Unified Communications Featured Article

Just How Well Do Retailers Understand Unified Communications?


May 29, 2013

A great number of technologies have recently started appearing on the horizon that allow smaller enterprises to manage their operations with reduced costs and more scalability. As great as this sounds, it seems that many businesses are overwhelmed by the enormous influx of tech. Implementation might be simpler now, but understanding the technology itself isn't always as straightforward. Unified communications is among those technologies that businesses have difficulty understanding.

The latest research shows that the retail sector is largely unaware of the benefits of unified communications (UC) technology. The survey was conducted by Elite Telecom (a UC supplier), Swyx (UC manufacturer) and Retail Week (a publication for retail businesses). They found that 68.9 percent of retail executives had little to no idea about the technology. According to the survey, they either didn't recognize the technology's advantages at all, or they didn't fully understand them.

A recent survey conducted by Ovum, an analyst for the telecommunications and IT industries, showed that more than 80 percent of global businesses plan to implement some form of UC throughout the next two years. Compared to retail businesses with one to 1,000 employees, of which only 34.9 percent are willing to invest in UC over the next two to three years, global businesses really have their eyes on the ball. When the survey asked retailers what made them reluctant to invest, almost half (43.7 percent) said that it's due to the fact that they don't understand the technology.

“As an industry that is facing enormous pressure to adapt to increased competition, especially from digital and online channels, unified communications is an investment that many retailers cannot afford to miss out on,” said Matt Newing, CEO of Elite Telecom. “Unified communications is all about the end user experience and helping to deliver smoother, streamlined services to customers both in-store and online. Customers are more likely to return to businesses that have exceeded their expectations and offered them something different.”

The research shows that the situation isn't completely hopeless, though; 39.3 percent of businesses that have taken such an investment into consideration would do it as a result of the need to improve their customer service.




Edited by Alisen Downey




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