Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) allows companies to increase productivity, enrich teamwork, communicate and share information in real time using a variety of interfaces, and effectively support mobile and remote workers. The investment that a company needs to make in UCC solutions can be costly, and businesses want to ensure that they get a good return.Return on investment (ROI) can be measured in both hard dollars and soft benefits, and organizations want to see both when investing in UCC. But are companies maximizing their ROI effectively? Examples of what companies want to and should see are listed below; value-added resellers (VARs) should help their clients understand how to measure and interpret ROI of their UCC collaboration solutions.
The most effective measure of ROI for a company implementing UCC is the measure of time savings, or productivity. By determining an average dollar figure for employee salaries and the amount of time each employee will be able to save by utilizing UCC tools, businesses can easily add up the benefits of implementation. Most of the available research states that the average time savings per employee is 30 minutes or more per day. If the average salary per employee is $40 per hour and the company employs 1,000 people, significant savings can be realized over time—in this case, about $100,000 per week. By providing the tools to allow employees to more effectively communicate and collaborate, businesses can improve productivity and save mega bucks.
By implementing UCC tools like Web sharing and audio/video conferencing, companies can reduce the time that employees spend traveling to face-to-face meetings. While it may be impossible to entirely eliminate corporate travel, organizations have found many reasons to limit it, including work/life balance for employees, the threat of terrorism, and the desire to protect the environment. UCC can support companies in these efforts and also save them money. If an average international flight costs $2,500, hotel accommodations cost $200 per night for two nights, meals add another $100 per round trip, parking at the airport is another $100, and a rental car at the destination is $200, $3,100 could be saved immediately by conducting face-to-face business over video conferencing as opposed to in person. If four trips per year per employee could be conducted from the office, savings can add up significantly. In addition, if companies take into account the time it takes to get to airports, waiting time at airports, time lost during travel, and the effect on the employee’s work/life balance, additional ROI can be easily realized through the use of UCC tools. Finally, using less energy will reduce a company’s carbon footprint, making it more “green,” something that, in some states, provides tax benefits.
By streamlining communications with UCC, organizations will realize benefits that include:
- Lower Administrative Costs – Because communication and collaboration tools are integrated, administrators will be able to make updates, changes, and additions quickly and easily. Regained time can be used to work on other projects.
- Improved Knowledge Transfer – Real-time communication results in faster and more effective knowledge transfer. This results in more satisfied clients and co-workers and allows for a repository of information that can be used by others in the future. Instant messaging and enterprise social media solutions are a great way to improve information flow.
- Increased Support for Mobile and Remote Workers – The implementation of UCC in a business offers dynamic flexibility for remote and mobile workers by allowing them to connect with each other regardless of their location or the device that they are using. Companies can also hire from anywhere, retaining top talent by providing access to video conferencing, softphones, and other UCC tools.
VARs have a responsibility to help customers understand how to cost-justify their investment in UCC platforms. By taking the time to find out some basic numbers, determining what the organization’s goals and objectives are, and understanding current and future operating methods, VARs will be perceived as “trusted advisors” and will easily win sales by showing both monetary benefits and soft benefits to their clients.
Does your business use cost justification and ROI tools with your clients? Please comment below.