It can make good financial sense to move voice communications to IP. However, the potential call cost savings from the switch are just the start of what’s possible with streamlined communications when you give people the kind of single integrated inbox many already use on smartphones.
Here are four basic unified communications steps that’ll quickly lift productivity…
1. Use presence technologies: These help employees save time by letting them know in advance if the person they plan to contact is in a meeting, on leave or on the phone. Your employees can then use the information to decide on the most effective ways to communicate and quickly know what skills and expertise are readily to hand.
Forrester Research reports companies using presence technologies can save on average 20 to 30 minutes per week for each employee.
2. Get more from your existing software: Today’s unified communications tools integrate with computers at a desktop level. This makes them easier to learn and cheaper to set-up. Integrate them tightly with your existing applications to enable single-click communications across all possible channels.
3. Collaboration tools: Teams function better when they use reliable and efficient information sharing tools. High definition video conferencing and collaboration sessions will reduce the need for routine business trips saving you money and allowing employees to stay focused. It’s now easy to move these services in-house, which is important because the easier they are to use, the more people will take advantage of them. Also consider providing video conferencing for people who work from home or who are constantly on the move to take part in office meetings.
There’s a hidden bonus here: video meetings tend to be shorter and more effective.
4. Test the waters with a low-risk pilot: Major deployment projects are expensive, disruptive and risky. Running a pilot unified communications deployment in a section of your business is a low-risk way of learning about the possible gains that could be achieved across your entire organisation. Consider using a managed service for the pilot deployment so your in-house staff can focus on the true costs and savings for the whole business.
Derrick Buckley in Managing Principal, Collaboration for Gen-i in Australia. For more information see his business whitepaper: Rapid achievement of employee productivity gains in a modern workforce.