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How Unified Communications Can Perk Up Business Efficiency

January 02, 2014

While most businesses are focused on the bottom line -- perhaps the purest of all measures when it comes to a business' success -- somewhat fewer take a look at efficiency, which has the potential to yield bottom-line results on a scale that can be downright impressive. For those looking for gains in efficiency, though, one great place to look is in the field of unified communications, which can take communications systems to the next level, and make the whole affair much more efficient in the process.

It may be hard to imagine how communications systems can be made more efficient; such systems do a job, and one job in particular. The telephone conveys voice traffic in two directions. Email does something similar with text, as does the fax, but in different formats. Video conferencing systems convey voice and video traffic in two or more directions, depending on the circumstances of the meeting. This seems to be at direct odds with efficiency measures, which can require things like improving customer feedback or making certain processes or equipment items are standard across an organization.

But when unified communications are brought into play, there can come along a boost to efficiency. For instance, businesses with improved communications systems can take better advantage of the freelance market, which can improve with different time zones, different market specialties and the like, allowing more work to be done in the same time via greater expertise or by taking advantage of periods that would normally be down time. Plus, managing the freelancers in question can be simpler by opening up better methods of group contact, like group email or conferencing, be it voice or video conferencing. This doesn't need to be limited to freelancers, either, as regular employees can be managed in such a fashion as well, and open up new options of better mobility and improved morale as employees can do the job in more of a personally-amenable fashion.

But what does this have to do with unified communications? With unified communications, much as the name denotes, the communications measures a business employs have been brought together into one more centralized whole, meaning users need only look in one direction for communications. Removing separate versions, reducing redundancy, managing waste...these all come into play when bringing up a unified communications system over a largely disparate, dis-unified version. But when everything is together, in the same place, it can become more efficient. There's only one system to learn for that particular function, not one guy using Skype (News - Alert) while another guy is using something completely different. That makes administration simpler, it makes IT's job a little simpler, and that means better efficiency as more jobs can be done in the same amount of time. Purchasing becomes simpler as well, particularly when it comes to any applicable software licenses.

Improving the simplicity of systems tends to improve efficiency, if for no other reason than allowing more things to be dealt with in the same amount of time. By way of comparison, in the time it takes to replace an engine piston in a car, a dozen cars or more can have an oil change. Simpler jobs go faster, and more can be done in the same time. That's one of the purest definitions of efficiency there is, and unified communications can drive significant improvement in same.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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