Unified Communications provided a vital lifeline for businesses during the 2020 pandemic. Thanks to UC, employees were able to connect, communicate and collaborate when physical workspaces were declared off-limits. And whilst the long term impact of the pandemic is still being assessed, one thing is already clear; without crucial UC functions such as calling, conferencing and live chat keeping businesses communicating, the economic impact would have been far more severe.
If your organisation adopted a cloud UC solution prior to the pandemic, it’s likely that you felt little impact when lockdowns were announced. If you didn’t, you’re not alone. According to Westcon, 36% of IT Managers in the US are hoping to expand their UC capabilities within the next three years. However, they face a shared hurdle; 23% of IT Managers believe that cost is delaying their UC adoption. This may come as a surprise to industry insiders, who are well aware that UC solutions save money rather than expend it- what’s needed, is a clear explanation of the ROI of Unified Communications.
How can Unified Communications save my organization money?
The main return unified communications brings to your organization is the financial boost that comes from reduced travel, lower infrastructure maintenance, VOIP calls and switching to an OPEX expenditure model.
Unified communications incorporates virtually every platform you use to communicate with teammates at work. This included calling, video conferencing, instant messaging, SMS and collaboration platforms for group projects. Combining these tools into one specialized solution not only reduces the hassle of managing multiple tools but it also brings financial benefits, as vendors typically bundle services into a single monthly plan, for a lower cost than purchasing individual tools. Making the switch also helps with financial planning and budgeting. Most providers offer annual or monthly subscriptions so you can minimise capital expenditure and opt for a much more budget-friendly OPEX model. As a result, you’ll be able to more accurately predict cash flow, manage budgets and make considered choices when it comes to investments.
Cost benefits can also be realised from switching to VoIP calling, the method of digital calling utilised by the majority of UC systems. VoIP minutes cost significantly less than traditional ISDN plans whilst internal calls (even between remote sites) are usually free. You’ll no longer pay to call international offices or employees working remotely. Add up all those internal minutes and you’re sure to have a hefty saving!
UC makes remote working easier, but what’s the financial impact?
Unified Communications makes remote working easier, by removing the barriers that would otherwise arise from having employees geographically separated. Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk about UC enabling the ‘end of the office,’ but less has been discussed about the financial benefits this could have for businesses and their employees.
If remote working continues to increase in popularity and workers have tools in place that enable them to maintain (or even exceed) pre-COVID productivity levels, office populations may substantially decline. In light of this, businesses could scale back workspaces, saving on rent, bills, insurance and general office costs in the process. Other cost-saving benefits of remote working include:
- Reduced Absenteeism: Remote working has been proven to reduce absenteeism by up to 41%
- Larger Talent Pool: By hiring remote workers you free yourself of geographic constraints. Find high performing, affordable, highly productive talent in any location.
- Eliminate Meeting Culture: Stuck in meetings all day without a real purpose? Remote UC solutions can help by providing instant availability and enabling asynchronous working.
How does unified communications increase productivity?
If teams communicate and collaborate better, then employees are likely to be more engaged and meetings will have better outcomes. It’s UC tools that make this all possible.
By choosing a communications system like 3CX, you’ll benefit from HD, browser-based video conferencing that can be synced with business applications such as Office 365 for seamless, virtual meetings and calendar management. With no passcodes, pins or log in details required, you’ll reduce organisation time and be able to get down to business quickly, maximising your conversations. UC platforms also take the guesswork and time out of seeing if a colleague is available. Rather than a phone number, individuals are added to the company directory by name, extension number and role. Users just need to login to their Web Client to see if somebody is at their computer or send a quick message.
The more streamlined and simple your internal and external communications are, the easier your life will be and the more productive you will be. If you want to calculate the quantifiable ROI of your productivity gains, try to work out how many minutes you would save by making the above processes smoother, what that equates to in working hours and consequently, what that would cost in average wages.