unified communications – Quite a large number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) employees need to stay from their work desktop for a considerable amount of their work time. This is the finding of a research done in the latter part of 2009, reporting that about 30% of employees in SMEs are out of the workplace a small part of their time and about 17% are mobile much of their time.
This can only mean one thing for SMEs: less productivity. In about 10% of the time, a big number of their employees are out on errands and communication with them is suspended since these employees have to temporary leave their main, desktop tools for communication.
Given that research finding, it is important to persuade many SMEs to upgrade their communication facility by using the system called unified communications.
Benefits of Unified Communication and Collaboration Systems
A unified communication and collaboration system offers very important benefits that include having the ability to put together instant messaging, voice messaging and email in one communication system that is more integrated, organized and cohesive. More benefits are as follows:
- Decision-making is faster with a unified system of communications since all data needed by organizations and users are easily accessible to all points of access. Simply said, users, with this kind of system, can perform communication in and out of the workplace.
- Using a unified system of communication promotes lower costs on IT and telecommunication utilities. This system is particularly effective on lowering the money spent on cost of labor.
More Benefits of Unified System of Communications for SMEs
The benefits mentioned above are essentially needed by SMEs due to the following reasons:
- In the beginning of this discussion, it is cited that a large number of employees among SMEs are being deployed during working time. Therefore, a big part of the working time of SME workers is being spent outside where they can’t be easily reached and be informed of what’s happening in the office or of sudden changes in management decisions. Many of these decisions are crucial decisions.
- A unified communication system can easily eliminate that problem with its capacity to make everyone connected all the time.
SMEs incur higher costs for communications facilities, such as telephony and email, which can only accommodate a limited number of users at a given time. This makes using unified system of communications very attractive since everyone can use it anytime. The amount of cost savings can be tremendous over a small period of time.
- Lastly, using this more advanced type of communications system gives certain leverage so SMES can operate conveniently when dealing with bigger companies or organizations. This benefit is even achievable without adding much on the cost and without necessitating employment of an IT staff to manage and deploy the system.
Is Unified Communication and Collaboration System the Best Communication System for You?
The answer to this question lies greatly on how important real-time communications is in your company’s operations. A company that requires employees and management people to communicate only a few times a day may not need this system at all. Using it can be deemed a waste of money, especially if you have a few employees.
It is not recommended to use such a system for a company that has less than 10 employees. This kind of company can live, operate and do well in its business by just providing employees with mobile phones provided that they be responsible in communicating with other staff and employees.
On the other hand, a company that uses emailing, telephony and real-time voice communications quite extensively will find this communication system very beneficial. If your company is big and you’ve got a large number of employees who need to be connected with one another real-time, have a unified communications infrastructure in place. It will solve the many communication problems you are encountering everyday.
How to Choose a Unified Communications Provider
Choosing a provider may not be easy. One problem that you might have to contend with is determining where to begin deployment of unified system of communications? To give an example, a company may wonder whether to use an existing PBX as an initial point and just add up other capabilities like presence and email capabilities into the PBX system or start up with an email system and then add presence and voice later. So, as early as possible, decide which route you would like to go.
You might want to choose the middle route, preserve your email and PBX infrastructures for your company’s good and then have additions later as you would deem appropriate. In any case, give this matter a careful thought before picking a unified communications provider.
Some Other Things to Settle
Deciding what kind of unified communication and collaboration to have is not an easy matter. This is because of many factors that need a lot of thinking and consideration. For one, deciding which unified system of communications provider to get may turn “political” in a sense because different decision makers may have different priorities or needs. One group may prefer having the IT group to manage the system while others would like system managers to be comprised of members coming from the telecom group.
Sometimes, the decision makers have to take into consideration the money that has already been put into the PBX and email systems. For some companies, this is a big issue because they wouldn’t want to come to a point where these two systems need to be already upgraded. This issue becomes even more pronounced during times when the economy is on the downgrade. Meaning, a company has to choose carefully the provider because they have to take into account the budgetary aspects involved in getting this kind service.
The benefits of having a unified communication system cannot be underestimated. Such a system has been designed so organizations and companies can work fluidly even without the members being present all the time. If you need that kind of a system, just make sure you understand the pros and cons well and you know what exactly the kind of service that you need. From there, just be prepared with the money, get service from the right provider and expect high profitability in return to a more excellent communications facility.