As the working model changes and businesses begin to employ more remote workers, Unified Communications (UC) is gaining more importance. The ability to consolidate communications, productivity tools and other applications offers significant benefits to your organisation’s overall efficiency.
You’ve probably already heard about how UC can reduce IT costs, improve scalability and increase your customer satisfaction – but your business stands to gain even more than that. In our Beginners’ Guide to Unified Communication, we’ve listed the headline benefits of implementing UC in your business. In this article, we’ll discuss the lesser-known but equally valuable advantages of unified communications.
1. Increased operational agility
Digital transformation has become a buzzword in recent years as businesses try to make more informed, accurate and data-driven strategic decisions. Digitisation, however, requires a careful blend of people, processes and technology to deliver huge competitive advantages that propel your business growth.
Naturally, communications are an important aspect of digital transformation. You need information and data to flow across the company quickly to make timely, insight-based decisions possible. This is where UC comes in.
UC gives your employees a common platform to work with, ensuring that everyone has access to the latest data anytime they need it. This operational agility level directly impacts your employees’ productivity, regardless of where they’re working from.
Unified communications also create additional value by providing you analytics with an insight into operations and processes. With the ability to see how processes are being applied, you also identify new efficiencies and savings opportunities.
2. Reduction of secondary costs
One of Unified Communications’ benefits as a Service (UCaaS) is the amount of hardware and software it can replace. You don’t have to purchase and maintain expensive hardware to implement a UC system.
On top of capital savings, implementing UC also gives you human capital savings. You don’t have to train your employees on operating different hardware systems or employing skilled IT specialists to maintain on-premise facilities.
You should also see a corresponding reduction in call charges as your employees get up to speed with the new tools. UC also brings all your communications channels together in one place, allowing conversations to flow seamlessly across platforms. When collaborating with remote workers, instant messaging is often preferable to calling their mobile, reducing your call charges.
When you combine lower call charges with a well-equipped remote workforce, you gain even more cost savings. A Harvard study found that employees who work from home complete 13.5 per cent more calls than office-based staff. This level of efficiency saves you approximately £1320 per employee over nine months.
Hosted unified communications significantly cut your travel expenses as well. Built-in video conferencing functionality means that your remote workers can join a meeting without ever leaving their home office. They can even participate when ‘in the field’. UC has features that enable your employees to join meetings regardless of their location, which reduces your travel bills without compromising the discussion’s quality.
3. Business continuity
Business continuity is another significant benefit of unified communications. When the coronavirus first struck the UK, many businesses were unprepared to transition to remote work arrangements. As a result, their productivity struggled for several months as they adapted to the workplace’s radical change.
The drastic repercussions of COVID-19 shone a spotlight on the importance of business continuity. Learning from their mistakes pre-pandemic, many businesses are now looking into establishing safeguards in case of crises.
One of the cornerstones of an effective business continuity plan is seamless communication, which you can get by implementing UC. Unified communications keep your employees connected, regardless of their locations.
With a UC system, employees don’t have to come to the office to retrieve important data or use their work laptops to connect to your databases. They can use their personal devices to access your cloud-based storage, so they can stay productive even when working remotely.
4. Bigger talent pool
Lastly, unified communications allow you to tap a wider talent pool. Many job applicants prefer to work close to home to make their daily commutes easier and faster. This preference limits your talent pool since it’s challenging to drive interest among applications in farther locations.
Unified communications bridges this gap for you. With the remote communications and collaboration capabilities UC provides, you can offer work-from-home positions to workers who live far from your operations base. Your UC system gives you the tools and resources you need to onboard, train and manage your new hires remotely.
Tapping into a wider talent pool increases your chances of finding the best fit for your company. By eliminating proximity from the employment criteria, you can focus on more critical aspects, such as the applicants’ skill level, experience and personality; when you hire talent that assimilates well into your company culture, their likelihood of becoming loyal to your organisation increases.
The benefits of unified communications technology in the workplace are far-ranging, touching on various business aspects. This means even small and medium businesses across industries can reap valuable rewards from implementing UC. When headline and secondary savings are combined, you can recoup thousands in savings, which you can spend on other strategic projects to help your business grow.