Online collaboration tools have been a lifeline for employees working remotely. Voice and video conferencing, instant messaging, chat and other tools enable workers to stay connected, share information, make decisions and serve customers.
But the rapid transition to remote work caused many organizations to implement collaboration tools in an ad hoc manner. The result is a patchwork collaboration environment that saps productivity and frustrates users.
One study found that workers use an average of four different collaboration applications, with many using six or more. Often, the collaboration tools used will vary from department to department within an organization.
According to the 2020 State of Business Communications Report, 60 percent of professionals face some sort of crisis each month due to poor communications. Communication issues caused 83 percent of organizations to lose a customer, miss a major deadline or terminate an employee.
Unified communications (UC) platforms can help resolve these problems by providing one consistent interface for all collaboration tools. As the name suggests, UC integrates multiple communication channels — including voice, video, presence, messaging and conferencing — so that users can access them easily and switch between them as needed.
Let’s look at some of the UC benefits quantified by Nemertes Research:
Increased productivity. By eliminating the need to coordinate links and access codes for multiple tools, UC saves a significant amount of time each day. More than one-third (39.2 percent) of organizations that use integrated collaboration apps have measured an average of 24 percent gains in productivity.
Fewer, shorter meetings. UC platforms reduce the need for meetings by an average of 30 percent, according to 23.8 percent of organizations. Additionally, 26.1 percent of organizations saw the time required for meetings reduced by an average of 27 percent.
Reduced overhead. Almost half (44 percent) of organizations say that using a single UC platform reduces operational costs. About one-third (34.3 percent) have reduced IT costs by an average of $161,000 annually by eliminating redundant services and moving to the cloud.
Increased revenue. Improving sales team collaboration increased revenue in 23.2 percent of organizations by an average of $368,000. Improved closing rates and Accelerated product development and delivery boosted revenue in 20.7 percent of organizations by an average of $268,000.
Enhanced customer experience. Studies show that customers want to use their preferred communication channels when interacting with businesses. Forty percent of organizations that integrate UC with contact center platforms saw improved customer ratings.
Greater employee satisfaction. More than one-third (36 percent) of organizations said UC improved employee ratings of collaboration tools, and 33 percent said collaboration app utilization increased.
There are additional benefits that are more difficult to quantify. For example, UC requires less end-user training, and IT has just one platform to support. Organizations can easily add new capabilities without having to integrate tools from multiple providers. Combining UC with contact center solutions from the same provider provides additional cost savings, revenue gains and customer satisfaction benefits.
To reap these benefits, you need a coherent collaboration strategy and a UC platform that delivers the capabilities and performance to support your remote workers and operational processes. It helps to have a knowledgeable partner that can help you develop a strategic plan and guide you through the evaluation, design and implementation.
Verteks has decades of experience delivering UC solutions to precisely meet the needs of our diverse clients. If you’d like to unite your collaboration tools in a single platform, we invite you to give us a call to discuss the various options.