Despite nearly half of Australia’s workforce working from home in recent months, many businesses are still relying on legacy phone systems and basic call-forwarding to their staff’s mobile phones.

This poses numerous challenges for businesses with the relative expense of maintaining legacy phone systems, the lack of modern productivity and mobility features, and the costly lack of visibility across your business communication flows.

Fortunately however, moving to a unified communications (UC) solution is easy and cannot only save time and costs, but also improve customer and employee satisfaction and eliminate IT headaches. This is the business case for moving from legacy phone systems to UC.

How UC is Different

UC integrates all your business communication channels such as voice (including VOIP), video conferencing, email, instant messaging, chat, mobility features, desktop & data sharing and more. Importantly, UC provides full visibility and real-time reporting of critical information such as user presence, communication flows (e.g. call queues, call times, missed calls, call-backs, unanswered messages etc) and recording of interactions across channels.

For example, if your business has employees working remotely who are communicating by voice and text with their mobile phones, UC integrates these interactions within a single, user-friendly platform so that all call data is visible and messages are recorded.

These and other features of UC offer major benefits for businesses large and small – not just call centres! The key advantages for organisations generally include cost savings, increases in employee productivity and improvement of business processes.

Cost Savings

Legacy phone systems are laden with costs – the hardware is often expensive to acquire and maintain, requiring regular firmware updates to remain viable, and fees can be unpredictable month-to-month. Scaling up with business growth is also relatively difficult and expensive.

Moving to UC enables organisations to:

  • Shift costs from CapEx to OpEx with UC as a Service (UCaaS)
  • Reduce usage costs, such as by using instant messaging to ask a quick question rather than making a phone call
  • Reduce travel expenses with far more effective conferencing and collaboration options and access to shared workspace environments from anywhere
  • Cost-effectively scale up and down as needed, rather than paying for additional on-premise resources to handle peak capacity.

Increased Employee Productivity

Traditional communications methods are relatively rigid and immobile, causing inefficiencies such as ‘phone tag’ or long group emails, where such interactions could be better handled through other forms of communication and collaboration.

UC addresses these and many other factors that affect employee productivity, including through:

  • Presence features so you know where your intended recipients are and whether they are available in real-time, saving time and avoiding unnecessary call transfers
  • Smart call queues and diversions based on user presence information
  • Collaboration tools that enable staff to interact more easily across different channels, from video conferencing to instant messaging
  • Greater mobility so that communications from home or remotely are just as easy and effective, with or without additional hardware.

Improvement of Business Processes

Compared to organisations running legacy phone systems, having UC capabilities within business workflows and processes offers advantages such as:

  • Better visibility and oversight across communications in real-time so that resources can be allocated efficiently, avoiding bottlenecks and providing a better customer experience
  • Faster resolution of issues by finding and connecting customers with appropriately skilled and available employees more rapidly
  • Smarter contact management helping callers reach their intended party more directly, or by providing efficient alternatives such as a co-worker in the same team that’s available
  • Greater collaboration with advanced workspaces and tools enabling teams to work together faster and more productively from anywhere.

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