coworkers in conference room on a video call

The ABCs of Unified Communications

The evolution of technology is a fascinating thing. As new tools become available, we discover new ways to use them. That’s how unified communications came to be. Not by design, but by organic growth.

But there’s a potential problem with that growth model. Today’s communications options are robust. There are a lot of ways to incorporate VoIP, chat, video conferencing and mobility into your business. These technologies developed independently. If you want to combine them in a productive, efficient way, you need a solid strategy.

Why go to all that trouble? Your phones work now. Why fix something that’s not even broken?

Because the payoff is big.

Let’s take a look at what a strategic approach would mean for your business. These are the ABCs of unified communications.

 “A” Is for Agility

What’s your onboarding process for new employees? How long does it take for the new guy or girl to actually plug into your process and start working? What if you could lower initial downtime?

Unified communications systems allow for unprecedented levels of flexibility. We’re not just talking about adding and removing users, either. You can make on-the-fly adjustments to services and equipment, as well. That’s scalability that makes a profound difference when you need it most.

Consider this hypothetical. There’s a natural disaster. Your office space is unusable. How do you keep operations going with minimal impact to your customers?

If your communications system is virtual, you have options. You can reroute inbound phone lines, quickly change outbound messages, and ensure your employees maintain access to voicemail, instant messaging and other communications tools, even if everyone has to work from home for a week or two.

Anything you can do to improve efficiency makes a real difference in your bottom line.

 “B” Is for Budget

There are two ways to think about budget. The first is to focus only on expense. It’s the “What’s this going to cost me?” approach. The second is to hone in on value. What do you get relative to what you spend?

Communications expenses vary quite a bit from company to company. Some SMBs save money by moving to a unified communications system. Others commit some startup money to making the switch. Anyone who makes universal, sweeping promises about saving big bucks by going digital should be taken with a grain of salt.

Here’s what you can be sure of. There’s value in unified communications.

Consider this. A 2017 report estimates that the average employee wastes nearly 15% of their time due to inefficient, ineffective communications. That translates to approximately $11,000 per employee in lost productivity.

The key is to remember that you may not see savings on the front end. After all, there’s no concrete way to know how the exact amount ineffective communications cost your right now. But it’s well established that unified communications will add value in the long run.

 “C” Is for Collaboration

What business owner doesn’t want a collaborative work environment?

When employees pull together, working cooperatively, great things happen. Virtually every iconic success story includes a committed, collaborative team. Unify your communications and you unify your workforce.

Digital communications tools like instant messaging and web conferencing give team members easy ways to handle everything from quick questions to full-blown meetings. (There’s another productivity boost, by the way.) And with the emerging trend of remote employees, these tools are invaluable. If everyone’s not in the same location, you need practical ways to facilitate partnership and camaraderie.

A well-designed communications strategy aligns each individual tool, creating a seamless way to keep in touch. The end result is a workforce that’s happier, more cooperative, and more agile, even as they join forces on complex projects.

It’s the forward-thinking business leader’s dream.

 All the Way to “Z”

Unified communications improve agility, provides bottom-line value, and increases collaboration across the entire organization. This is how you get your business to “Z” – in the zone.

But it’s tough to pull off on your own.

If you want to get the most out of your communications strategy, you need to tap into some serious expertise. Not only are there a ton of options to sort through, but new technologies come online all the time. Getting you up to speed and keeping you there is something that requires know-how.

Which is something Hill Country Tech Guys has. In spades.

The Hill Country team will take the time to get to know you. We’ll develop a strategy specifically for how your staff works together, addressing your biggest pain points.

If you’re ready to take your communications to the next level, get in touch with us today. We’re excited to join you on that journey.