By Lauren Fritsky
Unified communications requires acquiring new infrastructure, reconfiguring telephony and other systems and determining whether certain technologies will work together. The cost, time and resources needed for this type of project can easily dissuade organisations from investing in it. However, considerable value lies in the cost and productivity savings to be gained from a properly executed unified communications project – it’s up to IT to demonstrate these ends to the rest of the business.
1. Highlight productivity cost savings
Ineffective communications can be a major drag on productivity, which, in turn, is a major drag on your budget. Poor communications robs businesses of roughly $13,000 in productivity each year, according to a recent article in Forbes. More narrowly, a Microsoft study points out that implementing a VoIP system as part of an organisation’s unified communications solution results in a productivity increase of $500 per employee per year. One company that installed integrated presence says IT staff saved about 30 minutes a day by avoiding trying to reach people by phone and instead being alerted when someone was available via the presence portion of the unified communications solution. Armed with these types of figures, IT can better demonstrate to other leaders in the business that unified communications is a worthwhile investment.
2. Focus on simplicity
Attempt to explain a complex unified communications deployment and you might see a lot of eyes glazing over. Don’t focus on the challenging aspects of reconfiguring and integrating systems, pilot testing and introducing users to a new technology platform – emphasize how the solution targets complexity within the organisation. The Aberdeen Group found in a recent study that organisations focused on reducing complexity – or making overall operations related to communications easier – in their unified communications deployments saved as much as $3 billion. Key questions for organisations to ask before they leap into this type of project include how easy it is to deploy, use and manage the solution. Choosing a provider that can procure the technology for your unified communications solution, custom design the implementation, integrate with your legacy systems and offer post-support can help cut down on deployment setbacks and IT resources. This type of complete project lifecycle management will help ensure your unified communications solutionaligns with your business strategy and aim to ease communication and collaboration between employees.
How did you demonstrate the value of a unified communications implementation to your organisation?