The Changing Landscape of Collaboration

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

The Changing Landscape of Collaboration

Several years ago, it was quite common to argue that collaboration tools were of greater importance to mid-size and large businesses versus small businesses. After all, if a small business wanted to collaborate, then they could just walk across the office, stand up and speak across the cubicle wall or meet in the conference room. While collaboration seemed unnecessary for small businesses then, it is clear that is no longer the case. The average small business with 99 or fewer employees has three office locations, and the number of remote workers is growing. A Forrester study estimates occasional remote workers in the US will swell to 63 million in 2016. This will represent 43 percent of the total workforce. The study also showed 31 percent of the SMB staff works remotely some of the time, exceeding the number of similar remote workers for enterprise employees at 21 percent. Therefore, collaboration tools such as audio, web and video conferencing are gaining in popularity as they become necessary tools to support effective communications between disparate groups and workers.

Implementing a Hosted Unified Communications solution makes collaboration tools available. The next most important step is getting the company to put them to use. According to Chadwick Martin Bailey in a study commissioned by Cisco, 68 percent of businesses reported productivity improvements between geographically dispersed functional groups through the use of collaboration tools. And while chat (or instant messaging) is often thought of as a good collaboration tool, it is too often a one-to-one communication vehicle. In the same study, is was discovered that 50 percent of businesses saved up to 20 minutes per employee daily by escalating IM chats into Web conferences.

22

Employees

 $        46,904.00

per year savings

100

Employees

 $      213,200.00

per year savings

 

Moreover, 46 percent of businesses using collaboration widely also experienced travel savings of more than five days per employee annually. Using data from the GSA, hotel industry and travel studies, I have estimated the annualized savings as follows:

22

Employees

 $        32,450.00

per year savings

100

Employees

 $      147,500.00

per year savings

 

Collaboration has always been known to improve a team’s effectiveness when working on projects; however, over 75 percent of businesses gained productivity improvement through the use of voice and video conferencing. If it can be demonstrated to a business that tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars can be saved by implementing and using Hosted UC collaboration tools, shouldn’t that shorten the sales cycle? Shouldn’t that improve the value of your product and lessen the need to discount your pricing?

Selling hosted UC isn’t simple. But done properly, it should be easy.



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