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The business case for unified comms & cloud connectivity

12 Feb 2021

With remote working expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future, the priority for many businesses is ensuring connectivity and collaboration company-wide.

Unified communications and cloud-based solutions are transforming business as we know it; bringing tools together and making them available to employees wherever, whenever.

However, while the focus has been on creating the infrastructure for the future, many businesses are looking at how they can make their operations much more resilient.
A future-ready business can adapt to any change or circumstance. It needs to be flexible, robust and forward-thinking.

Our 2020 report highlights six traits that all ‘future-ready businesses’ share. They all:

  • Have a positive attitude to change
  • Are open to new technology
  • Actively plan for a technological future
  • Set detailed strategies
  • Keep up to date with emerging trends
  • Are adaptable

But while the above is necessary to deliver change and execute strategies at speed, communication, connectivity and collaboration are at the heart of any project.

Whether it’s making calls, sending texts, using video conferences or desktop sharing, the real question is: do your employees have the tools they need?

Unified communications helps businesses achieve future-readiness, so let’s look at the main benefits of using it.

Powering business continuity

In our Future Ready Report, 17% of respondents said they didn’t have a business continuity plan.

Unified communications enables a new level of integration and collaboration amongst employees, enabling secure, uninterrupted data traffic through one channel.

Wherever they work, employees have access to communication channels and connections they need to carry on working as normal, no matter the disruption going on around them.

This is one reason 42% of companies have increased their cloud application and unified communication adoption this year.

From a continuity standpoint, businesses can be confident employees can remain connected no matter what happens.

Unified communications is just one pillar of the future tech stack businesses will need for a flexible, remote working future. Download our guide on building a future tech stack for your business.

Agility and flexibility as standard

Being adaptable to changing circumstances is a critical part of continued success and highlighted by our Future Ready Report.

Of those companies that exhibited the six “future-ready traits”, 30% reported an increase in expected profits, compared to the same time the previous year. Plus:

  • 57% expected to see profits recover well in the short term
  • 44% are seeing a positive effect on their innovation

All over the world, businesses are looking to build agility and flexibility into their business models.

According to Gartner:

  • 82% of company leaders will allow employees to continue working remotely some of the time when we return to the ‘new normal’
  • 43% say they will introduce flexible days
  • 42% plan to introduce flexible working hours where possible

Making this work requires a connected communication system.

Combining all communication channels under one umbrella of unified communications, businesses can build agility into every aspect of their company.

Video production company ID2 media is one example of a business that has transformed its communication using UC.

Because staff are regularly working away from the office, it meant that customers would sometimes struggle to content staff when they were on location.

Using UC, ID2 Media’s customers are now able to get in touch with them across mobile and desk phones, even when staff are out of the office through a combined fixed and mobile line connection.

Read more about them here.

Cost savings

Each year, poor collaboration and communication tools cost UK businesses more than £7,500 per employee.

And yet, the technology exists to empower employees to be more productive and collaborative.

But with unified communications, you not only connect your people, applications, clouds and networks around the globe — you also cut the costs of investing in infrastructure.

Whether it’s reducing office costs by working remotely, reducing travel expenditure by holding client meetings over video conference, or reducing the number of individual communication channels you invest in — the cost savings come from several areas in your business.

This is important because typically businesses end up with loads of different applications for different needs.

Instead, UC connects tools for one consistent and seamless experience.

Take customer contact centres for example: rather than a customer service representative making notes in Word or Google Docs, they can update a customer record from a central location.

Every other member of the team can view that information and it’s updated in real time.

Goodbye siloes

The most important things here are connectivity and consistency. Your workers need access to the right tools for the job. And those are the best tools. If they can access them, ensuring consistency across what you do is no longer a problem.

And because employees are using the best tools for the job, you no longer need to invest in anything else. That’s money saved.

Unifying a global workforce

A unified workforce will be empowered with the tools they need to work better together - no matter where they are.

With disjointed infrastructure, employees are limited in how they can connect and communicate with each other.

Whether it’s being limited to one-to-one voice calls, or basic video conferencing.

In a single workplace, this can be overcome because of the physical proximity of workers to each other.

In a flexible, remote workplace, these connections and communications are the backbone of success.

Take contact centres as an example.

By using UC, businesses can create any kind of contact centre they need, whether it’s voice-only or a full multi-channel centre, capable of handling inbound and outbound voice calls, emails or web chat and screen sharing.

Corporate services company Hogg Robinson Group is one company that has seen the benefits of unifying its communications across a global client base.

Previously working with nine different phone systems, they consolidated into one unified communications system, enabling calls to be routed to the right person anywhere, anytime.

Read the full case study here.

Unifying the future workforce

Remote working is here to stay, so businesses need communication infrastructure that can not only connect employees and customers from anywhere, but also handle the various communication channels we now need.

Whether it’s basic voice calling, right through to video conferencing and screen sharing.

Unified communication will play a central role in the future remote working solution so businesses should be investigating how their current systems stack up against future challenges to their communication network.

Those that do, will be able to face the challenges of tomorrow from a much stronger position.

Of course, a core part of this is ensuring that the networks you use to support remote working are safe and secure. Find out how to do so by downloading our guide below.

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