How Unified Communication Can Improve Your Business
Unified Communications is designed for one thing – to take it easier and more cost effective for employees to connect, and to improve their ability to connect with customers and business partners. The general premise is to merge two or more communications into one easy-to-use interface. Generally, we’re talking about phone calls, instant messaging, conferences and collaboration.
The purpose of this blog is to identify the key drives and pains that small and medium businesses face, and to briefly show how improvements can positively impact the bottom line.
Top Business Challenges
Small and medium businesses are often faced with competition with from larger enterprises. To effectively compete, you need the right tools. Some of the major challenges faced include:
Pressure on Key Employees
Smaller organizations often have a few key “go-to” employees who are in great demand. Because of their critical role, their time is at a premium. What they need are tools that can prioritize their communications.
Owners Who Need to be Everywhere
The need to be constantly available means you’ve got to take calls from anywhere. Technology that stays with you, allows you to identify important contacts, routes communications and enables collaboration is critical.
Any employee at a small or medium business leads a busy professional life that requires multiple roles. Juggling customers, partners, colleagues and tasks means you need efficient and time sensitive tools.
Limited IT and Telco Expertise
Small and Medium businesses don’t generally have the same resources and staff to support advanced telecommunication technologies. Have tools that are easy to understand, justify, deploy and manage is essential.
Unified Communications – Improving Business
The integration of voice and other communications makes it easier for your employees to identify and locate people quickly, and access and share critical information. Decision making is faster and better, and customer service is enhanced. By converging resources, the cost of communications, including voice, instant messaging and conferencing, is cut.
The Three Benefits of UC
There are three areas decision makers should pay special attention to:
Customer Services – Skills-based routing, conferencing, and presence within UC make it easier to stay in touch with customers and support their needs.
Improved Productivity – UC uses presence information and “click to communicate” capabilities to speed information to the right people. Collaboration is improved and the numbers of interactions to complete a task are reduced. This means orders are filled faster, decisions are made more quickly, and productivity is increased.
Lower Cost of Communications
A UC Solution may appear expensive, but properly designed and deployed, your communications costs can be reduced. Voice calls and volume is reduced thanks to Instant Message Chats; Travel Time is reduced thanks to audio, video and web conferencing; and Conferencing is delivered more cheaply because you can avoid expensive conference hosting services.
When Do You Consider Unified Communications?
If you’re moving to a new location.
If your old phone system will no longer be supported by the vendor.
If your business is growing and you want to “reach next level.”
If you’ve lost too many sales because opportunities are not getting to the right people quickly enough.
If you hear too many (or any) negative customer service stories.
If your employees work from the road or out of the office—and you can’t reach them when you need them.
Look for partners that can customize a solution that fits your specific business needs and budget. The “one size fits all” or single appliance compromise isn’t going to address what you want, or where you want to go. A competent partner will work with you and address not just the technologies, but the “use case scenarios” that are critical for successful adoption.