If your business makes use of Google Apps for in-office communication, you should already be well aware of the endless possibilities that come with these applications. Besides their mail functionality which has been made popular through Gmail, Google Apps also allow you to share, collaborate and exchange information seamlessly with your network. A typical business user will be aware of using Google Drive for file storing, Google Docs for creating and sharing documents, Google Chat and Hangout for real-time communication, Google Contacts for basic CRM functionality and so on. But do you know there is a host of amazing things possible when you combine Google Apps with Unified Communications?
But before we get there, you must know what Unified Communications, or UC as it is popularly called stands for. Basically, UC is the integration of a host of communication platforms like telephone, videoconferencing, email, text messaging, instant messaging and so on. In other words, UC makes it possible to bring together real time communication channels with non-real-time alternatives. This way, depending on what the user wants, it is possible to access communication via non-real-time platforms through real-time platforms and vice versa. Unified Communications is a huge industry with a number of major players like AT&T and Cisco in the United States and business internet provider, AllStream in Canada. According to an estimate by ResearchMoz, UC is expected to become a $61 billion market by 2018.
So how do you bring Google Apps and UC together? Here are some tips:
Click to dial : If you have a CRM like Zoho or Salesforce to handle your leads, then you are provided with browser tools that connect your apps to your phone system. So this way, when you receive emails on your Gmail inbox, you only have to click on the phone number for your CRM to connect you to the target over phone. It is not just Gmail though. The click to dial functionality can be enabled across the various products and services that is available on Google Apps.
Checking Voicemails from Gmail : With Google Voice, you no longer have to check each of your phone devices for missed calls and messages. Instead, you can set your service to automatically email any voicemails you receive. What more – Google also transcribes these voicemails for your so that you can simply read those in text instead of having to listen to them.
Faxing : You can now have faxes sent directly to your inbox via Google Apps. You can also return the fax. It’s as simple as sending an email.
Scheduling Conferences : If your business already uses video conferencing services like WebEx, scheduling conferences become a breeze with Google Apps. You can mark the time for videoconferencing on Google Calendar which can directly integrate with WebEx and send notifications and handle the operational aspects for you.
Unified Communications is the future of business networking. With Google Apps, this becomes all the more easy and efficient. Have you tried integrating Google Apps with UC? Share your experience with us in the comments below.