Unified communication is the convergence of multiple communications technologies into a single solution. It enables companies to cut costs by consolidating separate applications into one efficient platform for text, voice and video communications, accessible from anywhere via any device.
Unified Communications and collaboration technologies include e-mail, texting, instant messaging, group chat, voice and video calls, events, to-do reminders, calendars, tasks, etc. Unified communication is a significant area of opportunity in this pandemic situation since it can support remote and hybrid work and facilitate immediate cost reductions.
At a more advanced level, unified communications strategy can help companies reduce work duplication in their internal and external communications and improve process efficiency. Unified communications strategy, for example, can save huge money on toll costs, cell phone charges, conferencing service fees, travel costs, and meeting expenses for companies. Also, it is often possible to achieve significant savings by consolidating multiple older communication applications into single, integrated unified communications.
The points discussed below will not only help companies to save money but also have the potential to positively impact how the business operates.
Companies spending on external audio, video or web conferencing services can rapidly cut those costs by moving to a unified communication tool with a built-in conferencing system.
Mobile phone bills often range around $100 per active user per month and can be more significant for international calls. A unified communication tool will help you to significantly reduce toll or calling card charges billed by mobile phone carriers.
Unified communication solutions will enable staff to work remotely, at least part of the time, helping companies save on facilities costs, lease payments and operational costs such as light, heat, power, security and other expenses. With more and more companies adopting hybrid work along with new concepts like “hot desks”, there is more scope for space-saving in the longer term. It may be possible to sublet the space, terminate leases or sell company-owned facilities.
Unified communication solutions help consolidate communication applications such as telephony, voice mail, instant messaging and audio/video/web conferencing, which is a huge savings opportunity. In the absence of unified communication solutions, companies will have to spend on PBX, often accompanied by a set of related systems such as voice mail, interactive voice response, call accounting, administration consoles etc.
A unified communication solution helps to improve staff efficiency by eliminating the communication barriers in the everyday working environment. Your team members can save valuable time by communicating with their colleagues who are working from different locations through phone calls and messages. Anywhere access keeps users productive, saving time and travel.
A unified communication solution helps companies provide the same customer service level with lesser staff and cost.
Since most of the unified communication solution supports both synchronous and asynchronous communication, team members can quickly accomplish tasks that otherwise would have waited for an e-mail response, a voice message to be accessed, or a specific person to return to the office.
A unified communication solution results in shorter project timelines, sales cycles, and better customer support with fewer resources. All these bring more sales and revenue for the company.
The costs associated with downtime or information leakage caused by security breaches are well known for companies. When companies use multiple applications for their day-to-day activities, the complexity of securing their communication environment against external threats drives up IT costs.
When you use on-premises tools, there are more chances of your work getting disrupted due to natural calamities, hardware issues, power failures, extreme weather etc. Your global team members could face unscheduled outages or prolonged business disruption due to downtime in such unexpected situations.
But when companies use unified communication solutions, they can reduce these risk management costs since many of the unified communication tools are securely hosted on external cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services, which provide total security, reliability and a 100% uptime guarantee for your workday data.
When it comes to regulation or corporate policy, many companies are forced to spend a lot of time and money adhering to their local government’s governance and compliance requirements. But when companies use unified communication tools, it becomes the responsibility of the solution provider to meet these regulatory requirements freeing up the company resources for more productive work.
On-premise applications require investment in hardware like PBX, phones for every desk, on-site storage space, costly servers and specialized IT staff to maintain them.
With unified communications, there is no upfront investment. They are compatible with your existing desktops or smartphones, and there’s no need to buy new systems or applications.
The on-premise application requires regular support and maintenance over time. With unified communications, you can free up your IT staff’s time who can focus on more important things. Having your resources work on billable projects will bring in more revenue.
If your communications tools are not in a position to support your global teams, precious people hours are wasted. Unified communications help global teams to get their job done efficiently.
When your teammates from various locations can send messages, make audio calls, and work on any device, they can get more work done from any site resulting in higher productivity.
A unified communication solution allows employees to work from anywhere, giving them greater choice and flexibility. Unified communications come with a high degree of mobility.
With a unified communication solution, employees don’t have to go through the frustrations of using multiple apps or searching for the right information in multiple places. Effortless and flexible communications result in happier employees and better employee retention. Companies can save a lot of money on the cost of training new employees caused by employee turnover.
When you have an on-premise application, you will have to deal with a fixed budget and capacity. Companies will not be able to adjust the need based on the demand and they will have to provision for full user load, regardless of their actual need. With an on-premise application, you will not be able to handle the rise in the number of remote or hybrid workforce suddenly.
Unified communications, on the other hand, are flexible and scalable. You need not pay for everything in advance, and you can scale up or down based on demand. Better still, you can handle the sudden rise in the remote or hybrid workforce without worrying about the rising IT infrastructure cost.
When companies consolidate their hardware and software using unified communication solutions, they can expect savings in administration and maintenance time, license fees, service contract fees, vendor management expenses etc.
All the points discussed above offer compelling saving opportunities for companies. The final savings will vary from company to company depending upon the respective company’s actions and decisions.
But in most cases, companies can expect significant cost savings within a few months of reducing travel, teleconferencing costs, telephone & mobile phone bills and software licensing costs. Though optimizing the hardware and software is a humongous task for companies, the resulting savings and benefits are significant and last longer.