Why do I need UCaaS?

Unified Communications (UC) – the ability to integrate different forms of communication in the shape of phone, email, messaging, video and collaborative working applications, and leverage the combined benefits in a holistic approach to the diverse ways in which we contact each other today, is now readily available to organisations of any size.

UC today is a mature market and a million miles away from the early attempts to introduce the technology that were hindered by clunky proprietary solutions that needed a legion of technicians just to deliver pretty basic functionality on an on-going basis.

Today we have robust connectivity and omni-present IP based networks that enable integrated communications and collaborative working not only within the local area network of an organisation but also in the wider area to encompass remote branch offices as well as mobile or home workers.

The benefits of unified communications to SMEs

Significantly for the small to medium enterprise (SME), unified communications is available as a subscription service delivered from the cloud rather than as expensive on-site hardware. The result is up-front costs are minimal and on-going charges that are simply based upon what services are ‘consumed’ each month, and by how many users. It means scaling users demand up or down depending on business need is now within the grasp of the organisation.

This UCaaS delivery model has additional benefits for the SME beyond cost savings and operational flexibility as it means the applications are always kept up to date with new features simply being added via the cloud.

The applications are important to any business but for the SME they offer the ability to not only compete on a level playing field with larger enterprises but to also still deliver the fleet of foot responses for their customers that have always been their key differentiator.

For organisations that have recognised that a customer first or customer led strategy, where the information and data gathered from clients is highly valued, UC and collaborative working will get you closer to those customers. And by using data analytics to evaluate that data it can be turned in to new products and services your customers want.

As well as great customer service excellence being provided, customer retention will be improved and new products monetised faster.

So what is needed for a successful SME deployment of UCaaS?

Internally, organisations will also benefit with firms where employees were encouraged to work together sat within the 64pc higher portion of high-growth companies.

The reality is, employees could be spending lots of wasted time trying to figure out answers while someone else in the team or organisation already knows the solution.

In a nutshell we think it is three things; that management ethos to work collaboratively and placing the customer first, the right connectivity and networks to provide a great user experience plus a supplier that has a set of applications that are easy to use and with the ability to integrate existing business process applications.

Organisations that have made the switch and those that are in the process of implementation have determined, the best time to implement UCaaS – and move voice, conferencing and collaboration to the cloud too – isn’t a year or two from now. It’s now.