UC the ideal technology for small business looking to compete

    A recent Smallbiztechnology.com report highlighted the advantages of unified communications compared to older phone options. The news source explained that a "plain old telephone system," or POTS, is ideal for a company that only has a few employees. For businesses with more workers and greater mobility needs, UC deployments are the right choice.

    Small businesses with unified communications in place can integrate multiple tools and utilize just one system, allowing these organizations to operate like larger companies and remain more competitive.

    "UC is the integration of real-time communication, such as instant messaging, presence information, telephony - including IP - video conferencing, data sharing, call control and speech recognition, as well as services such as integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax," the Smallbiztechnology report explained. "This choice can make your organization truly competitive and always connected."

    When choosing a unified communications solution, small businesses should choose an option that allows them to perform without high operating costs. The news source also suggested that companies make sure their UC deployments include mobility options to support operating systems like iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

    Small businesses should identify unified communications that are flexible and can be upgraded over time to meet changing demands. Customer requirements should also be considered. The Smallbiztechnology report explained that if companies have high call volume logs, call queuing options are useful to address these requirements.

    UC ROI doesn't take long

    Small businesses avoiding unified communications because they feel the technology takes too long for an effective return on investment may want to rethink this assertion. A recent survey of more than 6,100 IT professionals by IT staffing firm TEKsystems and the Loyalty Research Group found that 53 percent of participants said UC ROI takes less than one year. Another 59 percent of respondents said UC ROI value approaches nearly $2 million.

    The study also found that, of all technology projects included in the survey, more than 50 percent of IT professionals said the IT initiatives aligned with their companies' overall business goals.

    "Common measurements of IT like cost savings, internal client satisfaction and productivity changes are important. But when a key objective of IT departments is to align with the business, showing how IT actually helps revenues increase and the business to adopt new changes is just as important," said TEKsystems director Rachel Russell.