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Collaboration Helps Small Business Work Smarter and Faster

March 2, 2011 - 1 Comment

A unified communications solution can reduce costs, boost productivity, and improve customer service

In this always on, connected world, your customers expect to reach you at any time—when it’s convenient for them. Tools like unified communications, cloud services, and Web conferencing help your business collaborate more effectively, allowing your employees to work from anywhere and improving customer service through personal interaction. The ability to connect and respond in real time helps differentiate your business from the competition and can make your company more profitable.

Communication is a key component to successful collaboration. By combining voice, video, and data on the same network, you can streamline communication and boost productivity.

If you’re a small company considering a unified communications solution, Cisco’s Unified Communications 300 Series (UC 300) provides business-class networking and voice communications for your business at an affordable price. A complete unified communications solution, the UC 300 lets you replace your PBX (public branch exchange) system with IP telephony and delivers built-in voice and wireless support as well as other advanced features such as voicemail and auto attendant. And because the solution uses SIP trunks, your company can save on monthly phone charges.

If your small business needs a unified communications solution with greater flexibility and support for more users, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (CME) can provide you with the customization options you need. Running on a Cisco Integrated Services Router, CME 8.5 provides support for new Cisco 8900 and 9900 Series IP Phones, virtual private network (VPN) phones for remote workers, and mobility enhancements that let you forward a call to your cell phone, and also retrieve a call from your cell phone (for Single Number Reach calls) with the touch of a button.

And CME 8.6, new this month, will offer enhanced collaboration capabilities, including video telephony support for Cisco IP phones as well as native video conference for several Cisco IP phones. Also, CME 8.6 will provide improved mobility by allowing users to access their business phone extension via their iPhone or iPod Touch devices.

If you already have an Integrated Services Router installed on your network and want to add voice messaging and communications capabilities for your business, Cisco Unity Express (CUE) provides voicemail boxes for up to 500 users as well as voicemail and greeting services. With CUE 8.5, new Web inbox lets you manage your voicemail, including the ability to create a pre-recorded message as well as compose, reply, and forward voicemails.

Web conferencing is another effective way to stay connected to customers, partners, and remote workers. Tools like Cisco WebEx provide personal interaction while saving on travel costs.

Improving your company’s ability to collaborate can speed results, boost productivity, and reduce costs. How are you using collaboration tools to gain a competitive edge?

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  1. Interesting articles, but may I ask you something? I have problem with "reducing cost" after make collaboration. Actually, the cost should decrease, right? But what happen to me (for us), the cost getting higher and we can't control over it. What should I (we) do?