42% of companies have increased their investment in cloud and unified communications.
And this trend has only grown stronger during the Covid pandemic. The virus has given unified communications a long-overdue seat at the table.
It’s not hard to understand why. As companies grow larger and employees become more remote, keeping track of all your communication channels and devices is a challenge. And unified communications, especially as a service (UCaaS), solves this problem.
Still, many companies are on the fence, with some not even familiar with this new approach. Instead of choosing the benefits of unified communications, they’re busy prioritizing other organizational needs. Big mistake!
In this post, we’ll explore the top reasons why your company should invest in unified communications. Whether you want to learn more for yourself or get buy-in from other leaders in your company, the following list is exactly what you need.
Let’s dig in.
What is Unified Communications?
Ensuring that workers can easily communicate, collaborate on projects, and share documents are critical to your business.
Yet in most organizations, voicemail, email, fax, video calls, and live chats have all been on different systems so far. And managing these disparate platforms has been time-consuming and messy.
Even if it wasn’t, the solution may not have led to any improvement in collaboration and productivity. In fact, 69% of employees waste more than 5 hours each week switching between different communications devices and apps.
Enter Unified Communications. It means connecting instant messaging, video conferencing, data sharing, email, and more in a way that you can fetch data from one into the other.
A solution based on unified communication integrates all your communication devices and apps in one central place. And when this solution is offered as a cloud-based service, it is known as UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service).
So instead of managing and switching between different places, employees need access to only one platform, streamlining communication and collaboration for everyone involved.
Benefits of Unified Communications
The definition alone should be enough to have you nodding in support of unified communications. Still, the following points will shed more light on why Unified Communications is important.
1. Watertight IT
When you look at how your company communicates, you may discover a number of solutions, with each implementation needing dedicated support and vendor management.
That means your IT department spends a lot of time troubleshooting, installing, updating, and providing support for these solutions. And every minute of time has a cost.
Wouldn’t this time be better spent on innovating proactive strategies that grow your business and meet corporate goals?
A unified communications solution helps free up IT resources by consolidating all communication in one place. So there’s only one system to manage and troubleshoot instead of several.
2. Reduced business costs
Maintaining multiple units of hardware and software licenses adds to your cost and overhead. In fact, you don’t just pay for the different platforms, but also for a person or team to supervise the whole system.
And don’t get us started on the time and budget you’ll need to allocate to train workers on how to use all the platforms. That’s a big waste of money — money that could have been used to grow the organization.
In contrast, with a unified communications solution, you pay only for a single platform. So your overall cost is considerably low.
3. Streamlined operations
Unifying communications in one place makes it easy for employees to do their jobs regardless of where they are located while saving time on routine tasks. For example, with a UCaaS solution, you can:
- Route all incoming calls to a dedicated team member, app, or device
- Redirect fax or voicemail to an email inbox as a PDF or audio file
You can set up many other automations and workflows to make remote work easy for your workers. And you can do all this without any special support from the IT department. This makes it easy to derive call center analytics on peak load, minimum load, first call resolution rates, etc. which will help with streamlining operations further
4. Improved collaboration and productivity
Wondering how? Let’s take an example. Imagine you have a team spread out in five countries, with members trying to share and collaborate on crucial documents. And picture how chaotic it can be.
Now give the team members the ability to present via a virtual call and share documents through instant messaging after the call — all from the same system.
When your team knows exactly what communication platform to use for everything, they won’t spend countless hours searching emails and other apps.
The verdict is clear. With unified communications, employees can communicate on both internal and external communication channels quickly and reliably.
When your different systems can talk to each other, collaboration is a breeze, and you get things done fast.
5. Better customer service
Consumers of today are highly impatient. They expect quick and efficient support and services. If they don't get a response to their problem or question fast, they won’t think twice about switching to one of your competitors.
In fact, 58% of customers will end their relationship with a brand that gives them mediocre customer service.
So if you want to maintain an exceptional level of customer support, two things are essential:
- Your employees should have a fast way to communicate with customers
- Your employees should find it easy to share information among themselves
But both these goals are almost impossible to achieve if you have different, standalone communication services scattered all over the place. With such an approach, you also run the risk of crucial messages slipping through the cracks.
A unified communication solution goes a long way in offering a stable and predictable experience to customers, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty to the brand.
6. Improved security
Cybercrime costs businesses $2.9 million per minute, says research by RiskIQ. And the more disparity in your communication systems, the more vulnerable your organization will be.
So another advantage of UCaaS is better security. A unified communications solution can ensure that all your calls and communications are encrypted and less susceptible to risk.
7. Simplified remote work
Communication becomes even more important when your workforce is dispersed in several locations. And a unified communications system ensures that all the workers have proper access to your company’s network.
This way, employees can answer emails, attend calls, and share files while on the move. This level of connectivity is what makes a UCaaS solution a must-have.
Final thoughts: 7 Unified Communications benefits
Over the last few years, there has been a massive shift in how companies operate and how employees get things done. For many businesses, the days of large office buildings with the majority of your employees are long gone. Instead, companies today have a diverse workforce across several locations.
This makes unified communications essential for modern businesses. From improving productivity to facilitating remote work, and from delighting customers to reducing security breaches, unified communication has the benefits that make it a necessity for today’s workplace.
Switching to a UCaaS may seem like a big investment, but it can make a big difference in your organization’s future. Even so, if your boss and other senior managers are on the fence, show them this list!