All businesses need a reliable communications system to connect with colleagues, customers and partners — particularly with today’s increasingly distributed and mobile workforces. That’s why unified communications solutions that enhance connections across multiple channels have become a business necessity.
Too often, however, organizations aren’t investing in the upgrades necessary to maintain the efficiency of their UC solutions. As the UC market has matured over the past decade, vendors have continually added new capabilities and new features that offer more flexibility, improved interoperability, enhanced collaboration and easier management.
Increased mobile connectivity and deeper integration with desktop applications are among the more valuable enhancements to UC solutions. More recent UC architectures are designed to support hybrid deployments across on-premises and cloud environments. For instance, an organization might choose to keep its telephony architecture onsite while having the ability to use various cloud-based communication and collaboration applications on an as-needed basis.
If you have a business communication system you’ve relied upon for years, it is important to stay abreast of the latest features and upgrades. Failure to invest in modernization can have a variety of negative consequences. A 2019 Mitel study found that businesses lose an average of $11,000 per employee per year due to ineffective or inadequate communication. In addition, the study found that communication barriers create friction between employees and/or departments and have a negative impact on customer experiences.
An inadequate business communications system introduces unnecessary risk and inefficiency. Here are four potential pitfalls of operating with an outdated solution:
Limited Functionality. Businesses must support the communication requirements of remote and mobile users, but older UC systems may lack effective mobile integration. Users often find it easier to use the native apps on their mobile devices, which leaves them operating with two distinct communication solutions — one for the office and another for the rest of the time. You’re at a competitive disadvantage if your employees can’t use features like videoconferencing, file sharing and screen sharing from mobile devices.
Maintenance Challenges. There’s no escaping the fact that hardware of any type gets more difficult to maintain and repair over time. Manufacturers typically only support servers, routers, gateways, phones and other hardware and peripherals for about 10 years. Finding replacement parts after that can be difficult and expensive. Any delays in necessary repairs will likely result in downtime, increased costs and lost revenues.
Lost Productivity. According to the Mitel study, business professionals say they spend about half of the average workday communicating and collaborating — but a good deal of that time is wasted on tasks such as coordinating communication between team members, searching for information and resolving technical issues related to dropped connections, poor audio and video quality and other issues. About 80 percent of respondents to the Mitel survey said they believe productivity would increase with improved communication tools.
Customer Alienation. Effective communication is essential for good customer relationships. Customers want the ability to contact companies through a variety of communication channels, and they don’t mind cutting ties with companies that can’t provide that choice. According to a recent survey by CITE Research, consumers abandon four brands per year due to poor customer service communications.
Keeping pace with UC innovations doesn’t have to be a challenge, particularly for customers on a Mitel platform. Mitel’s comprehensive Software Assurance program creates an ongoing tune-up process that ensures product enhancements, patches and upgrades are properly integrated in a timely manner. As a certified installation and support partner for Mitel Unified Communications, Verteks can advise you on how to best use the assurance program to protect your UC investments.