[ANSWERED] Why Unified Communications is So Important in 2021 and Beyond
Is your company equipped to handle the workforce of today and tomorrow? According to Upwork’s “Future Workforce Pulse Report” which surveyed over 1,000 hiring managers, it’s expected that 26.7 percent of the American workforce will work remotely in 2021.
Furthermore, the report predicts that the number of remote workers will double by 2025. Remote work benefits like reducing non-essential meetings, increased schedule flexibility, and no commute will be sought-after perks.
What does this mean? First, businesses won’t be stuck with the job seekers and talent within a certain drive time of their office. Second, the best talent will be hired regardless of where they live. And third, offering remote work as a job perk will be a competitive advantage.
This is why it’s crucial that companies are not limited by their IT and communications infrastructure. It’s why a solution like unified communications is so important for businesses.
But it’s not the only reason why unified communications is vital. Read on to understand the importance of unified communications in our digital-first business world that prizes speed, efficiency, and effectiveness.
5 Reasons Why Unified Communications is So Important for Modern Businesses
The answer isn’t complicated. It comes down to three criteria: cost, speed, and quality.
Companies that manage their IT and communications on-site fall victim to “the old way” when you look at it through the lens of these three criteria.
They have to hire and train staff, buy expensive hardware, cobble together a patchwork of standalone platforms that don’t work well together, and spend time getting new services and software up and running across the organization as needs change. There are numerous one-time and ongoing costs, slow ramp-up times for new services, and quality limited by the expertise and knowledge of the staff.
Unified communications is designed to answer the cost, speed, and quality problems of legacy IT and communications infrastructure.
- Costs are contained as solutions are customized to the needs of your organization.
- The cloud-based nature of unified communications makes it faster and easier to onboard new employees or roll out new capabilities.
- Your internal team collaborates with unified communications professionals to deliver a high-quality experience to your employees and customers.
This has been the case since the inception of unified communications, but here’s why unified communication is so important in 2021 and beyond.
1. Deliver a First-Class Experience to Customers and Prospects
Consumers have the power. There are so many options available for nearly any need they have. If they encounter obstacles or have a poor experience with one company, they can easily inquire elsewhere for their needs. This puts a premium on delivering a first-class customer experience.
Unified communications helps your organization stay agile and respond quickly however customers and potential customers contact you. UC opens up numerous channels and options for frontline interactions so you can always put your best foot forward.
A couple of examples:
- A receptionist at a law firm must interact with those who come to the front door and route incoming calls to available attorneys. With a UC solution implemented, the receptionist can welcome visitors at the front door through voice and video connected to a camera. They can also see the status of attorneys in the office and transfer calls quickly and easily to those available to help those who call in.
- Property management companies have employees in offices and moving around their service area. But they all need to communicate in sync like they’re in the office. UC helps property managers manage and route incoming calls based on the question or conference in maintenance personnel to talk through a tenant’s specific problem.
Unified communications plays a crucial role on the frontlines of your company’s battle to win customers and in customer retention efforts.
2. Can Meet Your Needs Now and as You Grow
A huge strength of unified communications is its scalability. UC solutions can help you take the step up you need right now without limiting the potential for growth in the future.
Once again, the cloud-based nature of unified communications solutions is what makes this possible. From scaling up teams during busy times of the year to adding new services, unified communications providers generally offer flexible packages and piecemeal options to get exactly what you need without large investments in additional hardware.
You’ll notice I said “generally” because not every UC provider is as flexible as we are. You’ll most likely see this with large telecom companies offering rigid packages that aren’t tailored to your needs. This should be an immediate red flag.
Read related: [GUIDE] How to Evaluate UCaaS Providers (and Avoid Bad Ones)
3. Expands Hiring Opportunities Outside of Your Local Area
Traditionally, your employee base was made up of those in your geographic area who could commute to and from your office. However, as I mentioned at the start of this blog post, remote and hybrid work are now ingrained as popular work options rather than being the exception.
This can be a huge benefit to businesses, but only if they can solve the communication and collaboration problem for remote workers. Once again, unified communication’s foundation as a cloud-based technology is the difference maker.
Remote employees can easily be added to the communications platforms your company uses. Instead of purchasing and shipping expensive hardware, remote employees can use their existing computers and mobile devices in most cases.
Using unified communications expands your hiring footprint exponentially.
4. Save Space, Money, and Your Reputation
Yes, there are one-time and ongoing costs to upgrading to a unified communications platform. But let's look at the question of cost a bit deeper just to do our due diligence.
As we noted before, legacy on-site setups have their fair share of one-time and ongoing expenses:
- Hiring, training, and paying staff (that’s salary, health care, dental care, 401(k), etc.).
- Purchasing hardware like computers, phones, servers, and more on a one-time or recurring basis.
- Licenses and costs for all the different programs, devices, and tools employees need for communication, collaboration, and job-related tasks.
There’s also the time it takes for employees to switch across platforms and tools that hampers productivity and the time cost for IT staff to try and get disparate systems to play nice and integrate with each other.
And don’t forget about the customer experience being offered with all these separate systems in place. It goes back to our first point about delivering a first-class customer experience. If your response to inquiries is slow, disjointed, and incomplete because of your communications infrastructure, you could lose current customers or miss out on future business.
Unified communications doesn’t require all of the expensive on-site hardware. In most cases, the software connects to devices already in use. You’re also working together with UC professionals, so you don’t have to continuously find and hire new IT staff as your company grows. And finally, unified communications increases the speed of information sharing, and therefore the quality of your customer experience.
5. Free Up IT Resources to Focus on Larger Initiatives
Is your IT team bogged down with helpdesk tickets, managing hardware issues, or working on integrations between separate systems? Do they have time to devote to larger initiatives in your company?
With unified communications, your IT staff manages your communications and technology issues with your UC provider. It’s like adding outsourced members of your team. The upshot is that you can leverage your UC provider’s expertise, giving your IT team more time to dive into other vital projects, processes, and systems.
Set Your Company Up for Future Success with Unified Communications
Unified communications meets the needs of modern business. From enabling remote work to helping employees collaborate efficiently and delivering win-worthy experiences for customers and prospects, unified communications is a near-necessity in 2021 and beyond.
Switching to unified communications is not a small investment, but it makes all the difference for your company's future. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right unified communications provider.
Atlantech Online has been offering unified communications long before it was a well-known solution. Request a quote to start the conversation about what unified communications could look like for your company.