Forget Keeping the Lights on — A Unified Communications Platform Keeps the Doors Open

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's sound logic if your goal is to maintain the status quo or keep the lights on. However, given the speed of disruptive innovation, keeping the lights on might not mean keeping the doors open.

Workers in an office using a unified communications platform to communicate.
With a unified communications platform, your employees can enjoy seamless communications wherever they are, through many digital channels.

Digital and cloud technologies have forever changed people's expectations. Your customers and employees are accustomed to having instant access to information and seamless communication across channels, and they want the same digital experiences at work.

That's why more and more companies are moving their communications workloads to the cloud. A unified communications platform helps deliver the seamless digital experience employees expect. Still, some IT leaders are hesitant to invest in unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) because they don't understand its full capabilities and how it can improve their company's bottom line.

So, what does a unified communications solution do, and how does it generate ROI?

What is a Unified Communications Platform?

UCaaS combines all your internal business communications features — voice, messaging, video, and conferencing — into one cloud-based platform. From a single user interface, employees can collaborate with one another and interact with customers using whatever communication tool works best for the situation and switch seamlessly from one tool to another without dropping calls.

As a result, your company can do the following:

  • Improve Mobility: Employees can work from home or on the go. All an employee needs is an internet-connected device and a UCaaS login to access the voice, video, and messaging capabilities available at the office. That kind of flexibility improves productivity and supports work-life balance for employees.

  • Boost Productivity: With all the communications tools and customer information employees need in one place, there's no switching back and forth between applications. Plus, there's that whole mobility thing. When people can work from anywhere, they simply get more done.

  • Deliver More Informed Sales and Customer Service: Advanced UCaaS solutions can integrate with customer relationship management and other cloud applications that manage enterprise data. This enables employees to view customer profiles and buyer histories within the unified communications platform. The system then prompts them to update customer records based on current interactions.

  • Satisfy Customers: Customers get prompt service and informed answers while communicating with company representatives using their preferred communication channels, which goes a long way toward customer acquisition and retention.

  • Optimize IT Resources: UCaaS is a plug-and-play solution, meaning implementation requires no development skills and very little effort from the IT department. There's no need for local servers, and cloud vendors manage and update the technology remotely. So, IT still has plenty of time to keep the lights on, and better yet, to manage and implement other innovative projects.

  • Streamline Employee Development: UCaaS helps support a strong performance management process by keeping the lines of communication between managers and their teams open year-round, not just during annual reviews. Even virtual employees can get face-to-face coaching and training through video conferencing, and thanks to call recording, call center managers can listen in on employees and provide on-the-spot suggestions for improvement.

  • Reduce Expenses: There are no local servers or hardware to buy or maintain, and multi-location companies share the platform across worksites, rather than paying several individual phone bills.

These are just a few of the many cloud migration benefits. There are plenty more, most of which boil down to one overarching competitive advantage: an improved user experience for your employees and customers. And in the digital age, that's a very big deal.

A unified communications platform helps deliver the seamless digital experience employees expect.

The Cost of Not Keeping Up

Are you still hesitant to jump on the unified communications bandwagon? That makes sense. It's a new expense, a new system for employees to learn, and simply not a priority. After all, your old business phone system works just fine, and perhaps you've already pulled together a few real-time communications features. If you haven't, some of your employees are likely using consumer-grade ones.

So, it ain't broke, so why pay to fix it?

To answer that question, you could look to the many industries that have been rendered extinct or endangered by digital disruption, such as video rentals, taxi services, and travel agencies. Or, you could look to the retail industry, which is still alive and kicking but in the middle of an extreme enterprise makeover.

Once upon a time, shopping was how most Americans got their cardio. Then, online shopping came along and made the shopping experience more convenient, more personalized, and less expensive. This put the final nail in the coffin for some retailers, but many have survived — and some have even thrived — by using communications technology to bridge the gaps between online and in-store. In other words, they're reinventing the customer experience for the digital age.

That's exactly what businesses across industries must do: reinvent the user experience. This requires a shift in mindset and metrics. Key performance indicators based on cost reductions and keeping the lights on are great for, well, keeping the lights on. However, without IT metrics for customer experience, operational efficiency, and employee engagement, you might not need those lights for much longer.

To learn more about unified communications solutions for your business, speak to a Vonage Business representative.

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