Unified Communications Featured Article

How to Realize the Complete Benefits of Unified Communications: Free White Paper

October 24, 2011

Unified Communications (UC) has become one of the hottest topics in the IT space over the last few years, and for good reason. When deployed properly, an integrated UC system can open doors to unparalleled communication and provide real-time access to business-critical information.

UC has been heavily touted because of its ability to help individual employees become more productive through tools like presence, instant messaging, collaborative workspaces and new conferencing technologies, among others.

However, much more can be achieved than simple user productivity when UC is looked at as more than just set of innovative communication tools.

Don Van Doren, co-founder of UniComm Consulting, an independent consulting firm that focuses exclusively on unified communications, recently authored a white paper to help people understand the real power of UC, the benefits that it can bring and some alternative approaches to implementation.

Van Doren stress that the UC should not be looked at as a collection of tools. Rather, it is a way of thinking about how the next-generation of communication capabilities can be organized to support business operations, workflow and processes that help build revenue and profits.

“UC is communications integrated to optimize business processes,” says Van Doren. “This definition captures the essence of the way UC can help businesses meet their goals.”

Van Doren identifies two main use cases for Unified Communications: UC for user productivity (UC-U), which focuses on helping individual users better manage their communications, and UC for business processes (UC-B), which involves identifying specific areas in workflows and business processes where communication tools can help eliminate bottlenecks and breakdowns.

As Van Doren points out, many organizations employ the UC-U approach, which is easy to deploy and quick to implement. It provides a number of productivity advantages, but not the full host of UC-B benefits that include business process optimization and the reduction of out-of-pocket expenses.

“UC-B starts by identifying business processes that can be improved by taking advantage of UC’s capabilities to streamline workflows and reduce errors, rework, and delays,” Van Doren. “Many enterprises find that the benefits of UC-B implementations are dramatically greater than UC-U alone.”

Click here and download the white paper to find out why. The document, titled “How Unified Communications Pays for Itself,” also includes some UC success stories and a few tips on implementation planning.

Beecher Tuttle is a unified communications contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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