Companies That Pass On UCaaS Don’t Know What They’re Missing
As the helicopter hovers above the water, a young lieutenant checks his HUD. It shows an altitude at 8 meters with wind gusting at 17 knots. His eyes flick to the right and he checks his position. Right on target.
“Team Alpha, this is Bravo. Are you ready?” The diver receives an affirmative response. But then a warning sounds, followed by a computerized voice: Priority message alert – Rescue target identified as known drug smuggler. Proceed with caution.
“Did you hear that, Alpha? Let’s abort. Get your guys ready for this and we’ll come back around in five.”
Though the above scenario might seem like something out of an action movie, cloud computing is already making it a reality. Gimmicks aside, most of us don’t have a vested interest in military technology, but the ability to communicate and transmit complex information instantly over any distance is as important to business as it is rescue work and drug busts.
At the heart of both successful rescue operations and efficient workplace collaboration lies the unified communications (UC) field. For anyone who who’s still stuck back in the aughts, UC brings together voice, video, IM, email, calendar, project management, file sharing, and more into a single integrated platform.
A recent Information Week survey found that 36% of businesses have already deployed a UC solution and 31% plan on deploying one within the next 6 to 24 months. But that still leaves one third of all companies who have no plans for adopting UC (though that’s down from 39% in 2011). A large percentage of the businesses uninterested in adopting UC reported seeing little business value in the technology, but chances are they just don’t know what they’re missing.
Consider the following survey results recently published on IPsmarx.com:
- Employees spent an average of 33 minutes a day unsuccessfully trying to schedule meetings.
- Employees reported that 36% of their work days were spent trying to contact co-workers or find information that they thought should be easily accessible.
- The average employee wasted 39 minutes a day duplicating communications and information sent to multiple people or departments.
The latest flavors of UC, especially UC as a Service (or UCaaS), address all of these inefficiencies (and more) by offering companies a low-cost, infrastructure-free solution that requires a minimal amount of training.
Consider Avaya’s recently launched UCaaS and cloud collaboration platform. By Providing UC as a service, Avaya allows companies to deploy a vendor-neutral platform that lets employees instantly find every available means of contacting any other employee or business partner. Once they’re in touch, workers can turn an instant message into a conference call, answer the office phone from an iPhone on the beach, or respond to an email by talking into a handset.
For medium to large corporations, a move to UCaaS can also mean significant cost savings. Many companies cobble together several services to provide UC-like capability, all of which either have their own subscription costs—or, even worse, require IT infrastructure on-premises and the associated personnel to maintain it. It’s hard to believe any company would knowingly choose that over a UCaaS solution that brings together conferencing, messaging, meetings, and more all under the same umbrella, typically for a much lower price than an on-premises on piecemeal approach.
In a world where professionals are mobile and information wants to be free, workers need tools that empower them to be as efficient and productive as possible. By giving employees fast and easy access to all of their communication tools on any device at any time no matter where they are, corporations can improve workflow, speed the decision making process, and deliver results faster.
What business doesn’t want that?
By Robert Shaw