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The Unified Communications concept explains the integration of enterprise communication services such as voice and unified messaging (chat), presence information and video ( including telephone IP telephony ), mobility features ( including extension mobility and single number reaching ), audio and web, and voice.

Geolance is the leading provider of unified communications solutions for enterprises

We offer a suite of products and services that can be adapted to your needs, including voice and video conferencing, voice services, web access, and more. Our products are designed with scalability in mind so you can grow with us without worrying about compatibility.

With Geolance, you get peace of mind knowing that your employees have access to the right tools at all times. They know what they can do with their phones without waiting for someone else to answer them. And they never have any trouble finding important information because everything is organized in one place!

What are Unified Communications

Unified communications (UC) refers to the integration of real-time and asynchronous communication and collaboration tools into a single interface. The term "unified" is used to distinguish this type of platform from previous generations of software and services, which were designed around and for disparate systems. Examples include telephony, email, instant messaging (IM), internet chat, voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing, web conferencing, audio conferencing, desktop sharing, virtual whiteboarding, file sharing, screen sharing, etc.

Unified Communications are based on open standards that can increase user productivity while decreasing costs by simplifying integration with existing business applications. These technologies allow users in locations to communicate more effectively using various modes of communication.

Unified Communications features in the Oracle UCM Suite

The open standards-based technologies in Oracle Unified Communications allow users in locations to communicate more effectively using various modes of communication, including chat, telephony, video, conferencing, and web conferencing. The suite also offers customer contact capabilities that enable businesses to interact with customers across multiple channels

Every release of the Oracle UCM Suite adds new enhancements based on customer needs and innovations in unified communications technology. For example:

·          Integration with social media applications such as LinkedIn™, Facebook®, Twitter™, etc.

·          Enhancements for workforce management (WFM) call routing that provides an improved user experience - including the ability to monitor and change an active call.

·          Interaction recording that enables both automatic and manual recording of interactions, making them available for later playback and analysis. Please note: This feature requires the purchase of a separate Oracle Media Pack (price upon request).

·          Co-browsing, which allows participants in a video conference to share their web content with other meeting attendees during a video session.

In addition, new features have been added as part of regular product updates such as:       

·          Inbound routing based on time or day of the week - Exceptional Foundation Services now offers an option called Match by Day, which allows you to create specific rules for different days of the week. For example, you can route calls from US-based employees to a Spanish voice mailbox on Saturday and Sunday, but route them to an English voice mailbox during working hours on Monday through Friday.

·          Ability to block forwarding or co-browsing while routing an interaction

·          New Lookup Column in Live Reply Form Available for Oracle Exceptional Service - customers can now find out which components their customers are using by expanding the Lookups menu in the Live Reply form. This will allow organizations to track customer use of various components including Oracle UCM, LDAP directories, Microsoft Outlook/Exchange Server/Office Communicator, and other systems. The lookup column integrates with other Oracle UCM features including Co-browsing, which allows participants in a video conference to share their web content with other meeting attendees during a video session.

·          Ability to mark or delete interactions in the Live Reply form

How do Unified Communications work

Unified Communications provide a single application for all communications. With the Oracle UCM Unified Communications solution, employees can use different modes of communication to reach contacts - even if those contacts are using non-Oracle applications. For example, an Oracle customer service representative can use chat or video conferencing to communicate with a customer who is using their chat client. They could also call the customer on his office phone number by simply clicking "Call" on his contact card.

Unified Communications integrates features that help businesses simplify their communications infrastructure while saving time and money by offering:

·          An integrated experience that allows users to access various interactions from a single point of entry

·          A simplified unified communications system that enables organizations to start small, adding new forms of communication over time

·          A single platform for all employees to use, regardless of their location or device type - including mobile devices

Unified Communications are not meant to replace existing communications - they are designed to make them more effective. Wherever an employee is located, whatever devices they have access to, whatever mode of communication they prefer, Oracle's Unified Communications solution can help them communicate more effectively with customers and each other.

Why should I choose the Oracle UCM Unified Communications solution

The Oracle Exceptional Service organization uses a set of guidelines called the Universal Principles™ to guide its development efforts. The Universal Principles call for customer service organizations to use Oracle's solutions to meet three criteria: Speed, Accuracy, and Personalization.

Speed  - an organization must offer service that helps organizations meet their business requirements, including the need for speed of resolution, without compromising on quality or compliance.

Accuracy  - the organization's customer service representatives should have access to the right information at the right time, which means they must have access to deep knowledge bases of information about customers and products along with easy ways to find, share, and use this information.

Personalization - interactions between an organization's support teams and its customers should be tailored so they are fast, accurate, personalized across multiple channels - including mobile devices - anytime anywhere.

By meeting these three criteria of Universal Principles™, Oracle can help ensure organizations achieve superior customer experiences through better communication.

·          Gain unified view of all customer interactions

·          Reduce costs and improve operational efficiency

·          Engage customers proactively through social media channels

·          Increase staff productivity by streamlining tasks with Open CTI integration to the Oracle E-Business Suite

Understanding collaboration and communication patterns

is important because it allows organizations to understand which interactions are most valuable as well as provide a path for improving those interactions. In addition, understanding collaboration and communication patterns can help predict future value from deploying the Oracle Unified Communications solution.

What problem does this solve

The Oracle UCM Unified Communications solution will allow users to communicate via multiple modes of communication with one another including chat, email, calendar appointments, video conference calls, etc., this means that all employees in a company can use one single platform to do their work and not have to jump from one tool to the next depending on what model of communication they need at any given moment.

How does my company benefit from using the Oracle UCM Unified Communication solution

There are several benefits to using the Oracle UCM Unified Communication solution to centralize all modes of communication into one platform. These benefits include:

·          Enabling better collaboration between employees

·          Lower training costs for new employees because they only have one platform to learn

·          Improved customer service by providing a unified experience across multiple channels

·          Reducing phone bill costs with video conferencing capabilities built-in

What to look for in a Unified Communications Provider

To help ensure they are best positioned to deliver superior customer experiences, companies should look for a Unified Communications provider that shares the Universal Principles and understands each type of communication pattern.

How does this solution work

A Unified Communications provider not only must understand customers' needs and provide the right software but also be able to implement it effectively.

Customers need to consider how well a provider can deploy such a solution in their environment. Here are some questions customers should ask:

What kind of service model does it use

Do you need multi-vendor interoperability between all components within your infrastructure? If so, make sure your vendor has strong partnerships with other major players and that any future expansions will be supported.

What is the provider's track record in deploying enterprise-class Unified Communications solutions?

Customers should look for a partner who has experience and expertise with other Fortune 500 companies and can offer references to back up their claims of success.

How extensive is its product portfolio

Does it add value or simply add complexity by trying to be everything to everyone?

Can you reduce your total cost of ownership, lower ongoing maintenance fees, and get more out of what you already have under management by consolidating onto a single platform? If so, a well-rounded solution could be right for you.

What is its vision going forward

Will, it can support your growth, or is the product suite limited?

Does it have the ability to help you address future changes in communication patterns? For any solution that can do this effectively-meaning being flexible enough to meet multiple needs today and in the future--customers should imagine where their company will be down the road.

Can its technology keep up with changing models of interaction

Many collaboration technology companies are still trying to figure out how they want to deliver services. Customers looking for a provider that will fill their needs now as well as serve them over time should ask whether it's willing to commit to a broad base of infrastructure components, including storage, servers, voice, and appliances rather than simply focusing on IP telephony.

Customers should look for a solution that can provide them with full compliance to major industry standards such as mobile messaging, WebRTC, SIP, and video conferencing

How does it relate to Oracle

Does the provider's technology complement and enhance Oracle solutions or is it an independent company trying to go up against established players?

Look for a unified communications provider who is committed not only to offering its products but also the entire range of components built by Oracle.

Does it work across any devices

Customers should look for a provider that offers solutions on both traditional desktops/laptops and newer, more mobile devices. This allows workers to stay productive wherever they are, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction.

Trends Driving the Adoption of UCSD

Businesses are concerned about revenue loss and also the impact on their reputation if they don't meet customers' expectations for 24/7 availability.

UCSD can help businesses lower costs and create a more sustainable environment that will support growth. As customer needs continue to evolve, customers should look for a solution that:

minimizes the cost of ownership by standardizing on industry standards rather than proprietary solutions;

  • provides customers with an open developer platform so they can add or customize features as their business grows; and
  • is flexible enough to accommodate multiple communication patterns in one consistent infrastructure.

Definition of Unified Communications

Unified communications are the integration of real-time, collaborative interactions with the ability to access these interactions from any device or location. This definition provides customers with a holistic view of what they are buying.

Three key components must be included for something to be considered unified communications:

Collaboration - A common collaboration platform where employees can communicate through voice, video, chat, and presence. 

Accessibility - All services are available on all devices at all times enabling rapid response/engagement across multiple channels.

Flexibility - The ability to use any service over any network whether it's on-premise or in the cloud while integrating easily into existing IT infrastructures without requiring costly upgrades or forks in technology.

What are Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

Unified communications as a service represent the delivery of UC capabilities on-demand. This enables companies to realize the benefits of an integrated approach to collaboration without having to deploy, own or manage their infrastructure. It can also help improve business efficiencies by reducing ongoing maintenance costs and allowing employees to access tools whenever they're needed through any device, anywhere.

So What - Making the Move to UCaaS

Many businesses are interested in exploring or deploying unified communications solutions but you must know what your end game looks like before making any decisions.  Do you want more flexible technology with minimal upfront costs? Do you need fully customized services including a dedicated team to manage your deployments? Do you want a solution that has been pre-tested and is ready for use today?

Regardless of the direction, you decide to take when it comes to unified communications, the most important thing to remember is that this technology can help your business in many ways. When customers choose a provider that will fundamentally enhance their UC system, they can save money, improve their customer engagement, and experience higher levels of productivity within their organization.

Unified communications and collaboration are driving new business models through enhanced productivity

Businesses are looking for ways to increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce operational costs.

Choosing the right cloud infrastructure provider can help your business achieve these goals with a turnkey solution that is flexible, scalable, and interoperable across mobile devices.

The role of persistent chat in business collaboration

At some point, every organization will integrate it into their collaboration toolset and eliminate email as a primary method of communication.  It's just a matter of time and the power that persistent chat can provide for businesses is too powerful to ignore:

"Talk more often with customers and colleagues: Customers want fast responses from companies on social media channels, even if they don't have an urgent need; research has shown that more than two-thirds (69 percent) communicate via multiple channels before making a purchase decision.

Increase productivity: A recent survey found that employees spend an average of 1 hour and 41 minutes per day on IM, nearly 45 percent higher than actively using email; it also discovered that IM users are on more business-related IM conversations than non-IM users.

The Difference Between Collaboration & Communication

Collaboration has many benefits including the ability to better engage customers, increase productivity and reduce operational costs. The reality is that it can be difficult to achieve this within a highly distributed environment if your current communication methods are not working correctly.

The primary choices you have today for real-time collaboration include email, telephones, or web-based chats. Of all three options, chat is quickly becoming the preferred method of engagement because there are fewer barriers involved than with phone calls. Businesses want tools that allow them to communicate across multiple channels; customers do as well. However, unlike email or phone conversations, an open chat allows one-on-one connections which help convey immediate feedback during both stressful times and happy moments.

Teamwork can be difficult when your workforce is spread across different locations and time zones

This is a major roadblock for many companies because it's impossible to communicate quickly and on-demand due to the number of hands involved with a project.  Regardless of whether you have 2 people working on a project, or 10, being able to have an open chat ensures that all members are aware of task activities at all times. In addition, every message sent via persistent chat includes an automatically generated receipt so everyone knows who has seen each message and who hasn't.

What Does IBM Do

The answer is simple: "Unified communications as a service."

IBM helps businesses increase revenue by developing highly collaborative workforces that cut operational costs and increase the overall value that a company provides to its customers.

IBM's Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is an innovative, cloud-based offering that allows businesses to easily deploy and manage their UC capabilities across mobile devices, PCs, telephones, and other unified communications platforms from a single pane of glass. It offers any business the ability to quickly connect employees, suppliers, and customers with existing applications using industry-standard protocols. In addition, IBM also includes real-time analytics for customer service throughout the entire UC experience.

What Are The Benefits Of Unifying Your Collaboration

Real-time collaboration brings value to every interaction you have with your key stakeholders.  When everyone is on the same page at every moment during a project, you can immediately notice several outcomes. In addition to increasing the responsiveness of your company, it also makes it easier for employees to share information.

A unified communication platform allows businesses to harness real-time collaboration by improving productivity, reducing operational costs, and delighting customers with faster response times. For companies that need instant access to multiple communication channels or want an alternative solution than email instant messaging (IM), Enterprise IM is increasingly becoming the preferred choice for communications because there are fewer barriers involved than with phone calls.  Businesses want tools that allow them to communicate across multiple channels; customers do as well."

This is why IBM's Unified Communications offers all these features in one offering:

-- Two-way, persistent chat for real-time collaboration

-- Audio conferencing

-- Video chat

-- Multiparty video calling

-- Interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities built-in, which allow you to automate phone trees, texts, or interactive recordings without having an IT specialist on staff.

Today's workforce is more mobile than ever with professionals working from home and traveling constantly throughout their week.  For companies that manage people across different locations, this makes it difficult to stay connected all the time unless you have a virtual meeting solution that delivers high-quality video conferencing no matter where your users are located.  This is exactly why businesses are turning to Enterprise IM because it provides instant access to multiple content types in one workspace.

The platform also comes with flexible calling capabilities that include:

-- Snappy dial-in and call transfer options that let employees move from together to conference

-- Automatic recording of all your calls

What Is IBM Doing To Help Customers

IBM is not only helping its customers develop collaborative workforces, but they also provide valuable insight into the UCaaS environment.  One of their key services involves business consulting and development tailored specifically for your business. This includes:

-- Collaboration strategy and architecture design – As a result of IBM's collaboration vision and architecture expertise, you can gain valuable insights about how to strategically align your communications with overall business objectives. In addition, they will help you determine what works best for achieving these goals as well as what you may need to change based on gaps they find.

-- Industry and business process analysis – IBM will help your organization gain a better understanding of the state of your industry and how it has evolved. They also conduct analyses that can provide valuable insight into how fast those changes are happening as well as where you stand in terms of competition. By knowing this, you can more easily identify opportunities for growth or threats that could hinder your success.

-- Operations support services – IBM not only works with customers to develop processes for managing their communications but can even outsource their management tasks so companies don't have to hire new staff or become overwhelmed by technology.  IBM's Unified Communications team provides monitoring, maintenance, security, patch management, and support.  This is perfect for organizations that don't want to stay on top of constant changes within the IT industry.

What Makes IBM Stand Out

By combining expertise in strategy, architecture, process analysis, consulting, and operations services into one offering, IBM has shown that they know how to provide an end-to-end UCaaS solution. This includes all the tools enterprises need to make staying connected easy as well as ongoing management so companies can focus their attention on other aspects of business growth.  IBM's Unified Communications offerings give businesses peace of mind knowing experts are working behind the scenes to ensure their communications needs are met."

Tell me the reason for the death of email

An email has not died, but it's slowly becoming less necessary.  UC can fulfill the same role that email does in terms of being a communications platform to set up quick meetings, share important files, or have casual conversations with colleagues. Because UC provides all this wrapped in one easy-to-use system, many clients are choosing it over email.

Why would I need to chat when I still have email

Real-time chat is much faster than emailing back and forth about meeting times or sharing files because you can communicate instantly whenever you're available.  Chat also includes other users in the conversation so everyone gets notified when new messages come through. Email doesn't do any of this unless you spend time setting up reminders or keep emailing back and forth.

What is Unified Communications

A unified communication system provides multiple channels of communication all in one place, which allows employees to communicate with each other seamlessly from anywhere at any time. This means you can easily set up video or phone conferences, instant messages, chat groups, email, or start a voice call from within the same online platform. In addition to this convenience for businesses, UC systems also offer advanced capabilities such as contact lists that give employees information about everyone they work with so it's easier to reach out when needed.  The platform also comes with flexible calling capabilities that include automatic recording of all your calls and snappy dial-in options so you don't have to waste time searching through contacts every time you want to speak with someone.

How do you compare with WebEx or Skype

Skype and WebEx are excellent choices for any business that wants to set up free or inexpensive ad-hoc conferencing, like quick group video calls.  They're also great for individual conversations as well as casual chats within small groups. However, if your company is looking for a comprehensive communications system to support your entire organization -- one place where employees can communicate using multiple channels of communication-- they would need a more advanced system such as IBM's Unified Communications.   IBM offers all the tools you need in one single platform: chat groups, phone, and video conference recording capabilities (which are not available on Skype), personal contact lists you can use to call someone directly, and more.  

Would IBM be a good fit if we want a unified platform for all our employees

Absolutely!  Companies with a large workforce can make use of UC's tools which give them many options for communicating--such as voice or video calls, chat groups, emailing, etc.--and the ability to manage it from one central location.  In addition, IBM has been working closely with industry leaders in communications such as Apple and Cisco to ensure its UC solutions are cutting-edge and compatible with their hardware.  This means that when Apple or Cisco comes out with new devices in the future your business will always have access to the latest technology so you'd have to worry about being left behind.

What does UC brings to the Digital Workforce

UC helps digital workers-especially those in the millennial generation--be more productive and do their jobs faster by eliminating communication barriers.  For example, when a colleague is available on chat they can instantly reach out for help with a problem or ask to meet up.  Millennial workers also value speed and convenience; UC makes it easy to connect quickly to colleagues at any time of day from any device.

How does UC fit into my current landscape

IBM's Unified Communications solution offers major integrations with existing systems you currently use within your organization such as Salesforce and Workplace by Facebook.   This means companies won't have to make huge investments in terms of purchasing new hardware -such as office phones-and employees will be able to log into their UC system seamlessly from within other systems they're already familiar with such as Slack and Line.

How will this help us increase productivity

The IBM Unified Communications platform offers a range of options for employees to communicate however it best fits into the way they do their jobs; which means workflows become more efficient than ever before so you spend less time finding and sharing information and more time getting things done.

Unified Communications Essential Features

Unified Communications offers advanced software that helps workers communicate more efficiently with everyone they need to connect with.  It provides tools that enable them to work smarter, not harder while keeping the lines of communication open at all times so no one is ever left in the dark.

To learn more about how IBM's Unified Communications can help your workforce become more productive, give us a shout today!

Slack vs. IBM We are often asked what Slack competitor we would recommend using within an organization...

We have done extensive research on many different products which include Microsoft Teams, Cisco Spark, and Zoho Cliq but our hands-down favorite is IBM's own "Social Central".   Social Central includes an entire suite of collaboration tools that will meet most of your team's needs.  It includes chat, video conferencing, web conference, audio conferencing, file sharing capabilities (including native version control which many of these platforms do not offer), and the ability to create "social spaces" for specific projects you are working on with your team.  The interface is beautiful and easy-to-use with all the functionality you could ever want in a single platform.

Unified Communications Use Cases by Industry

Since IBM's Unified Communications is a platform, it can be used by any industry.  However, each industry has unique needs and UC has been engineered to meet those needs head-on.

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