Unified communications

Unified Communications (UC) delivers the power to connect a diverse range of communication and collaboration tools so they work seamlessly to drive ease of use, efficiency and effectiveness. Focus Group offer industry-leading Unified Communications solutions which integrate powerful technologies to fully streamline operations across your business, empowering your team, supporting your ambitions and driving success into the future.

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Unified Communications

What is unified communications (UC)?

Unified Communications (UC) fuses all channels of business communication and collaboration, removing the need to switch between multiple tools, systems and platforms.

Unified communications, often abbreviated to UC, works by collating all of your communications technologies into a single solution - providing a more streamlined and unified communication platform for your digital workforce. This means all of the tools your team need are available on a single platform, making communication more efficient, improving productivity, and enhancing collaboration and performance.

In a nutshell, UC incorporates telecommunications, video calling and conferencing, instant messaging, voicemail, collaboration tools, file sharing and much more. And it's all readily accessible, wherever your team are working.

Empower your workforce with unified collaboration

UCaaS stands for ‘Unified Communications as a Service’. In essence, UCaaS comprises of two key elements: Unified Communications (the integration of a range of communication and collaboration technologies into a single platform) and its service delivery.

The service element of UCaaS is a form of Software as a Service (SaaS), whereby your service provider delivers your UC systems via the Internet. Or, in other words – provide cloud-based Unified Communication services.

By taking your communications to the cloud, Unified Communications as a Service offers a wealth of features, including the ability to empower your team to work anywhere, gives peace of mind with security, reduces pressure on resources with hands-off maintenance and reduces costs.

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Benefits of Unified Communications

A complete solution

Unified comms integrates all channels into one single solution, which takes care of telecoms, video, messaging, and data sharing to build your complete business solution design for enhanced communication and collaboration.

Future proof

As cloud-based solutions and services evolve and update, these will be quickly integrated into your unified solution to ensure you’re always working with the latest technology and have the best tools at your disposal.

Power up productivity

Streamlined systems ensure organisations are in a position to operate with a greater level of agility, whilst ease of access to the right tools for communications collaboration means teams are in a position to work more effectively.

Enhanced customer experience

Unified communications not only connect your workforce. It strives to better connect you with your customers, ensuring a quick and easy connection to who or what they need, delivering all-around better customer service.

Lower costs

Hosted UCaaS consolidates overlapping services, reducing IT overheads and unnecessary travel, whilst increased productivity drives cost efficiencies across the business and reduces the need for physical hardware.

Unrivalled security

UCaaS standardised security policies mean IT can handle security patches and compliance updates more easily whilst ensuring the overall health of your unified systems and monitoring any potential threats to system security.

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS)

Cloud unified communications

Cloud-unified communications integrates various communication tools and services - such as voice, video conferencing, messaging, and collaboration platforms - into a single, cloud-based solution. This approach enhances flexibility, scalability, and accessibility, allowing users to connect seamlessly across devices and locations. By leveraging cloud technology, organisations can reduce costs, streamline operations, and improve productivity. Key benefits include real-time updates, automatic backups, and robust security measures.

Cloud UC also supports remote work, making it easier for teams to collaborate effectively, regardless of their physical location, fostering a more connected and efficient workplace environment.

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Calling and instant messaging

Unified communications allow teams to effortlessly manage calls, emails, voicemails, and instant messages through a single platform. Real-time chat and messaging capabilities allow team members to communicate instantly, whilst status indicators show whether someone is available, busy, or away, helping to streamline communication.

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Data sharing and collaboration

Data sharing and collaboration with Unified Communications (UC) streamline the exchange of information and teamwork across diverse platforms. UC integrates tools, like SharePoint and video conferencing, into a unified system, enhancing accessibility and efficiency. Teams can collaborate in real time, securely accessing shared documents and data from any location. This fosters a more dynamic and cohesive work environment, boosting productivity and enabling seamless communication, critical for modern, distributed workforces.

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CRM integration

Many businesses now use Customer Relationship Management or CRM software to consolidate and manage relationships with existing and potential consumers, with the aim of enhancing the customer experience. Unified Communications (UC) and business phone systems that integrate with the major sales CRM tools enable you to do just that. What’s more, this integration brings tangible benefits to your business, such as boosting customer retention and customer satisfaction rates.

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UCaaS solutions

Cloud phone systems

Cloud phone systems such as Horizon and Microsoft Teams Voice leverage internet connectivity to provide robust telephony services without the need for traditional on-premise hardware. Offering a wealth of advanced features like VoIP calling, voicemail, call forwarding, and conferencing, cloud phone systems are accessible from any device with internet access. This flexibility supports remote work and scalability, allowing businesses to easily add or remove lines as needed. Cloud phone systems reduce maintenance costs, simplify IT management, and enhance communication efficiency, making them ideal for modern, dynamic organisations.

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Digital Workplace

Digital Workplace is a fully flexible, agile and highly cost-effective bundle of essential business technology. It unifies everything your business needs to communicate, collaborate, increase productivity, keep connected and remain secure. Most importantly, it’s designed for you, so you can tailor the elements in the package to suit your business requirements. Digital Workplace is your Microsoft 365, your phone system and business mobiles; it’s unlimited talk time and superfast connectivity. It’s the cyber security you need to protect your business and the 24/7 support you can rely on to keep your business moving.

Digital Workplace is wrapped with your choice of technical support, 24/7 service and proactive management. Plus, you’ll have just one point of contact to make life as easy as possible for you. Our Digital Workplace experts will take care of everything, leaving you free to focus on the important stuff, like growing your business.

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Contact centres

Today’s customers expect a seamless communication experience across all interactions. Businesses, on the other hand, want to be able to operate flexibly with the ability to work from various locations on any device.

To meet these expectations, the service you offer must adapt. Traditional contact centres, reliant on fixed locations and heavy hardware, lack the agility needed for quick changes. Implementation, provisioning, maintenance, and scaling are all costly and time-consuming. Cloud-hosted contact centre solutions address this challenge, facilitating remote operations, enhancing team collaboration, and providing callers with a smoother, more personalised service.

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Frequently asked questions

Unified Communications will enable your business to keep up with the rapid pace at which technologies, work processes and – most importantly - customer expectations, are evolving.

Unified Communications fuses all business communication and collaboration systems, allowing you to seamlessly connect your teams, resources and customers. Ultimately, Unified Communications removes the need to switch between multiple platforms and delivers the technology to allow your team to work easily, efficiently and effectively.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) consolidates multiple communication tools into a single, cloud-based platform, making voice calls, video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing accessible through one interface. By hosting in the cloud, UCaaS eliminates the need for complex on-premise systems, reducing costs and simplifying IT management. It's scalable, allowing businesses to easily adjust users and features.

Focus Group manages all updates and enhancements, ensuring your business always has the latest technology without manual upgrades. This approach enhances operational efficiency, provides a flexible and reliable communication infrastructure, supports remote work, boosts collaboration, and drives overall productivity.

In its simplest form, Unified Communications works by implementing a collection of communication methods and collaboration tools into a singular system, allowing your team to interact with customers, and each other, via phone, email, SMS, videoconferencing and instant messaging from wherever they are based.

Unified Communications incorporates the following components: voice & telephony, meeting solutions e.g. video or audio conferencing, messaging e.g. email or live chat, desktop client and applications to support collaboration.

Unified Communications (UC) solutions deliver the integration of a range of tools: IP telephony for voice calling, web and video conferencing, voicemail, file sharing, instant messaging, email communication and so much more.

The two terms often get used interchangeably, but do not mean exactly the same thing. Communication refers specifically to how people contact each other, e.g. email or instant message, while collaboration refers to interactively working together towards a shared outcome. An example of this would be sharing a document online with others and making changes for all to see. The right approach to unified communications will empower your teams to both communicate and collaborate with ease.

Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based collaboration platform which facilitates group conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing and one-to-one calling. Together with its subscription-based scalability, it definitely qualifies as a UCaaS platform. Additionally, its integration capabilities with cloud-based telephony or on-premise phone systems means your communication and collaboration environment can be fully unified.

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Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
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Focus Group

Customer stories

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Hurstpierpoint College

Focus Group scored top marks with the delivery of a brand new, futureproof telephony system to replace an ageing network.

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Blu-3, with ambitious growth plans, called upon Focus Group to take care of its ever-evolving technological requirements.

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Eyesite Opticians

A VoIP business phone solution delivered by Focus Group now connects over 16,500 Carers First staff with their patients.

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