According to a recent survey from global telecommunications service provide, Easynet, most companies are not getting the full benefits of unified communications. The firms surveyed understood the benefits of unified communications, as 60 percent said business efficiency improved, however, only 45 percent of respondents said business agility improved.
Even more striking was the fact only 29 percent said their existing wide area networks can fully support unified communications technology whereas another 49 percent said upgrades would be needed to fully benefit from UC.
This raises an interesting question: Are government agencies fully benefiting from their unified communication systems, and if not, why?
The UC concept is not fairly difficult to understand: it brings together many different forms of communication into one platform. A government worker, for instance, can access his or her emails, voice mail and faxes through a single mailbox. Real-time communication services included in UC often include phones, instant messaging, video conferencing, presence updates and data sharing tools. This communications setup allows for greater mobility, as workers can be reached from just about any device and greater collaboration.
Government and UC
The federal government has placed an emphasis on cloud-based tools such as UC solutions after the U.S. chief information officer issued a cloud-first policy in 2011. A few reasons exist as to why government agencies choose this route, from wanting to make communications easier to reducing costs. Unified communications often live in the cloud and do not rely on burdensome legacy technology. Smaller government agencies should not be afraid of adapting new technology that is more reliable than years-old hardware.
In the event of a disaster or emergency, unified communications can help government agencies ensure the proper response. Officials must have access to real-time information to make the best decisions. UC solutions provide that, with the ability of live video conference and screen sharing to share maps, for example. Most importantly, communications must have the flexibility to be made in the appropriate method.
Now is the time for government agencies to implement unified communications services. Third-party IT services can help with the implementation of UC at a time when the industry is experience growth and excitement. According to Network Computing, some excitement comes from unified communications vendors changing user interface designs to resemble mobile interfaces and making communications even easier.
Government agencies do not want to be behind by holding onto legacy communications system. Old, confusing devices may lead to a breakdown in communications during a time of need.