Much has been written about how Unified Communications solutions can save businesses money by reducing direct costs. Investors in UC solutions need less hardware, which reduces capital expenditure and, as UC typically has a predictable per-seat cost structure, operational expenditure is also reduced. But there are also substantial indirect savings to be had; buyers may well be aware that they will benefit but find it harder to quantify the potential savings, which means they are less able to include them in the business case for investment.
Three of these indirect routes to cost savings are as follows:
Increased productivity: Unified communications makes it easier for staff to communicate with each other, and with third parties such as customers and suppliers. This means their staff are more effective and efficient so get more done with less. As we said in our blog on things you may not know about UC, unexpected UC blog, in a 2015 study, 67 percent of companies that had implemented UC had realised productivity gains. But how big are the gains a company can expect? One example comes from an experiment conducted by BT back in 2012 to use their own employees as a test case for flexible working enabled by communications technology; this research showed that flexible employees are 20 percent more productive than their office-based counterparts.
Improved customer service: Unified communications can help businesses to deliver better customer service in a number of ways – to name just a few: call centre staff can use presence information to direct calls more effectively to the right person to deal with the issue, staff can use video communications with customers to get a better understanding of issues, and UC enables businesses to employ remote call centre staff, and to scale up easily at times of increased demand. This matters because companies that excel at customer service have been shown to grow their revenues between four and eight percent above the rest of the market. Conversely, bad customer service costs UK companies £37 billion a year.
Improved employee satisfaction and engagement: People today demand good work-life balance, and expect to be supported in doing their jobs by technology that is up to date and fit for purpose. Unified communications technology fits the collaborative and mobile way people want to work: flexibly, with less commuting, working in their own homes or from other locations, and using their own devices. The same BT experiment quoted above showed that flexible working reduced absenteeism by 63 percent, and using conferencing removed need for 1.5M return journeys, saving BT people the equivalent of 1,800 years of commuting time. At the same time, BT’s post maternity leave retention rate was 99 percent vs. a UK average of 47 percent, which saved the company €7.4M per year. However, most companies are not great at engaging their employees: research shows that 85 percent of employees worldwide, are unengaged at work, which results in an estimated $7 trillion cost to their employers.
For more information on how Unified communications can save businesses money Contact us today on 01635 552000