Can unified communications give businesses the right tools and infrastructure to outmanoeuvre the competition?
Here are three ways we think it can:
Never miss an opportunity
The ability to find efficiencies and react quickly to changing business situations are equally important to a growing business, but this can be difficult when resourcing is limited and employees need to fulfil multiple roles. Again the cloud is on hand to troubleshoot for businesses looking for an edge.
Cloud-based unified communications can help businesses overcome these issues. By integrating fixed and mobile communications into a single, completely configurable service, businesses can be reached through one single number, regardless of where they are actually working from and without the risk of missing important calls. This ensures potential leads are captured and the business appears more established to prospects.
Scale up when it matters
Having the agility to cope with the ups and downs of business isn’t easy. But being able to scale the size of an operation up or down – for example increasing or decreasing the number of users being supported – without a significant increase in overheads is precisely what supports sustainable business growth.
Take a business, such as a swimwear manufacturer, with seasonal variation in sales. In the run up to, and during the hot summer months, customer demand is likely to grow and the business will need to ensure that its systems and resources can comfortably and profitably meet higher volumes of orders. But as the temperatures – and sales – begin to cool off, the business may no longer need the same level of resourcing, fixed infrastructure or data capacity and the costs of maintaining these can become a burden.
The solution increasingly being implemented is collaboration services from the cloud. Cloud-based applications are proving valuable tools for ramping up business requirements without requiring expensive changes to be made to existing IT systems. This means that when sales peak, the business can focus on processing orders without worrying about overloading its systems.
Unleash your workforce
It also means that employees have more freedom to network with suppliers, partners, peers and customers, without worrying about the implications of leaving desks unmanned. When staff are constantly connected and fully contactable, they are able to work beyond the confines of the office. They are able to connect whatever, whenever, wherever to whoever and this minimises the fear of missing calls and potential sales leads.
Once a business frees up its staff to work effectively from any location, it may also find that it has more desks than people in the office. By embracing cloud-enabled unified communications, the business can opt to turn employees’ mobiles into endpoints, which means that unnecessary fixed phone lines can be removed and the cost of fixed infrastructure can come down.
However you choose to deploy IT it’s clear that cloud-based communications and services are going to be an increasingly valuable element in facilitating scalability, agility and growth for businesses, for years to come.