In an age of better, smarter, and faster, investing in new technology can be risky. And while many businesses and organizations have benefitted from unified communications, calculating ROI in individual cases can be tricky. If you know where to look, however, it’s possible to build a strong business case for UC. Here are some questions to help you get started:
1. What do you want UC implementation to accomplish?
Unified communications platforms and include telephony, instant messaging, conferencing, file sharing, collaboration tools and more. Many businesses look at what UC can offer and see the potential to improve employee productivity. After all, improving communication and collaboration can definitely help people get better work done faster. But UC can also improve business processes, both procedural and automated, by integrating communications into workflows and doing more with less work required.
2. What tools are you currently using?
Take a look at how your organization currently communicates and ask these two questions:
- Which communication tools are the most effective?
- Where do gaps in communication exist?
Knowing what works and what doesn’t is the first step to a tailored UC solution. By having a laundry list of required tools and improvements, you can make sure you’re not paying for features that won’t be useful, as well as maximize hard and soft savings for what you do need.
3. What are the hard savings associated with your proposed UC solution?
Hard savings are areas where there is a quantifiable dollar amount directly attributable to UC deployment. The list of savings advertised by UC providers is extensive, but only some of them will be relevant to your company. Consider which of these would affect the ROI of UC for your business, and keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive:
- Reduced long distance calling charges
- Lower cell network costs
- Eliminated or reduced travel costs
- Less utility spending from combining voice and data
- Reduced IT maintenance and staffing
4. Which soft savings can you make a case for?
Soft savings, which includes money saved as well as increased revenue, are harder to include into the ROI calculations for unified communications, but are nevertheless an important part of any business case. Soft savings include monetary benefit from increased employee job empowerment and productivity, better customer satisfaction, improved stakeholder relationships, and more. These can be quantified with some work, especially if your business has detailed records on customer service, sales, and employee satisfaction.
Unified communications has the potential to make both your employees and business processes more productive and efficient, but that needs to be proven before you can begin reaping the benefits. Harbor Networks has extensive experience with providing tailored UC solutions to a variety of organizations of different sizes and in different industries. See how we helped our clients, and how we can help you too!