10 Reasons the Switch Is On To “Unified Communications” (goodbye phone company, hello one-number calling!)

Now when your phone rings, you can answer it on your computer. And you can read faxes on your smart phone. You can view text messages on your laptop and you can listen to your emails.

It may sound topsy-turvy but a “unified communications” system simplifies your life.

By integrating all of your communications— phone, voicemail, email, text, fax, video conferencing and instant messaging (chat) —into one unified system with one number that follows you everywhere, staying connected is simpler.

You can thank a technology called Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP (also called Internet protocol telephony and IP telephony). You’ve heard of Vonage and Skype, right? They’re early VoIP players that use the Internet for voice and video communications.

Now unified communications has reached such a level of sophistication that businesses around the world are saying goodbye forever to the traditional phone company and traditional PBX systems so they can reap the benefits of this new telephony era. Here are 10 top reasons to go unified:

1. Free long distance

2. Cheaper international calling (this will eventually become free, too)

3. Simplified infrastructure to deal with — “Look, Ma, no extra wires (or service providers)!”

4. No expensive T1 or PRI lines

5. Easier to grow, move and evolve

6. Super convenient for mobile and remote employees

7. “Presence information” lets callers know who’s available for realtime conversation

8. Quicker response times since people are easier to find (works both ways)

9. More uptime: system problems can be detected early and data traffic redirected

10. One number = more space on your business card!

One place where VoIP still has room for improvement: international stability. Some networks, especially in developing countries, aren’t fast enough to avoid delays that interfere with the natural flow of conversation. But stutter-free international VoIP is just a few hops away!