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How Can SMBs Succeed in UC?

Posted In Business - By Techtiplib on Friday, October 24th, 2014 With No Comments »

Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs) are frequently slow when it comes to adopting new technology. They cannot afford to take much risk with their limited resources, and so, generally speaking, they would rather have a proven way of doing things. Even so, the multitude of technological changes in the workplace can present both opportunities and challenges for SMBs. The many devices and channels of communication that most of us use daily have a tendency to make it more difficult to communicate easily. In order to meet these challenges, many companies are turning to Unified Communications (UC) so as to enable workers’ effectiveness both inside and outside the office. This is done by connecting to applications, devices, and other communication systems they use. This has the effect of making communications easier, richer, and more intuitive. Adopting UC has five prime benefits: Easier contact management, Remote Access, Access to Experts, Collaboration, and Mobility.

Unified Communications

Contact Management

Unified Communications enables easier management of your contacts across all of the devices you use, by removing duplicates, consolidating data, and so on. Strictly speaking, it is going to have an indirect impact on your bottom line productivity. UC contact management gives your employees a list of contacts, along with presence information associated with those contacts. This presence information is the status of the contact — whether they are out of the office, on the phone, busy, not available, or ready for a web chat. Your employees will therefore be able to quickly get the information they need about their co-workers based on their availability and presence information. They can then start a collaborative session by selecting a person’s name and choosing the communications channel they want to use — phone call, video call, IM, and so on.

Remote Access

Remote Access is the ability to speak with teams or individuals that may not be in the same office as you are. Speaking to the bottom line productivity, it is going to have both an indirect and a direct benefit. Since UC knits remote offices together seamlessly as if there were no geographic borders, it offers an enterprise many benefits, not the least of which is reduced communication time between those offices. Lessened communication time between offices means reduced lag time for the consumer. It also means generally shortened project cycle times, for the same reason — closely knit offices. And ultimately it additionally means improved customer service and increased sales.

Access to Experts and Resources

Another benefit both direct and indirect, UC provides better access to both experts and resources. Enabling your employee’s easier access to needed electronic resources, such as wikis, or other expert resources, such as high-level engineers or programmers will have positive effects on your enterprise. One of the main reasons this will happen is because it will allow a faster product development cycle, and thus a faster time to market. The indirect value is that of increased sales, improved employee satisfaction and improved customer service; you might even see some increase in sales.

Collaboration

UC also provides strong benefits in the area of collaboration, both directly and indirectly. It will allow disparate employees to work closer together than ever before; it will reduce travel costs for your company by enabling teleconferencing, improving employee rapport at the same time. It can also permit improved management of the workforce, depending on how it’s implemented. Like the previous benefit applications, enhanced collaboration also assists with faster time to market, a reduced sales cycle, shortened project cycle time, and faster product development cycle.

Mobility

Mobility, or the ability of people to work wherever they choose, has been proven to markedly increase employee satisfaction. It is also a critical factor in the ability to attract and subsequently retain top-quality talent. Those benefits are direct; indirect benefits will be increased sales, better crisis avoidance and improved customer service.

Interestingly, many SMBs have already been using many elements of UC without knowing it already. So it will be easy for them to take advantage of the many new services and products that are aimed at the SMB market and upgrade their business communications.

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