Defining Unified Communication & Collaboration

For years businesses relied on plain old telephone service (POTS) managed through a PSTN for all their communication needs. Inside most offices, you’d find a closet where PBX equipment was connecting employees to a central phone, as well as extensions. What the conventional phone system lacked in flexibility, it made up for in reliability. As time passed, we discovered email as a must-have work tool and later Voice Over-IP communication. VoIP phones put voice and data traffic over the same connection, providing reliable worldwide connectivity for less cost. 

In today’s digital era, where more people are mobile and working remotely, business communication continues to evolve in new and exciting ways. Unified Communications (UC), for example, integrates all the communication forms and devices into a central hub, allowing for dialogue and other workflows to all exist and be available on the same platform. UC enables voice, email, instant messaging, video conferencing, social and immersive digital communication, keeping conversations flowing freely to support collaboration, innovation, and productivity wherever and whenever work gets done. 

Where do we go from here?

2018 marked an inflection point for UC solutions – tipping the scales in favor of the popular cloud-based delivery models. Nemertes reports that 67% of organizations now have at least part of their UCC applications in the cloud, while nearly one-third are all cloud. (Source: Nemertes).  Cloud deployment models may vary from hosted options to a hybrid deployment, or UC delivered as-a-service. As cloud-based UC pushes legacy phone systems to the fringes, what’s next? Let’s take a closer look.  

Looking ahead

According to analysts, the benefits of new unified communication and collaboration tools will continue to draw in new users and spur continued innovation in the industry. MarketsandMarkets predicts that UCaaS adoption is set to double by 2021, particularly among small to mid-sized businesses. (Source: MarketsandMarkets). As new UCC applications evolve, organizations will be able to customize collaboration experiences,  more easily make and receive video calls, and use APIs to tie into other critical business apps. The hope is also that AI-powered tools within UCC platforms will also make collaborating in the workplace a more natural and productive experience, whether teams are global, mobile – or both. 

"We absolutely LOVE working with CSG and feel we can trust her explicitly in all matters telecommunications. She is always there for us when we need any sort of guidance or support – whether it be vendor choices, carrier/circuit issues, communications and network infrastructure. That means a lot to Catalina Express – honesty, integrity, and respect are essential in any relationship, working or otherwise."
- Jill Montgomery, Catalina Express
"What I appreciate about Carrier Solutions is the holistic approach of understanding our entire phone needs, then matching the best carrier for those needs, and then helping us execute and integrate the system into our offices! Liane was extremely patient, over communicated every step of the way, and helped us with several issues that we could not have anticipated. All of this was done in the most professional manner. It is hard to find business partners that a small businesses can rely upon, and Carrier Solutions exceeded our expectations."
- Kelly Marks, Zeppos Law Group
Over the years, Carrier Solutions has been our trusted resource for all our data/telecom needs. Their depth of expertise and excellent customer service has made us a client for life.
- Ken Hodges, Western National Group
"Very pleased with the relationship CO-OP has with Carrier Solutions and Linda Gattis. Linda and the Carrier Solutions team have gone above and beyond with every project we have had, in making sure our needs are addressed. Would recognize them as a top channel partner and a leader in the industry."
- Ron Norys, Director of Networking CO-OP Financial Services
"CSG helped us search, analyze and negotiate favorable telecom agreements and successfully implement a new Enterprise WAN infrastructure utilizing the SD-WAN technology. They are very competent and knowledgeable, always willing to work with the provider we’ve selected on our behalf to benefit us."
- Romy Coronel, SCE
"Carrier Solutions Group helped our organization to negotiate favorable telecom agreements and to implement a new WAN infrastructure utilizing MPLS technology. Their ongoing support of our voice and data service has helped us to streamline our communications and reduce our overall expense."