999 employees now support BYOD – dedicated mobile apps enable employees to keep their business and personal accounts separate on the same device.

(2) Technical Resources

Additionally, with 27 percent of small businesses indicating they have no IT support, UCaaS makes things easy by giving small businesses seamless access to new features as they become available, providing them with the ability to scale up or down as needed, adding phone lines with the click of a mouse.

(3) Systems Integration

Finally, a UCaaS solution can easily integrate CRM solutions, billing software and more with a VoIP phone system to extend the power and control of the phone system to a desktop. This helps small businesses become more efficient by leveraging the business-class tools they already use, wherever employees are and whenever they need to use them.

Satisfying the unique needs of small businesses, UCaaS solutions provide cost-effective, scalable, feature-rich communications that can help them successfully compete with companies many times their size. This frees up business owners to focus on their bottom line, not their communications system.

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