Unified Communications Featured Article

Unified Communications: Integral Part of Working Remotely

July 01, 2013

Ten years ago, the sentence “I am working from home today” may have been understood as “I got laid off and will be watching television all day on my couch.” This is because in years past, the technology now known as unified communications (UC) just wasn’t capable of enabling employees to complete important tasks from anywhere with a reliable Internet connection at anytime. Times have changed though, allowing global workforces to be just as productive from outside the confines of the physical office as they would be slouched behind their desk.

Looking specifically overseas, key statistics include:

- Over 15 percent of the EU workforce is now beleived to be comprised of mobile workers, those who spend more than 10 working hours per week away from home and their main place of work

- Over 90 percent of employers say they offer some kind of flexible working option 
- Over 70 percent of employees express an interest in working from home, at least part of the time

According to a recent piece featured on Network World, businesses that invest in a next generation UC infrastructure that encompasses key capabilities including instant messaging and intelligent presence, can cut costs related to no longer needing additional hardware and software by up to 75 percent. Also, the customer experience is revamped for the better as users can easily get in touch with their company of choice through a variety of ways.

Deeply routed in the expanding UC industry, a blog post on the Teo website added, “By understanding how employees are interacting with the technology, executives can formulate plans to better optimize company performance. This could involve investing in better servers to increase the quality of video conferencing systems or even creating employee schedules based on what times are the busiest at call centers. In addition, many UC services are being built into business processes. Companies are using the platforms to create notification systems that help spot dissatisfied customers and even reduce paper costs through fax-to-email technology.”

In spite of the fact that the unified communications vertical has a come a long way since in a very short period of time, its true potential has yet to be reached. And as more firms realize the amount of money that can made by powering these functions, the space will only get more competitive which in turn could prove advantageous to users looking for the lowest cost suite.

“With a number of reputable organizations fighting for market share, new and innovative products are most certainly going to be developed,” the post added.

Leveraging a UC platform to work remotely is beneficial toward reducing absenteeism, driving retention and even dramatically enhancing the overall quality of life of employees, who are no longer required to spend hours in their car sitting in traffic while commuting – a true win-win scenario for both the employer and employee alike.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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