Can UC Save You Real Dollars?

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Can UC Save You Real Dollars?

We hear a lot about Unified Communications today. UC this and UC that. Even Cloud Telephony and UCaaS. It's kind of crazy.

The main buzz is around the savings from UC. If you have a distributed workforce, then Unifying on a Communications platform with a collaboration module can improve productivity.  "IT leaders argue the technology can help businesses increase productivity, cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint," according to a NetworldWorld article.

The productivity gains only come if the technology is easy to use, reliable, and intuitive. By intuitive, I mean, that unlike some CRM and telco software platforms, the software was created with the user in mind and doesn't require a lot of thinking on how to do something. It needs to be like WYSIWYG. "Getting people to change the way they work required his team to pay special attention to training," states Mike Close, CTO of Danone, from the same NW article. Danone rolled out a UC system globally.

Anything done by committee means it will be drawn out and frustrating. The current collaboration software I have seen are really just document sharing applications and some white boarding online.  Users need something like Bud Light's Drinkability and Drawing.  Maybe a desktop sharing app or white board where everyone can "take control".  But I digress.

UC's benefits come from a geographically dispersed workforce or a virtual office setting. It's similar with VoIP. If you are making a lot of in-state calls to other branches, the cost savings from VoIP diminish. When people are working on the same project but aren't in the same building or city, making progress is tricking because audio conference calls, IM/chat and email are one-dimensional. Video conferencing, webinars, document sharing, white boarding - all can lead to productive gains.  It isn't a monetary gain per se, but what company doesn't want to be more productive? Plus when you are getting stuff done, employees are more satisfied. No one likes being stuck on the perverbial treadmill.

The carbon footprint is a big issue today. All about Being Green. With video conferencing, especially tele-presence and UC, travel will shrink some. This has a tangible benefit in budget savings but don't discount the carbon footprint shrinkage. 

It looks like a lot of the UC hype is based on Productivity gains and time savings, not so much real actual dollars. Aspect rolled out Microsoft OCS globally and is seeing over $1M in real savings. (Read the story here). So there are real dollar benefits to UC if it is rolled out correctly with proper training.

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