The Long Term Benefits of Unified Communications
August 20, 2012
Unified communications integrate disparate technologies into one communications platform, simplifying overall processes and improving efficiencies. And while it can be costly to implement at the start, such systems can result in significant cost savings in the long-run because they boost productivity and availability.
According to this Information Week report, customers and employees will also appreciate the faster service, ease of use and improved efficiencies in unified communications. For instance, workers will be able to know when their colleagues are online and available to communicate thanks to presence. And, calls can easily be transferred from an office line to a field employee using a smartphone.
Mobile employees also have the convenience of making phone calls via their laptops while at a job site or receiving voicemail messages through e-mail. In addition, UC users don’t have to lose precious time waiting for returned calls because the group calendar feature enables co-workers to view each other’s schedules in real-time and conveniently book appointments.
Another great option for workers on-the-go or those stuck in meetings is the ability to convert an incoming voicemail message to text format for ease of viewing. And, while such systems do come at an expense, it won’t take long to start reaping the benefits. Winning management approval may be easier when decision makers are shown what such systems can do by way of return on investment.
This may be trickier than it sounds because many of the rewards gained from unified communications systems, such as improved productivity, may be hard to demonstrate on paper. Whereas metrics such as increased sales and lower costs are easy to measure, UC benefits can be harder to quantify.
One solid benefit of unified communication platforms is that they can result in cost efficiencies through the integration of IP services. This makes it possible to use the corporate network to route calls within the organization, decreasing long distance fees and costs incurred for upkeep. Some organizations have even noticed up to a 25 percent savings.
The biggest advantage of a companywide UC rollout will come in the form of enhanced communications among wholesalers, consumers, and staff, according to this Telephony World article. As a result, the organization will find it easier to generate revenue and service customers because of new proficiencies gained from quicker processing of sales and faster invoice generation.
Japanese companies such as Mitsukoshi are a perfect example of how unified communications can make a big impact to the bottom line. Mitsukoshi used UC-based systems to help with inventory. The end result was that the company was able to cut 20 percent off its sales cycle time and experienced top-line growth rates that exceeded the previous year by more than 100 percent.
For the company seeking to increase referrals, foster better loyalty, and improve retention, the implementation of a unified communications platform can generate the desired results.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein