Quantifying Unified Communications

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Quantifying Unified Communications

A few months ago I mentioned a study by Microsoft that identified travel savings as the greatest benefit for evolving to Unified Communications. While I agreed with the most of the study, it was done from the view point of an enterprise, Microsoft. Since the majority of businesses and our customers are SMBs, establishing a cost benefit more applicable to them is very important. During the Broadvox 2011 Partner Summit I pointed out that collaboration, an oft stated benefit of UC, has little appeal to SMBs. Certainly, some SMBs have an interest in collaboration tools, particularly those that are geographically dispersed. However, it is not the concern of a majority. That was why I found the productivity summary offered by Digium to be particularly pertinent.

In the Digium IP Communications Buyer’s Guide five points are used to identify an average of 1.5 hours of time savings enjoyed by each employee using UC applications and tools. The five points are as follows:

  • Find-Me, Follow-Me saves up to 30 minutes a day
  • Unified Messaging saves more than 40 minutes a day by providing improved access to email, voicemail and fax.
  • IVRs reduce hold times saving 5-15 minutes per day.
  • Accessing office communications from a mobile device saves a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
  • Additional time-saving features include Presence, Built-in Chat, Business or Web Application Integration, Click-to-Dial, and Visual Voicemail.  

These productivity improvements are very consistent with my opinion of why SMBs should implement UC infrastructures. It is about accessibility and to be cliché, Anyway, Anywhere, Anytime.

Now the reality is that a business is unlikely to gain 390 hours or 48.75 days of productivity per employee because they have implemented UC. I am sure employees will find ways to use some of those gains in other non-productive activity. However, consider if your business only saw a 50% improvement or 200 hours of increased productivity per employee then the result is a savings of $4900 per year. That’s a lot of money depending upon the size of your business.

Transitioning to UC delivers a host of new applications, features and capabilities but improving the bottom line is the greatest reason to make the change.

 

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