How many communication devices do you use throughout the day? It’s not surprising if you depend on a range of them – laptop or PC in the office, smartphone and or tablet while you’re on the road or calling on customers. Your tools for collaboration across all these devices have expanded as well in the last few years. Along with voice, email and Instant Messaging, you easily can launch a video or web conference on the go from one of your mobile devices and message and comment on social media.

With a wealth of collaboration and communication choices, it’s no wonder that many small business owners have embraced Unified Communications (UC). (see: Small businesses help UC spending pick up the pace). UC integrates voice, email, SMS, video conferencing and document sharing into a single interface that you can access from any one of your communication devices, making it easy to relay any or all of the data to others.

Among small business owners, UC is enhancing efficiency and productivity. It enables you to stay connected wherever you are doing the day, even as you shift between communication devices. At work, you may get calls on your office phone or place a soft phone call over your computer on Skype or Google voice. Out of the office, you’re on your mobile.

UC eliminates the challenge and inefficiency of trying to recall different numbers to check for messages on your various devices. Customers, partners or suppliers also can be sure to reach you wherever you are whether they call, send an email or fax.

UC in action

UC photo.10.19You’re out of town and waiting to hear from a customer about a sales contract for your small business. You’re on a commuter train from the airport to your hotel in the center of the city when a call comes in to your office desk phone. Your UC system conveniently routes the call to your smartphone through your email. You listen to the message and text a reply asking for an e-fax of the contract. You get the e-fax on your smartphone and once in the room at your hotel, digitally sign the contract on your laptop and send it back to the customer. You spend another half hour on Skype using a headset talking to one of your employees to talk about next steps.

UC levels the playing field

In addition to enhanced efficiency and productivity, small business owners find UC helps them improve customer responsiveness. In this way, it levels the competitive playing field against larger companies. Small businesses generally have fewer resources so UC enables them to engage with customers and prospects as efficiently  as professionally as larger companies.

Whether it’s new business or a new partner, you make the connection. UC helps you keep it.