“Unified Communication” is a trendy marketing buzzword today, that describes the incorporation of real-time business communication services. The technology is lauded by businesses all over the world thanks to its ease of use, productivity, scalability and more importantly its ability to provide business continuity.
According to a survey, almost three-fourths of business and IT operators believe that by integrating UC (unified communication) into their operations, they could witness significant business developments. As is the case with most new innovative developments, incorporating UC is not without its share of criticism. Many business heads think that they (UC) are still in their early stages and investing on them may be too much.
Here is a guide to help you make a better decision. If you have already decided to make the transition to UC, this guide can assist you in creating a successful migration.
Ease of use is a crucial factor when choosing your UC solution. If your transition is going to be difficult to use, with complicated features, it will be no better than the system you already have in place. Your IT team is better off purchasing a system that is easy to access for your office administrators as well as employees.
For instance, if you opt for a cloud-based unified communication system, it can provide users with universal accessibility – including access to servers, user profiles, and preferences – all stored in the cloud. The ability to access anything from anywhere makes room for more mobile operations, security, and disruption-resistant infrastructure.
Self-management is a significant component of user-centricity. By enabling users to make their optimization to their system preferences, the need for technical support will reduce considerably, a win-win situation for both IT staff members and everyday users.
Unified Communication works best when it’s carefully and intelligently aligned to the nature of your business and its requirements. Once a company’s UC strategy is ingrained to the DNA of your business, integrating this technology is hardly a challenge. To relate business objectives and UC initiatives, business operators may try executive buy-in. IT executives may use case studies to study the real-world impact of integrating unified communications.
Here is a perfect example. Philadelphia-based non-profit healthcare organization, Interact, opted for UC to tackle their communication disruption challenges of its 400 employees, continually traveling to five different regions. The result – it helped clients communicate easily with appropriate employees – a crucial factor for companies in the behavioral health category.
Business and IT heads in your organization should work together closely to define success in every stage and phase of the incorporation. It is not a bad idea to determine the checkpoints where employees can assess progress, as required. To further explain this evaluation, IT employees may choose appropriate UC systems with the best business intelligence built into it. With real-time insights, you can work on optimal ROI post UC deployment, thereby improving productivity and customer satisfaction.
79% of organizations that have pre-measured their ROI (before deployment of UC) have reported that they have met or exceeded their ROI expectations. By measuring these metrics well ahead of time, IT professionals can put themselves in a commanding position to show/prove ROI results and also build confidence and trust among colleagues in the organization.
Think long-term when evaluating potential solutions; try to read the fine print to understand what you will be getting. After integrating UC into your business, you will witness immediate impact in your business communication; but how much cost-saving-impact it brings is best realized after some time.
Having a talented bunch of IT people in your workplace will help you maintain the system well, ensure that your heavily-invested technology is operational all the time and is up-to-date with an appropriate software upgrade. All leading UC solutions offer dedicated features like unlimited calling, auto attendants and also provide advanced mobile apps without additional costs. They also provide you physical phones as part of the package; so you don’t have to buy new hardware.
As a business operator, apart from long-term expenses, you must also consider other business impacts that may happen in the long run. Things like how a change in your communication strategies could impact crucial software you’ve always been using for your business operation must be considered. For instance, if your sales department relies heavily on Salesforce as its go-to application for tracking customers and prospects, then you must check if your UC solution allows integration of the two. If not, choose a solution or provider who does.
The UC market is roaring and is expected to expand to $2.3 billion business by the end of 2016 and $5.3 billion by 2018. You may be a solo buyer, or you may prefer to partner with someone to make a transition to UC, but one thing is for sure – you cannot afford to ignore it for long.
Moreover, for those who have been skeptic about it all these days, you would have realized by now that unified communication is not all that villainous. With the right plans and solutions and necessary preparations, you will soon modernize your communication systems safely and in style. You could meet the demands of modern, fast-paced and mobile business operations — best of luck.
If your business is ready for unified communications, Verticomm has the platforms and services to get your business where it needs to be. Contact us today to begin taking advantage of unified communications.