Today’s knowledge workers have their hands full when it comes to unlocking the value of unstructured (90 percent of all digital content) and structured data; so full, in fact, that it’s reducing their productivity.
Technologies such as unified search and analytics are helping conquer big data, but only for those innovative organizations that have adopted end-to-end, cloud-based unified communications (UC) solutions. Where does that leave today’s small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), which have been slower to understand and embrace UC?
It leaves them on the cusp of deploying new technologies that will help them become more agile and successful. The smaller budgets of SMBs require them to do more with less, but that is exactly why they ought to invest in UC solutions that generate competitive advantage through greater employee productivity, reduced costs, and improved customer engagement.
For SMBs, enabling UC capabilities is a simple upgrade from the cloud solutions many of them already use for things like email, storage, and anti-virus protection. The next step on the way to enhancing business processes should be to implement a UC solution with reporting and analytics so that you can track communication functions (e.g., voice, fax, and chat) from a single management interface. Find one that allows you to integrate your other mission-critical third-party applications (e.g., CRM and Salesforce).
Still struggling to understand what UC can do for your small business? It integrates the software that supports both synchronous (e.g., IP telephony and instant messaging) and asynchronous (e.g., email and Twitter) communication so the end user has easy access to all these tools from whatever computing device is being used.
UC is a strategic choice, offering the following benefits:
- Concurrent application usage: Create multichannel sessions to ease employee collaboration
- Consistent user experience: Employees can work how they prefer regardless of the endpoint, operating system, or network used to access the platform
- Real-time status of co-workers using presence technology: Save time locating a team member and speeding collaboration
- Work access from any broadband-enabled location: A key driver for personal productivity today
- Collaboration in real time among disparate employees using video conferencing: Reduce travel costs
- Persistent availability: Support ad hoc meetings
- Business agility: The impact of more productive employees
- Enhanced IT monitoring of network usage: Bandwidth management and data security
Don’t let your competitors leave you in the dust. According to IDG, UC will see a surge of adoption in the next three years. Fifty-six percent of enterprises and 66 percent of SMBs plan to implement or upgrade UC solutions within the next year.