Today’s millenial workers communicate differently, preferring instant communication tools such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook chat over the more traditional email. This is seeing email lose popularity, as millennials don’t want to wait for answers, they want instant communication. Businesses therefore need to ask themselves whether instant, more collaborative technologies might not be more effective. However, day to day technologies do not always translate well into the business environment.

For business in industries such as financial services or healthcare where compliance is a major factor, email has the benefits of being auditable and controllable. The bottom line is something that works for one business might not work for another, so identifying what the business wants to achieve, and what it needs in terms of compliance and regulation is the first step.

Unified communications (UC) is the best solution. UC is the integration of voice, video and data into a single solution, allowing users to communicate with anyone, wherever they are, and in real time. This includes IM, telephony, video conferencing and so on. For organisations of all types and sizes, implementing a UC solution removes the need for myriad communications systems, and brings benefits such as optimised business procedures, simplified processes and more effective communications.

Boosting collaboration is a further way that UC can increase productivity, by allowing staff to interact more easily with each other, third-party partners and customers, and across a variety of platforms. Video conferences can be set up with a click of a button, cutting costs, and saving time that would have been spent travelling.

In today’s mobile workforce, UC has been a game changer. The rise of the remote worker, and the number of business that have staff on the road, means that workers must be able to answer calls from a variety of devices and from wherever they are. UC facilitates far greater mobility, particularly in light of the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon.

Being able to see where the intended recipient of your communication is, and whether they are available to talk to you, saves a huge amount of time. This presence information allows staff let their colleagues know what they are up to by setting a status such as ‘in a meeting’. Calls can then be diverted to someone else, or to voicemail.

Instant messaging – the preferred means of communication for millennials, is another fantastic feature of UC for businesses. The speed of IM allows workers to share ideas and thoughts instantly, cutting down on time spent waiting for replies to emails, and is a very productive way for colleagues to brainstorm ideas, and collaborate on projects.

Organisations who have adopted the latest UC technologies are benefiting from increased productivity and boosted efficiency by communicating more effectively internally and externally with fellow staff members and clients. Businesses who are not adopting these game changing technologies risk being left behind. Features such as IM, video conferencing and presence are enabling users to use their time better, and focus on areas that will make positive changes to the business, such as innovation.